A look at today’s 49ers game vs. St. Louis; including: broadcast information, matchup to watch, three keys to the game and injury report.
• Opponent: vs. St. Louis
• Time: 1:05 p.m.
• Line: 49ers by 8
• Records: 49ers 7-4, Rams 5-6
• TV/Radio: FOX40 (Kevin Burkhardt, play-by-play; John Lynch, color), 680, 1320
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Cornerback Carlos Rogers vs. Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin
Austin, the eighth pick in the draft, was a nonfactor when the teams played in Week 4, with two catches for 6 yards and a fumble. But he’s been a major part of the Rams’ resurgence, catching touchdown passes of 81 and 57 yards – plus a 98-yard punt return for a touchdown – in a Week 10 win over the Colts, and rushing 65 yards for a touchdown in last week’s win over Chicago. The Rams want to get the speedster in space and will try to exploit one-on-one matchups with Rogers, the 49ers’ nickel cornerback.
THREE KEYS TO GAME
• Getting Michael Crabtree at least a few snaps today will give future opponents – including next week’s foe, Seattle – plenty to consider while planning for the 49ers. It also might be smart to gradually ramp up the wide receiver’s snaps after such a severe injury.
• The 49ers can’t underestimate a Rams running game that went nowhere during their Week 4 meeting. Since that game, St. Louis has averaged 151.9 yards a game on the ground, second-best in the NFL over that span.
• The 49ers’ offense was aided last week by an aggressive punt-return game that averaged more than 14 yards a return. The offense showed signs of emerging from its stupor against Washington, but it could use a continued boost from the special teams.
• Questionable: LB Ahmad Brooks (stinger), CB Tarell Brown (ribs), TE Garrett Celek (hamstring), G Mike Iupati (knee), DT Ray McDonald (ankle), WR Quinton Patton (foot); LB Aldon Smith (shoulder)
• Probable: LB Navorro Bowman (knee), RB Frank Gore (ankle), WR Mario Manningham (knee), LB Dan Skuta (foot), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)
• Questionable: G Harvey Dahl (knee), S T.J. McDonald (shin), CB Brandon McGee (foot)
• Probable: CB Trumaine Johnson (concussion), DE Eugene Sims (foot), RB Zac Stacy (concussion), LB Will Witherspoon (not injury-related), G Chris Williams (concussion)
– Matthew Barrows
|Sept. 8||Green Bay||W, 34-28|
|Sept. 15||at Seattle||L, 29-3|
|Sept. 22||Indianapolis||L, 27-7|
|Sept. 26||at St. Louis||W, 35-11|
|Oct. 6||Houston||W, 34-3|
|Oct. 13||Arizona||W, 32-20|
|Oct. 20||at Tennessee||W, 31-17|
|Oct. 27||at Jacksonville||W, 42-10|
|Nov. 10||Carolina||L, 10-9|
|Nov. 17||at New Orleans||l, 23-20|
|Nov. 25||at Washington||W, 27-6|
|Today||St. Louis||1:05 p.m.|
|Dec. 8||Seattle||1:25 p.m.|
|Dec. 15||at Tampa Bay||10 a.m.|
|Dec. 23||Atlanta||5:40 p.m.|
|Dec. 29||at Arizona||1:25 p.m.|