San Francisco, CA - The San Francisco 49ers blew a chance to match their best start in 11 years last week. They'll look to put the disappointment behind them when they face a banged-up Rams team that has lost 13 in a row.
San Francisco looks to bounce back from its first loss when it hosts woeful St. Louis on Sunday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book BetOnline have made the 49ers –9.5 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 77% of bets for this game have been placed on the 49ers –9.5 (View NFL bet percentages).
San Francisco was denied its first 3-0 start since 1998 in heartbreaking fashion last week. Leading 24-20 with 89 seconds left, the 49ers could not contain the Vikings' Brett Favre, who directed an 80-yard scoring drive that was capped by his 32-yard touchdown pass with two seconds remaining.
"We'll learn from it, and what I learned from (Sunday) is we have to play 60 minutes, and that is the bottom line when you are on the road,'' coach Mike Singletary said. "And we have to get better at finishing.''
San Francisco will likely have to try and do that without running back Frank Gore, as an MRI on Monday revealed he suffered a right ankle strain against Minnesota.
Gore, eighth in the NFL with 241 rushing yards, could also miss the 49ers' game against Atlanta on Oct. 11.
If Gore is sidelined Sunday, rookie Glen Coffee should get the majority of work out of the backfield. After Gore departed after his only carry versus the Vikings, Coffee rushed for 54 yards on 25 carries.
The absence of Gore would be a blow for a 49ers team that did not convert any of its 11 third-down opportunities.
"We expect much better of ourselves as a team,'' Coffee said. "That should never happen no matter the circumstances of the game. It's definitely something we won't let happen again, because it's embarrassing for our offense."
San Francisco, which had 246 total yards Sunday, is tied with St. Louis for 28th in the NFL with 276.0 yards per game.
"We turn the page on that and move forward," the 49ers' Shaun Hill said after completing 15 of 25 for 195 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. "The only thing in my notebook right now says St. Louis."
The Rams (0-3) are looking to snap the NFL's longest current losing streak. Detroit's 19-14 victory over Washington on Sunday ended its 19-game skid.
St. Louis, which has not won since beating Dallas 34-14 on Oct. 19, will be trying to avoid its third consecutive 0-4 start.
"Anything and everything that we want to accomplish this year is still in front of us,'' coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "It's way early. There's 13 weeks minimum left this season.
"Having said that, we're going to concentrate on only one week this one and that's San Francisco.''
St. Louis could be without a few key players Sunday. Quarterback Marc Bulger bruised the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder in the first quarter of Sunday's 36-17 loss to Green Bay, and is day-to-day.
If Bulger can't go, Kyle Boller will make his first start since Dec. 26, 2007, while with Baltimore.
Filling in for Bulger against the Packers, Boller completed 16 of 31 for 164 yards with two touchdowns - both to tight end Daniel Fells - and an interception.
Prior to Fells' second-quarter TD, St. Louis had scored seven points all season.
The Rams, the league's lowest-scoring team at 8.0 points per game, will be without wide receiver Laurent Robinson, who is out for the season after suffering a high right ankle sprain and a fractured right fibula last week.
Robinson leads St. Louis with 167 receiving yards.
"It's sad because the guy's really worked hard,'' Boller said. "The injury stinks, but guys just have to step up.''
St. Louis, which could be without safety James Butler for a month (sprained left knee), found out this week that linebacker David Vobora has been suspended for the next four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The Rams' Steven Jackson is fifth in the league with 288 rushing yards. He missed St. Louis' 35-16 loss at San Francisco on Nov. 16 with an injured right thigh.
Niners tight end Vernon Davis, who caught a career-best two TDs on Sunday, had a touchdown catch in the Nov. 16 matchup that gave Singletary his first victory after taking over for the fired Mike Nolan.
The 49ers have won six of the last eight matchups.
Posted: 9/30/09 3:41PM ET