The San Francisco 49ers will keep their gameplan simple on Sunday when they host the St. Louis Rams. From start to finish, the game should focus on stopping Steven Jackson and getting to Sam Bradford. The 49ers don't feel as though Bradford is a huge threat, which means getting to him early will bode well for them. They'll have guys out there who need big games: rookie linebacker Aldon Smith is always looking to impress, rookie cornerback Chris Culliver could use some more seasoning, Carlos Rogers can work on his hands some more and, all-in-all, that's what this game comes down to.
Steven Jackson will be front and center and the focal point on Sunday. The 49ers have become the first team since 1928 to not allow a rushing touchdown in 11 games, and that's a mark that probably means more to them than you might think. On Thursday, Ray Rice didn't break the century mark in rushing yards and came ever so close to getting that rushing touchdown, but was ultimately denied by C.J. Spillman.
Spillman plays in the 49ers goal line defense - the only time he sees the field on defense. After the play he made on Thursday to tackle Rice for a four-yard loss after the team had a first and goal at the six yard line, Spillman might have earned himself some more playing time on defense. At the very least, he might see the field more in running situations. The 49ers include him in their goal line defense because he's a sure tackler and is a perfect guy to have out there to prevent a running back from breaking a big one.
This isn't a game in which the 49ers are guaranteed to walk away with a win, but this is a time where they can let struggling guys like Braylon Edwards heal up and get some more playing time for players they'd like to progress sooner rather than later in Culliver and Aldon. San Francisco needs to be winning every game they can, as playoff seeding is suddenly a priority, but you can expect a lot of morale-based victory on Sunday.