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Thread: Looking ahead

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    Looking ahead

    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com


    ARLINGTON, Tex. -- The St. Louis Rams provided almost no silver linings in their 31-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but that didn't mean the day was a total waste for them.

    As part of this week's Thursday night game, the Rams have a short week to put Sunday's debacle behind them. Their opponent, the San Francisco *****, offered plenty of reasons for the Rams to have some optimism that they can right the ship even if the Rams didn't.

    The Niners took a beating of their own, dropping a 27-7 decision at home against Indianapolis. That loss dropped San Francisco to the same 1-2 record the Rams carry, and the Niners struggled mightily Sunday much like the Rams did. Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick had a miserable day, completing less than 50 percent of his passes for 150 yards with an interception for a rating of 49.9.

    San Francisco's struggles Sunday weren't limited to the field, either. The Niners played without tight end Vernon Davis, who has been battling a hamstring issue, and linebacker Patrick Willis left the game with an apparent groin injury. It could be tough to get either back on the field in such short order.

    After getting just four touches in the second half of the loss to the Colts, running back Frank Gore voiced his displeasure with coach Jim Harbaugh.

    Of more importance, the ***** announced after the game that pass-rusher Aldon Smith would be leaving the team indefinitely to take care of his off-the-field issues.

    On top of all of that, San Francisco has to travel halfway across the country only a few days after all of the above events transpired to play a Rams team that seemingly had its number a year ago.

    None of this guarantees the Rams anything, especially if they don't find solutions for their own stack of problems, but it would seem that their issues pale in comparison to what San Francisco is dealing with at the moment.


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    chucknbob is offline Registered User
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    Re: Looking ahead

    I'm happy as anyone to see a niners implosion, but if we play like we did yesterday, Gore and Kaep will run all over us, and we'll just plod along tossing a 2 yard check down every 33 seconds.

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    Re: Looking ahead

    Certainly a lot to be optimistic about. Let's hope our coaches get our players motivated, and keep them from looking in the rearview mirror.
    Last edited by shower beers; -09-23-2013 at 12:25 PM.

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    Re: Looking ahead

    Floundering ***** have big problems

    By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Pick a problem. There are plenty from which to choose.

    That is what is so worrisome for the San Francisco ***** as they are under .500 for the first time under coach Jim Harbaugh. Yes, the ***** are 1-2 and trail rival Seattle (3-0) by two games in the NFC West. It is early.

    Still, the ***** have real problems. After a deflating 27-7 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the ***** are dealing with poor offensive play, mounting injuries and Aldon Smith's off-field issues.

    The problems are serious and the beleaguered defending NFC champions -- who have been outscored by a combined 56-10 the past two Sundays -- somehow have to find a way to rebound on short notice. The ***** play at the St. Louis Rams on Thursday. The Rams tied and beat the ***** last season.

    San Francisco will also go forward without Smith, their star pass-rusher.

    A quiet locker room became a serious one Sunday afternoon when Smith made his first public statement since being arrested at 7:02 a.m. Friday on charges of drunk driving and possession of marijuana. Smith vowed to “fix” his problem. Then, ***** CEO Jed York said Smith is leaving the team indefinitely to deal with a personal matter. Smith is expected to check into a treatment center this week.

    Often, alcohol treatment plans are for 28 days. Thus, the ***** may be without one for the most dynamic pass-rushers in the NFL for the next month. Smith, who turns 24 on Wednesday, deserves credit for trying to get a handle on his personal life. However, star athletes don’t often leave their teams in season to get treatment. Smith’s situation will be closely watched around the league.

    The ***** -- who were dominated at home by an Indianapolis team that was playing without six injured starters -- have several pressing, more traditional football problems.

    It starts with the offense. It is amazing to think the unit on the field Sunday was the same one that beat Green Bay in Week 1. In that game, quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and receiver Anquan Boldin had 13 catches. The ***** were dynamic offensively.

    They were anemic Sunday against a Colts’ defense that is not known as a giant killer. Kaepernick threw for 150 yards. Most of it was in garbage time. He had two completions at halftime.

    According to ESPN Stats & Information, Kaepernick was 1-for-6 on passes that traveled more than 10 yards down field. Last season, Kaepernick completed 55.6 percent of such throws. It was the fifth best in the NFL. This year, he is completing just 37.8 percent.

    SportsNation: Panic time for *****?

    SportsNationThe ***** have lost two straight in ugly fashion, and are seeing Aldon Smith leave the team. Can S.F. rebound? Vote!
    Kaepernick went from being jaw-dropping good against Green Bay to totally ineffective the past two games.

    It was not all on Kaepernick. His receivers could not get open for the second straight week after being shut down in Seattle. That poor performance was chalked up to the Seahawks’ superior secondary. That cannot be said about the Colts’ secondary.

    The ***** have to do something about getting their receivers open. Boldin is fine, but he needs help. Mario Manningham (knee) may be back in a month and Michael Crabtree (Achilles) is hopeful to return late in the season.

    Perhaps it is time San Francisco returns to the read-option offense in which Kaepernick had success last year. The team has used it sparingly this season. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said last week that could change.

    With the offense desperate for a spark, there’s no doubt the *****’ coaching staff will consider everything.

    It did not help that star tight end Vernon Davis was out with a hamstring injury. Sunday was his first missed game in six years. There is no guarantee he will be ready to face the Rams. Inside linebacker Patrick Willis -- the heart and soul of the team -- left in the third quarter with a groin injury. He declined to speak to reporters after the game.

    As the ***** try to figure what has gone wrong so quickly, they know their issues run deep. A hole has been dug. According to ESPN Stats & Information, since 1990 only 24 percent of the teams that started 1-2 made the playoffs.

    “It is a pivotal time of the season,” safety Donte Whitner said. “But the sky is not falling. … We need to deal with this adversity.”

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    Re: Looking ahead

    It is a pivotal time of the season for both these teams. Thursday night is a huge.

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    Re: Looking ahead

    The whiners problem has been their receivers inability to handle press coverage the past two weeks.

    Fortunately for them, this week, defenders have a hard time executing press coverage when starting 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Looking ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    The whiners problem has been their receivers inability to handle press coverage the past two weeks.

    Fortunately for them, this week, defenders have a hard time executing press coverage when starting 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.
    I'm convinced we do that to help out our safeties, but it allows offenses to throw at will. I'm not sure what a solution would be.

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    Re: Looking ahead

    I gotta think the whiners will try and run the ball a lot early in this game. Kap has not looked good in two weeks period. He has a lot to learn throwing in the pocket and reading defenses. We will not come out with six in the box like Sunday. We need to stop Gore and Kap running the ball IMO.
    SWFCRAM likes this.

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    Re: Looking ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    Certainly a lot to be optimistic about. Let's hope our coaches get our players motivated, and keep them from looking in the rearview mirror.
    I don't care what's happening to the ******, I watched the Rams game yesterday and see little to be optimistic about.

    Well, wait. Actually I guess one could argue the Rams couldn't play much worse than that this Thursday. So maybe there is a silver lining.

    Either way, I will be in the dome this week in spirit as well as in body! catching my flight out wednesday night for the Lou! See some of you there... Go rams

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