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Rams-49ers: The Turf Show Times Staff Weighs In

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The Rams host the 49ers on Monday Night Football. Most major outlets aren’t giving the Rams a chance. The Turf Show Times staff sees it differently...

Dilip Vishwanat
The St. Louis Rams play host to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6...on Monday Night Football.  The 3-2 49ers will look to keep pace atop the always tough NFC West, while the Rams will look to [for the first time this season] successfully Defend Their Turf. The 49ers lead the all-time series with a record of 64-62-3.

The Rams will obviously spend the extra day this week game-planning for familiar faces like Brandon Lloyd and Craig Dahl.  The 49ers do have other weapons that need to be accounted for though.  

For more analysis on this week’s MNF match-up, thirteen members of the Turf Show Times staff break it down for you...

EddieP [@iAmEddieP_]

Surprisingly, I'm feeling good about this game. The 49ers have had their fair share of mishaps, and the scales could tip in the Rams' favor.

However, these still are the Rams we are talking about. While I expect them to be in the game, they'll most likely butt fumble the game away.

Outcome:  49ers win, 28-24

sergey606 [@thatsergey]

This is a tough one to pick. Last year I figured Rams keep their prime time game vs the 9ers close - totally wrong. Despite what some say, the Rams D will bottle Hyde and Gore (even though I'm still starting Gore in fantasy). Kap will end-up having to either throw or run it himself, like Wilson did on MNF. I imagine Lloyd will score a TD - but Quick and Cook (I know!) will each have at least one. I don't see this as a blowout, Rams will give up a big lead late and start coming back. Somehow the GSOT presence will pump the rams to finish the comeback. I noticed that every time Fisher gets criticized, his team shows up and just destroys the next week. Rams 32, 49ers 30.

P.S. I can also see this being Rams 45, 49ers 27 - because of my Fisher comment.

Outcome:  Rams win, 32-30....or 45 -27

3k [@3k_]

Monday Night Football. In St. Louis. Against the Niners. This is kind of a big deal.

Part of the prediction hinges on Zac Stacy's availability since the Niners are so good on defense, and I'd prefer to have him in the lineup to put some contact on that rushing defense. The other part is on Austin Davis. This is the best pass defense he's faced, so I don't think we'll get the numbers that we've gotten from him in the last two games. And I guess the cherry on this sundae (get it? Football gets played on Sundays, but we're playing on a Monday? Hey, screw you, buddy) is the mental side, the coaching. Jeff Fisher sent a message in the Ray Ray Armstrong move, so I would think we're all hoping that translates to something positive on the field.

I'll play the biased homer...

Outcome:  Rams win, 27-20

Charles Martel [@CharlesMartel19]

Every game is important, but the Rams entire season is on the line here. It is still early enough to turn things around and doing so against a bitter rival on MNF would go a long way to mollifying the doubters and haters.

The one who controls the line of scrimmage and makes the fewest mistakes, will win this game. Sure, that can be said of every single NFL game, but these teams match up very closely on paper (Note the 3.5 point spread). The one aspect that doesn't match up is San Fransisco's rushing attack (145 YPG) vs the Rams rushing defense (152.5 YPG). Expect the Niners to exploit that. Does Gregg Williams have a plan?

This will be a close fought and brutal game. In the end, the Rams' hunger wins out.

Outcome:  Rams win, 28-27

Mike Dietrich [@dvond]

The Rams may be pumped for the GSOT reunion but unless those guys are playing or taking over the bodies of the current team, I see a very unhappy result. The 49ers are #1 defending the run and then if Davis and tje Rams become one dimensional then I see the 49ers taking advantage of the Rams in-experienced QB. Gore and Hyde will have their way with the shaky Rams defense and also Kap and their very good receiving corp against the very shaky Rams secondary who gives up a 74% completion pct plus when the run is established it will be even easier for them to pass.

