As I was preparing to write this week my plan was to write about the need to force the ball to WR Braylon Edwards and see what he could do. Well he was released so where do we go from here. The media is throwing out hints of WR Terrel Owens as a possible replacement and while I could be wrong there is little chance of that happening. With a must win game against the Rams this weekend the 49ers will be looking for younger options.
First off with TE Delanie Walker getting hurt the 49ers lost a important player on special teams and offense T.O. can’t improve the team in either area. If anything the special teams part of the equation is more important while WR’s Ted Ginn Jr and Kyle Williams will be available for the playoffs for sure and possibly one if not both will be available for the Rams game. So look for the 49ers to add a TE or activate another sure tackler on game day.
As far as the Rams are concerned this is not going to be a walk in the park. The Rams did beat a Saints team that came in overconfident and felt they could win easy. Which is the main reason the 49ers are looking at a 2 seed and not the Saints. I would expect a larger than normal 49er fan base in St Louis as the Rams fan base has not shown up in recent weeks. A divisional rival never makes for an easy win and it was the Rams that ended the 49ers playoff chances last year.
Expect the 49ers to come out and play all the starters and only pull them if the game is in hand. If any player will get rest it will be RB Frank Gore this is a position the 49ers have the most depth. The 49ers also need to continue to improve in the red zone as this will be the last tune up for the playoffs. This will be a more difficult task with Walker being injured which may actually help the team get more creative and more aggressive.
While this is a must win for the 49ers it is also a final tune up for a team looking to succeed in the playoffs where the old adage that Defense wins Championships will be put to the ultimate test.
by Mike Zamora