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Morning Ram-blings: Looking ahead

9/22/2013

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 49ers, 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 49ers 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.

I.C.Y.M.I.

Rolling through yesterday's stories from right here. ... Quick thoughts from after the Rams' loss. ... Some buzz from the locker room including a note on running back Daryl Richardson's status. ... Revisiting three things to watch from Sunday's game. ... A look at the harsh reminder the Rams got courtesy of the Cowboys. ... Finally, adding run defense to the defense's growing list of problems.

Elsewhere:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz counts the many ways Sunday's loss was tough to watch for the Rams and their fans.

Post-Dispatch beat writer Jim Thomas offers a quick game story on Sunday's debacle.

Stltoday.com columnist Jeff Gordon grades the Rams' performance. Needless to say, it's a report card that would not make many parents happy.

Tom Waddle and Michelle Steele break down the Rams-Cowboys game.