Outcome: 49ers win, 31-20

Frank "Dubs" Dobozy [@Bozy1313]

This game - like most between these two teams - will feature a smash-mouth war in the trenches. The Rams always play the 49'ers tough, and this game will be no exception. If the Rams can establish their running game - and contain Frank Gore - they will keep this game close...and could come away with a hard-fought win at the EJD.

Outcome:  49ers win, 21-17

northwestRAMSfan [@troilus22]

Austin Davis and the Rams offense have been a surprise so far this season, instead of the offense leaning on Zac Stacy it has relied on Davis and the emerging Brian Quick. While the offense has played well at times, the difficulty level will go up a notch or two as they host the 49ers. We will learn a lot about the offense over the next few weeks as the Rams enter the meat of the Octet of Pain.

On defense the Rams will be tested yet again by their old nemesis Frank Gore. The 49ers offense has sputtered through the air, but the ground game continues to be one of the best in the league with Gore and Hyde sharing carries in the backfield. With the way the Rams defense has struggled to contain secondary ball carriers, it could be a big day for a Carlos Hyde or Colin Kaepernick on the ground.

The Rams special teams needs to regain the top level form they had in 2013. Perhaps its finally time to see a little more Tavon Austin magic ala at Indianapolis in 2013? The Rams will need a big time performance from someone to overcome the 49ers on Monday Night Football. A defensive or special teams touchdown could sure go a long way towards spurring the upset. Most of all, the team needs to limit the miscues. If the Rams had the average number of turnovers or penalties over the first four weeks they could conceivable be 3-1 instead of 1-3. If they don't help an already tough opponent out by beating themselves, they could get a division win in front of a national audience.

I feel this will be a close game, but until this young team can show a little discipline and actually finish a game its tough to pick them.

Outcome: 49ers win, 30-27

VTRamsFan [@PeterDunbar]

Offense:

QB Austin Davis has impressed and shown that he can not just manage games in this league, but he can win them. WR Brian Quick may very well get his first 100+ yd receiving game and maybe even multiple TD's. However for that to happen, the stars will need to align. The Rams will need to play a near perfect game and include 100+ yards rushing to control the clock. Can this young offense accomplish this feat?

Defense:

The Rams D will have one of their toughest challenges yet this week. If tallying sacks hasn't been hard enough so far this year, it's not going to get any easier as they face the very mobile QB Colin Kaepernick, and not to mention RB Frank Gore behind a pretty stout offensive line. Still, if the Rams can stop the quick screens and slants, and the run (most worried about this!), it will force the 49ers to play "drop back" football, which will give the Rams the advantage. However, that is easier said than done.

Conclusion & Prediction:

After the message Fisher provided with the releasing of Ray Ray Armstrong, I believe the Rams will come out firing on all cylinders and show that are have made strides in growing up. The Rams will jump to an early lead which will force the 49ers to pass down the field allowing our pass rushers to finally be able to pin their ears back and go after the QB. The Rams will tally 3 sacks and a ton of pressures and hits.

Still, the 49ers will make their share of big plays in this one. Kaepernick will have a couple 20+ yard runs, Gore will be contained but not stopped, Crabtree will also make an appearance on Monday night Football and the 49ers will put points on the board, and at times make it look easy with Rams fans grumbling in the game threads.

That said, Austin Davis will continue to shine as the running game (100+ yard combined effort) will help him out tremendously, and Davis will have another 3TD performance.

The Rams will be at home in their classic yellow, white and blue uni's which has to help. Due to these uni's, the Rams will win by a safety in the closing moments 26-24.

Outcome:  Rams win, 26-24

Douglas M [@thenovelroad]

The Rams and 49ers are coming together for the 169th time since 1950. To add more weight to this storied rivalry, this game is a must win for both teams. The 49ers are strong on defense, but they've shown cracks in their armor without Navarro Bowman and Aldon Smith. While they're ranked as the #2 defense in the NFL, they've also let games slip by them (See: Chicago Bears).

I thought the 49ers offense would be more potent than has been so far this season? They have the best wide receiver corps they've had in years, and Frank Gore is still running strong.

