Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams Hope Young Is out of Sync

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams Hope Young Is out of Sync

Article excerpt

Imagine if you will, a big, powerful steamroller. And a wet, mushy pea.

OK, show of hands. How many think the San Francisco 49ers are the steamroller? How many think the Rams are the pea?

Thought so. Unlike their first meeting four weeks ago at Busch Stadium, nobody expects the Rams to beat San Francisco Sunday at Candlestick Park.

"Rightfully so," Rams wide receiver Jessie Hester said. "They came to St. Louis. They kicked us all over the place. They're just coming off some big victories, beating Dallas, beating Miami.

"So right now, they're extremely high. I'm quite sure they're not even worried about us. Hopefully, we can catch them sleeping a little bit and we can maybe sneak out with a win."

Don't hold your breath, Jessie. At least, not on the Rip Van Winkle scenario.

Asked if the 49ers might be ripe for letdown against the struggling Rams, San Francisco quarterback Steve Young replied: "No, because we're in a hole. We're in a hole with our record, with the losses we have. We don't have any luxury. We've got to look at each game like it's part of the playoff run. . . . We've kind of had our faltering."

The 49ers (7-4) have weathered Young's shoulder injury with a 3-2 record behind Elvis Grbac. They're two games behind Dallas (10-2) in the quest for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and would like to distance themselves from the three other 7-4 teams in the NFC - Atlanta, Green Bay, and Philadelphia.

Smashing Dallas 38-20 and Miami 44-20 in successive weeks has allowed the 49ers to gaze once again at the big picture - another Super Bowl. The Rams (6-5), losers of five of their last seven, are a mere snapshot along the way.

"They're playing so good it's scary," Rams coach Rich Brooks said. "I mean, they dismembered two outstanding football teams.

"They're playing very, very well defensively. Usually, you look at defenses and say, `We'll do this and do this and score a touchdown here and maybe get one there.' Against the 49ers, you try to find out how to get a first down."

Grbac finally has the 49ers' offense purring, just in time for Young to take over the reins Sunday. Kickoff is 3 p.m. …

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