Week 12 is upon us and your San Francisco 49ers are in the drivers seat for that last coveted playoff spot. Expectations have changed dramatically during this tumultuous season. The 49ers defense has pretty much stayed true to course. The offense on the other hand has regressed badly among questionable play calling, fair to poor quarterback play, and injuries to Kappy’s wide receiving corps. Which at times have resembled corpses out there. Win all their games with teams not named Seattle, and they are in. Lose this next one, and with an AZ win, the Niners would be back out in the cold. As of now, the Niners own the 6th spot over AZ because of their better divisional record. Which makes this Ram game all the more important.
The good news for the Niners is they are currently 2-1 in division games while AZ is 0-3. Beat the Rams and they could lose to AZ in that last game, tie with AZ, and still get the 6th spot, providing Seattle does us the favor of beating AZ. Which brings us to the Rams. A team that has had a schizophrenic run this year. They’ve had 2 two=game winning streaks, and 3 two-game losing streaks. Along the way, they’ve played awful (after Sam Bradford went down to injury), and some great performances as Kellen Clemens has settled in as the QB. Most recently, speedster Tavon Austin had a coming out party in the beat-down of Indy in their house and, last week, a trouncing of the Chicago Bears and their once-highly-touted defense.
For sure this is a different team than the one the Niners trounced in their house way back in September, but defensively, they haven’t changed too much. Gore ran wild, over 150 yards rushing, and I’d think we would start out trying this strategy. Michael Crabtree should make his return to the field in this game, so we will finally have out complete set of WRs. Something that should also loosen up the running lanes. The Niners were missing Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith in the previous game with these guys and handled them easily, even with their starting QB in there. The biggest difference between this game and last is the emergence of 1st round WR Tavon Austin. He of the slow start and instant sensation these past couple games.
I’m hoping we handle these guys fairly easily, but I haven’t been very right this year. Except for game 1. Besides, we have out secret weapon, safety Chad Hall.