The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a loss - their first in nine games - but are looking to the St. Louis Rams for a good chance to get back in the win column and continue their run to the playoffs. For more on the 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.
Though the San Francisco 49ers were soundly beaten in their last outing and had an eight-game winning streak broken, they remain in a great position and still have the second best record in the NFL. The fact that it was an eight-game winning streak to begin with has got to be enough motivation to continue doing well. On top of that, Jim Harbaugh's message from the beginning has been simple: avoid complacency. You're not as good as you think you are, and if you realize that you are, in fact, as good as you think you are, then you're not likely to get any better.
Thursday's game against the Baltimore Ravens was a legitimate loss, but also a bad set of circumstances. If the game wasn't brother against brother, the NFL would not have asked the 49ers to travel that distance on short rest. Is that any excuse? No - certainly not, but it will help the team move on.
What they're moving on to is a game against the NFC West rival St. Louis Rams, the first of two meetings between the teams this season. For the 49ers, the game likely represents an opportunity to open up the offense and get a dominating win back under their belt. Alex Smith was pummeled against the Ravens and he'll be looking for a rebound game.
The Rams, at this point, mostly represent just that. On Sunday, they lost to the Arizona Cardinals, who the 49ers dismantled easily just a couple weeks ago. They're not contending, but they definitely will be out to upset the 49ers if given the chance. Sam Bradford is trying to show that he's still the future at quarterback and Steve Spagnuolo is trying to make sure his job is safe - beating the 49ers would be a great way to further along both of those things.
San Francisco will be looking to gain confidence with a showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football on the horizon. The team is looking for its first double-digit winning season in some time now, and can achieve that by beating the Rams. On top of that, they've got their eyes firmly on playoff seeding, and namely, maintaining second (while keeping an eye on the Packers in first). The game is set for Sunday at 4:15 p.m. eastern.