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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 17
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Late Sunday
 
 
*updated

Prediction: SF 24, STL 13

Update: Steven Jackson has not practiced and once again is a game time decision. He could be inactive again this week so I am lowering his projections just to signal that he may not play. Ricky Schmitt has been placed on IR and it appears that Shane Andrus will be the kicker for the season finale.

The 49ers finish the year with a chance for a 8-8 record (AKA "we aren't losers") and hit the road where they have only been 1-6 this year. The Rams are patiently waiting for the end of this nightmare that has claimed nearly every starter to injury and at 1-14 they only need this final loss to wrap up the #1 overall draft pick next April.

The 49ers won 35-0 when the Rams visited in week four.

San Francisco 49ers (7-8)
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ARI 20-16 +6 46
2 SEA 23-10 -1.5 39
3 @MIN 24-27 +7 40.5
4 STL 35-0 -10 37.5
5 ATL 10-45 -2.5 41
6 BYE - - -
7 @HOU 21-24 +3 44.5
8 @IND 14-18 +13 45
9 TEN 27-34 -4 41
10 CHI 10-6 -4 43
11 @GB 24-30 +6 42
12 JAC 20-3 -3 42.5
13 @SEA 17-20 +1 41.5
14 ARI 24-9 +3.5 48
15 @PHI 13-27 +7 41
16 DET 20-6 -14 41
17 @STL - -7 40.5
SF at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith     220,2
RB Frank Gore 90,1 20  
TE Vernon Davis   50,1  
WR Josh Morgan   40  
WR Jason Hill   10  
WR Michael Crabtree   60,1  
PK Ricky Schmitt 1 FG 3 XP
Pregame Notes: The 49ers close out a season that started as a powerback rushing football team and end up something a lot closer to what Mike Martz tried to build. Along the way they finally signed Michael Crabtree who has shown promise and seen Vernon Davis go from bust to elite tight end. Even Alex Smith is a good player in his recent incarnation. The 49ers still have plenty needs to upgrade but the team is headed into a better direction and can avoid a losing season with a win here.

Quarterback: Alex Smith has only played for ten game but he already has thrown for 2128 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has scored in all but one game and turned the 49ers back into a pass happy offense. Back in week four, Shaun Hill was still the quarterback and he passed for 152 yards and two scores against the visiting Rams.

This week should see Smith finish out the year with a couple of scores and a chance for one more good showing to help cement his role next year. The Rams always comply with these requests.

Running Backs: Frank Gore never became that heavy-use back this year though he had a 207 yard effort against the Seahawks and 167 yards versus the Cardinals. Gore has eight rushing scores on the season and three as a receiver. He's already topped 1000 yards for the season and has 50 catches for 381 yards.

Gore actually missed the week four matchup with the Rams when Glen Coffee gained 74 yards on 24 runs. Expect a far better show from Gore to send off the 2008 season. The Rams have already allowed ten rushing touchdowns to visiting running backs this year.

Wide Receivers: After processing through several wideouts, the 49ers settled on Josh Morgan and Michael Crabtree as starters with Jason Hill manning the slot. Morgan has played as the possession flanker with 50 catches for just 500 yards and three scores while Crabtree has already had 567 yards and two scores in his ten games played. Crabtree now gets the benefit of a full offseason and training camp and should show up with a vengeance in 2010. This has evolved into a two man crew - Jason Hill has been spotty at best and held to no catches in most games.

Back in week four, Morgan led the wideouts with just 39 yards and a score on two catches. This was before Crabtree had signed.

Tight Ends: After three years we had all given up on Vernon "Bust" Davis but he went from 358 yards and two scores last year to 72 catches for 876 yards and a position leading 12 touchdowns. Davis is only 124 yards away from a 1000 yard season. Davis had a score on three catches for 43 yards in the previous meeting with the Rams.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 22 22 29 2 21 4
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 25 28 24 17 19 32


St. Louis Rams (1-14)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SEA 0-28 +7.5 37
2 @WAS 7-9 +10 37
3 GB 17-36 +6.5 41
4 @SF 0-35 +10 37.5
5 MIN 10-38 +10 41
6 @JAC 20-23 +9.5 43
7 IND 6-42 +14 45
8 @DET 17-10 +3.5 43.5
9 BYE - - -
10 NO 23-28 +14 51
11 ARI 13-21 +9.5 46.5
12 SEA 17-27 +3.5 42.5
13 @CHI 9-17 +9.5 41
14 @TEN 7-47 +13.5 40
15 HOU 13-16 +14 43.5
16 @ARI 10-31 +16 44
17 SF - +7 40.5
STL vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Keith Null     170,1
RB Steven Jackson 50 10  
TE Randy McMichael   10  
WR Donnie Avery   60,1  
WR Brandon Gibson   40  
WR Danny Amendola   30  
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Rams close out the 2009 season as the "it" team that had everyone get hurt and nothing work. They were the whipping boy for every opponent and were never favored in any game. This was the most brutal season to be a Rams fans because it only got worse every week.

Quarterback: HC Steve Spagnuolo hasn't named a starting quarterback for the week yet but when the choices are Kyle Boller and Keith Null how big of a secret is it for a 1-14 team? The Rams are finishing with 11 passing touchdowns spread out over three different quarterbacks.

Back in week four, Kyle Boller only passed for 108 yards and one interception in San Francisco. That could happen again since there are even fewer receivers with any talent left. I will project for Null as the likely starter but it is merely an academic exercise.

Running Backs: Steven Jackson finally was held out last week and allowed Chris Ogbonnaya and Kenneth Darby to combine for 20 carries and 85 yards versus the Cardinals. Jackson has a herniated disc in his back but says he is going to play this week. He'll be a big risk as always but has delivered every week until last Sunday.

Jackson ran for 79 yards on 23 carries in San Francisco this year and did not score. The 49ers have only allowed two runners to top 100 yards against them this year. He says that playing does not make his back worse but on a 1-14 team, Jackson deserves to sit out the final game and eat nachos in the owner's booth.

Wide Receivers: The Rams end up with Donnie Avery as the only wide receiver that made it through the entire year. He has a team high five touchdown catches but has never had more than 87 yards in any game. Danny Amendola has filled in at the slot with minor yardage while Brandon Gibson has slowly made headway into the offense and scored for the first time just last week when he had 51 yards on five catches versus the Cardinals.

Back in week four, Avery was the leader with only 47 yards on three receptions in San Francisco. I like an eventual passing score here if only late in trash time. Avery is the better bet but hardly a lock.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael rarely has more than one catch per game - no fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 30 26 23 19 32 31
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 13 21 18 7 25 20

The Huddle
WEEK 17
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
 
 
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