Steve Savards Field Notes

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Rams 49ers

by Steve Savard

KMOV.com

Posted on September 14, 2006 at 9:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:26 PM

The Rams special teams were very good in Sunday's win against Denver. What a difference a year makes. Chris Johnson got the 2005 season off on the wrong foot by fielding the kickoff and stepping out of bounds at the one yard line at San Francisco. The Rams enjoyed great field position Sunday because of turnovers and special teams play. What a luxury for Scott Linehan to have a kicker like Jeff Wilkins and punter like Matt Turk.

Speaking of the 49ers, they're better than they were in 2005 but don't read too much into their 393 yards of total offense in the opener. The Arizona Catrdinals defense isn't great. 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is still young. He'll make mistakes if pressured. I'm looking forward to seeing how he handles the Rams blitzes. This should be an opportunity for Jim Haslett's defense to add more turnovers.

The most overlooked stat of the opener was zero. As in zero turnovers committed by the Rams offense. The red zone troubles were unacceptable but Marc Bulger didn't compound the struggles by throwing the ball up for grabs. Give him credit for managing the game well. I'd like to see Stephen Davis get a shot at running the ball this week. Steven Jackson took a pounding last week but made smart decisions running the ball.

If the Rams want to get back into playoff contention this season, they have to beat the 49ers. Period. The 1-5 record in the NFC West last year was the gruesome stat of the year.

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