For the Rams, this game holds value as a test to see just how far they've come as a group. Jeff Fisher will need to harness the potential of his young players to come out on top before a national Monday Night Football audience. What's missing from the Rams this season is quarterback sacks, and this key defensive stat will weigh heavily on the outcome of the game. They can't allow the 49ers Colin Kaepernick the time to sit in the pocket, or give him opportunities to scramble like he has the last few times these teams have met. St. Louis' offense needs to strike fast and hard. Kenny Britt may very well be in for a big night, with Brian Quick suddenly garnering attention by opposing defenses. Tavon Austin could be a wild card if he's healthy, but don't be shocked if Fisher decides to use his lightning fast, 5'7" charge sparingly. I don't blame him either. I mean, do you really want to see what happens when Austin meets up with Patrick Willis? Eeek!

As to final scores, I predict... Hello? I must have gone through a tunnel, or found a cell phone dead spot? Did you get my final score prediction? Good! I'd hate to have to type it again... :-)

Outcome: Rams win, 26-24

misone [@MightyorMisone]

This is the hardest game to predict so far. Ultimately I believe it comes down to who's defense outplays the offense better. The Rams are going to have to get the run game going. But in this game im not sure if I trust their defense. Oddly enough i never trust the 49ers offense. As long as colin kaepernick is under center anything is possible. The Rams defense is going to have to create turnovers, while the offense will have to avoid them. This could very well be the lowest offensive output this season for the Rams. For the Rams to win this game they will need sacks, turnovers, and 150 rushing yards. Facing a stingy 49ers defense, the Rams offense - which has become accustomed to putting together long drives this season - probably will struggle to maintain drives. They will need to either score off of two or three big plays or allow the run game to get them in field goal range. This is also where special teams comes into play. Starting field position will be huge in this game. The 49ers will probably employ the exact same game plan. I expect a physical game that should be decided off of one or two big plays.

P.S. I'm going biased on this pick since ill be there with my lil brother, dad, and older brother...so im hoping for a win. Realistically I'm leaning towards the same score but the other way around.

Outcome:  Rams win, 23-20....or 49ers win, 23-20

Papa_Lurch

I normally enjoy reading what different 'experts' have to say when it comes to predictions. Support for the Rams is normally hard to come by, but this week it has been worse than usual. I generally don't get too worked up about the lack of support, but this week it is striking a nerve. Analysts at ESPN, CBS, SB Nation, and Bleacher Report all unanimously picked the 49ers to win. That's 44 votes and absolutely no love for the Rams. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

The Rams have been inconsistent and the 49ers have been to the NFC Championship in each of Coach Jim Harbaugh's seasons in San Fran. Toss in the bludgeoning that the Rams took in prime time from the 49ers last year, and I can certainly see the logic behind the picks... but that doesn't ebb my irritation at the media or Rams detractors.

So I'm going all-in for prime-time. Austin Davis is going to go bananas (again) and tear up the top-5 defense the 9ers are bringing to the dome, erasing any doubts Rams fans had about him. Brian Quick is going to be unstoppable. Robert Quinn and the DL will break out of their funk and keep Kaep running for his life and pick up 5+ sacks. Tavon will break one loose...and it won't get called back. Johnny Hekker will be Johnny Hekker and Legatron will kick a 65 yarder...sober (too soon?)

Ok, maybe not ALL of those things will happen, but Coach 'Fish will have this team ready for the lights and the Rams will dominate.

Outcome: Rams win 38-20

Brandon Bate [@NoPlanB_]

Pretty much...

Outcome:  Rams win, 27-24

*****

And there you have it.  Eight out of the 12 staff members predict a home win for the Rams on Monday night.  For the Rams to win, they’ll need to have a sound game-plan, play to their strengths, and minimize the mental mistakes.

Here’s to hoping the Tuesday morning water cooler talk affords you the opportunity to gloat...at least until Week 9; when the team’s square off again.

As always, let’s look forward to a competitive football match-up with no injuries.  Maybe with minimal emphasis on the competitive part... I won’t tire from the Rams running up the scoreboard in this one.  GO RAMS!