Audibles: NFC West Week 13 preview

November, 28, 2008
11/28/08
3:02
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

San Francisco 49ers (3-8) at Buffalo Bills (6-5), 1 p.m. ET

The 49ers can make it 0-for-15 among teams traveling west to east across a 3-hour time difference this season. Seattle (0-4), Oakland (0-3), San Diego (0-3), Arizona (0-3) and San Francisco (0-1) have combined for an 0-14 record in games starting at 10 a.m. PT.

The Cardinals' defeat to the Eagles on Thursday night didn't qualify because Arizona is on Mountain time and does not adjust for daylight savings.

The early start isn't the 49ers' only enemy at Ralph Wilson Stadium. San Francisco's defense has allowed nine passing touchdowns over its last four games despite holding the Rams to one during a 35-16 victory in Week 11. The Bills aren't a great passing team, but they are coming of a 54-point showing at Kansas City.

Miami Dolphins (6-5) at St. Louis Rams (2-9), 1 p.m. ET

The Rams hope to have Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson and Orlando Pace in the starting lineup together for the first time since Week 6. They also hope it makes a difference.

Bulger has taken too many hits to trust his protection and run the offense with confidence. Jackson figures to be rusty if he returns, and his durability is in question. Pace is still a good player when healthy, but an offensive tackle can do only so much.

And it's not as though the Rams' defense has shown signs of picking up the slack. This game qualifies as a must-win for the Dolphins as they make a playoff push. Their ground game should punish the Rams' poor-tackling defense.

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