Chris Givens St. Louis: You just can’t help but feel sorry for the Rams.

After getting over 40 points laid on them in a beating from the Patriots in London during Week 8, the Rams bookend their Week 9 bye with a trip to division rival San Francisco for what is inevitably another thorough beatdown. 

The 49ers' defense is also coming off their bye, is rested, and ready to go out and win the NFC division crown.

If you own any Rams players, this is the perfect game to send them to the bench. 

Yes, even kicker Greg Zuerlein, as I doubt the Rams will get enough opportunities to actually kick many field goals or extra points.

The one player I might consider is Chris Givens, who catches at least one 50-yard pass every game; if anyone is going to gash the 49ers for a long TD, it’s Givens.

Good Start: None

Middle of the Road: WR Chris Givens

Bad Start: Every other Rams player


San Francisco: There’s just the sense that this game is not going to end well for the Rams, and that it’s going to get ugly early. The 49ers are rested coming off their bye week, so look for Frank Gore to look rejuvenated once again in running wild over a defense that allowed Stevan Ridley to run roughshod over them two weeks ago. 

This may also be a week that Kendall Hunter gets quite a bit of second half work closing out the game if the 49ers get up big, which they very likely could.

While the Rams probably won’t put up much trouble for the 49ers, don’t expect a great game from Alex Smith, as the 49ers will likely rely heavily on the running game. What you can hope for is Smith being involved in getting the 49ers ahead to begin with, and that does make Michael Crabtree an attractive play. 

Normally Vernon Davis would be too, but his usage has been tailing off during the last few weeks, making him a fringe play here.

Good Start: RB Frank Gore, WR Michael Crabtree

Middle of the Road: QB Alex Smith, TE Vernon Davis

Bad Start: WR Randy Moss, WR Mario Manningham