NFL Nation: Rams-49ers

Rams staring down their recent history

November, 9, 2010
11/09/10
5:23
PM ET
Six mostly tough years have passed since the St. Louis Rams emerged from Week 10 of an NFL season with a winning record.

They can end the streak Sunday by beating the San Francisco 49ers.

The Rams are 4-4 entering Week 10, same as they were in 2005 and 2006. Those previous 4-4 teams slipped back under .500 with road defeats against Seattle.

The 2004 Rams beat the Seahawks in St. Louis to go 5-4 on their way to an 8-8 record and wild-card playoff berth. A year earlier, the Rams were 5-3 entering a Week 10 game against Baltimore. They won that one to begin a seven-game winning streak on their way to a 12-4 record.

We're safe in saying the current Rams will not need a seven-game winning streak to claim the NFC West title. Three or four more victories in their final eight games might be enough.

The 49ers are six-point betting favorites Sunday, presumably because sports books have a hard time attracting money on the long-suffering Rams. Getting to 5-4 isn't going to alter perceptions too much, but it would distinguish these Rams from their recent predecessors while enhancing their chances within the division.


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers were not very good Sunday, but they were still good enough to blow out the Rams.

That revelation must be shocking for St. Louis, even during a rebuilding season.

It's tough to envision the Rams winning a game this season based on the way this one went. St. Louis simply lacks weapons on offense beyond Steven Jackson, making it nearly impossible for the offense to function, particularly against a good defense.

The Rams are 0-4 for the second consecutive season. They have less talent than last season thanks to an offseason roster purge and a few injuries. The Rams also appeared poorly prepared in this game, committing basic errors ranging from how to field punts to having the right number of players in the huddle.

The 49ers have much work to do on offense, but they're 3-1 with a 3-0 record in the division. That's what matters most.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Orlando Pace's bad luck with injuries continued when an accidental leg-whipping incident damaged a knee ligament.

Also from Thomas: Another horrible first half dooms the Rams.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hands out a Rams postgame report card showing a D-minus for quarterback Marc Bulger and a D-plus for coaching.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes a wistful walk down memory lane with former Rams Isaac Bruce and Mike Martz. Bruce opens up about his feelings for Rams fans and former teammates. Martz says he saw the Rams' fall coming when the team failed to adequately replace players.

VanRam of Turf Show Times says it's time to give John Greco playing time on the offensive line. Not that the Rams might have a choice. Injuries to Pace, guard Richie Incognito and cornerback Ron Bartell could move the Rams from bad to worse.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says punter Donnie Jones might be the only Rams player able to feel pride in his play Sunday.

Steve Korte of Ramblings hands out an "F" grade to the Rams' defensive line. His highest grade went to the running backs.

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