By Danny Cox
Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams are staring at a 1-2 record through Week 3 of the 2013 NFL season, but they’re not in the cellar of the NFC West. They are joined by, but ahead of, both the Arizona Cardinals and this week’s opponent, the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers almost won the Super Bowl last year, but right now, they appear to be coming apart at the seams. San Francisco’s offense is under-performing and can’t score to save their lives. Players are bringing about mutiny for their head coach. The defense can’t seem to stop anyone.
What happened to the defending NFC champs?
Well, whatever has happened is good news for St. Louis as this Thursday night’s match-up approaches.
Currently, the 49ers passing offense ranks 23rd in the NFL while their rushing offense ranks 19th. Looking at the rushing game, it is no surprise that it is so low since they’ve played from behind for the last two entire games.
Things have gotten so bad that running back Frank Gore is lashing out at coach Jim Harbaugh.
Gore got a mere four touches in Week 3’s 27-7 demolition at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. The ever-dangerous running back only has 41 carries for a paltry 142 yards and one touchdown this entire season. As Sunday’s contest ended, reports say that Gore had some “choice words” for his head coach.
Aside from the first game of the season, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has almost seemed nonexistent. Sure, he has 689 passing yards and three touchdowns this season, but 412 yards and all of those touchdowns came in San Francisco’s Week 1 win.
Many thought the addition of wide receiver Anquan Boldin would make San Fran’s explosive offense even more dangerous, and he kind of has done that. He had 208 receiving yards in their week one win over Green Bay, but only 74 yards in the past two weeks.
St. Louis defense may give up a lot of points, but this week, they’re facing a team that can’t really score any.
Defensively, the 49ers are not looking any better as they’ve given up 28, 29, and 27 points in three games this season. Their passing defense isn’t too bad, but their rushing defense is sitting at 29th in the league.
Bradford needs to take advantage of this porous defense and get the ball to Jared Cook down the sidelines and hope that Daryl Richardson can rejuvenate an as-yet-unimpressive Rams running game.
It isn’t as if San Francisco doesn’t have the talent on defense, but they’re hurting. Aldon Smith will be out for at least a month, so the Rams need not worry about him. Patrick Willis is looking doubtful for this week’s game with a groin injury so that’s another big-time player the Rams may not have to fear.
St. Louis could indeed send the 49ers to three straight losses if they play smart, hard, and take advantage of where San Francisco has failed the past two weeks.
For more Rams news and updates, visit Rams Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.