The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams were each victorious in their week 1 2013 NFL Football games, but since then have lost two in a row and find themselves stuck with unfortunate 1-2 records and a litany of offensive and defensive issues to overcome. The 49ers were supposed to contend for the Super Bowl and Rams supposed to take another step toward regular playoff appearances, but neither goal seems obtainable based on how they have played thus far. These two teams will face off tonight on NFL Network (not ESPN or Fox), and you can find watch Thursday Night Football online live streaming on NFL Network instructions below.
Jim Harbaugh has enjoyed a fairytale stretch since taking over the head coaching job of the 49ers. To start the 2013 campaign, he’s watched his team dominate its first game and then play like a pretender rather than a contender in its next two. A primetime loss to division rival Seattle by a 29-3 score was embarrassing, and they have only generated 461 yards of offense in those two losses versus 494 yards in their one win.
Colin Kaepernick could do no wrong last season and nearly led the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory. He was on fire in the opening week win, showing teams he could beat them from the pocket as well as with his legs. In the two losses, Kaepernick has only thrown for 277 yards with four interceptions and no touchdowns. Either Kaepernick is struggling, defenses have figured him out, or more than likely a combination of the two.
San Francisco is also dealing with the off-the-field issue of linebacker Aldon Smith, who right now is proving to be more of a distraction than an asset. Smith was busted for DUI and drug possession a little over a week ago but still played in week 3. He won’t be playing against the Rams as last year’s NFC-leading sacker will be heading into rehab for an undetermined period of time instead.
The Rams disposed of the Cardinals in week 1 with a great come from behind win, then narrowly lost to the Falcons and threw up a stinker. A 31-7 loss to the Cowboys last week was especially embarrassing for coach Jeff Fisher and his squad as neither the offense or defense looked anywhere near as good as they did in the opening game.
In that Dallas lost, the Rams only gained 18 yards total for the entire first half. The second half was better with 232 total for the game, but the inability to put up points in that half was disturbing. The Rams almost went the entire game without converting a third down until they got one on their last possession. By then the Cowboys had already checked out. To make matters worse, Sam Bradford was sacked a total of six times after not being put on the turf once in the team’s first two games.
This game feels like a coin toss since both teams played so poorly in week one. Given the Rams defense has given up over 20 points in each game thus far, I think he’s just what the struggling 49ers offense and Colin Kaepernick need to get back on track. I predict the 49ers win this one by a 24-16 score in an otherwise uneventful game.
Tonight’s NFL Thursday Night Football game between the visiting San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams will kick off with a start time of 8:25pm EST / 5:25pm PST on NFL Network in high definition (HD). Subscribers of NFL Network on a handful of select cable or satellite providers have the ability to watch a free live online streaming version of tonight’s Thursday Night Football game right here on cell phones, laptops, tablets, iPads, gaming consoles like Xbox 360, or any Internet connected electronic device where Internet streaming would work.