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Can 49ers find a way to handle Rams this season?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 17:19 Published in Sports

On their way to the Super Bowl last season, the 49ers couldn't solve one team: the Rams. St. Louis beat San Francisco once and the teams played to a tie, rare blemishes on the 49ers' record.

Jim Harbaugh's team gets another shot at the Rams on Thursday night, and the 49ers (No. 12 in the AP Pro32) are 3-point favorites over No. 23 St. Louis.

Coming off successive losses in which their offense was awful, the 49ers are in turmoil. Linebacker Aldon Smith is taking a leave of absence to deal with personal problems. At least in a short week, they have no choice but to concentrate heavily on football.

"I think it's a distraction to whoever wants to think about it, to whoever wants to pay attention to it," cornerback Carlos Rogers said. "When I get out there on the field and play, I'm thinking about playing whatever team, I'm not thinking about Aldon and whatever situation went on with him."

Pretty good advice, especially facing Jeff Fisher's Rams, who also come off a poor outing. One of the NFL's top coaches for two decades, Fisher is likely to have St. Louis ready for the defending NFC West champs.

"We've been on the losing end of a lot of games, this organization has," Fisher said. "Now last year, we got our feet back on the map, but I don't think there's a rivalry yet. It's a division opponent. It's a big challenge for us on a short week, but I don't necessarily see it as a rivalry yet. Hopefully, it will become one."

This game could help do that.

49ERS 20-16

No. 21 Philadelphia (plus 10½) at No. 1 Denver

Eagles will score some points. Broncos will score many, many points.

BEST BET: BRONCOS, 40-24

No. 3 Chicago (plus 2½) at No. 15 Detroit

Was tempted to make this BEST BET, too.

UPSET SPECIAL: BEARS, 26-13

No. 8 Baltimore (minus 3½) at No. 24 Buffalo

Along with UPSET SPECIAL, another road team win.

RAVENS, 23-20

No. 9 Cincinnati (minus 4½) at No. 25 Cleveland

And another.

BENGALS, 20-13

No. 26 Washington (minus 3) at No. 30 Oakland

You get the message.

REDSKINS, 22-17

No. 2 Seattle (minus 3) at No. 11 Houston

A real road test for Seahawks. Win convincingly and they rule the NFC. Nope ...

TEXANS, 21-20

No. 7 Miami (plus 6) at No. 4 New Orleans, Monday night

A real road test for Dolphins. Win in any manner and playoff goals look real. Nope ...

SAINTS, 27-20

No. 10 Indianapolis (minus 8½) at No. 32 Jacksonville

Lay the points against Jags until they show something.

COLTS, 24-10

No. 5 New England (plus 1½) at No. 16 Atlanta

Falcons need to figure out their problems now. Tough chore, but doable.

FALCONS, 24-21

No. 28 Minnesota (plus 1) vs. No. 27 Pittsburgh

The first of two London games. What a dud the Brits are getting.

STEELERS, 17-15

No. 22 Arizona (plus 3) at No. 31 Tampa Bay

Turmoil in Tampa leaves Bucs vulnerable, even to injury-ravaged Cardinals.

CARDINALS, 23-20

No. 29 New York Giants (plus 4½) at No. 6 Kansas City

Giants yielded seven sacks to Panthers. Chiefs REALLY know how to get after QBs.

CHIEFS, 20-17

No. 18 New York Jets (plus 4) at No. 17 Tennessee

Two coaches on hot seats whose teams are producing.

JETS, 24-19

No. 13 Dallas (minus 1½) at No. 19 San Diego

Would Cowboys clinch NFC East with win? Not quite.

COWBOYS, 30-23

___

2013 RECORD:

Against spread: 8-7-1 (23-22-3). Straight up: 10-6 (33-15).

Best Bet: 2-1 against spread, 3-0 straight up.

Upset special: 1-2 against spread, 1-2 straight up.

Cardinals win 4-1, sweep Nats to close in on title

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 17:17 Published in Sports

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Rookie Shelby Miller won his 15th game, and Yadier Molina had the go-ahead hit for the St. Louis Cardinals, who wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals and moved another step closer to the NL Central title with a 4-1 victory on Wednesday.

Jordan Zimmermann (19-9) missed his only shot at 20 wins, allowing four runs in seven innings. The Nationals had five hits one day after breaking up rookie Michael Wacha's bid for a no-hitter in the ninth inning.

Matt Adams hit his eighth home run since replacing injured Allen Craig and doubled for the Cardinals, who led the Pirates by 2 1/2 games with three games to go. The Reds lost 1-0 to the Mets on Wednesday and were eliminated from the divisional race.

The Cardinals (94-65) are a season-high 29 games above .500 and have a day off before 14-game winner Lance Lynn faces the Cubs on Friday night to open the final series.

Miller (15-9) was wild high early and walked two of the first three hitters to set up Bryce Harper's RBI single. The Nationals had no other runners in scoring position against the 22-year-old Miller, who allowed a run in six-plus innings and beat them for the second time this season.

Rookie Trevor Rosenthal saved all three games and struck out Adam LaRoche to cap a perfect ninth.

Zimmermann had won his previous four appearances and had been coming off a two-hit shutout of Miami. But he is 0-3 with a 8.27 ERA in six career starts against St. Louis, and lost Game 2 of the NL division series last fall.

Daniel Descalso doubled leading off the third and scored on Matt Carpenter's groundout to tie it. Zimmermann hit Matt Holliday to open the fourth, and Adams doubled ahead of Molina's two-run single that made it 3-1.

Adams hit his 17th homer on a 1-2 pitch in the sixth.

The Cardinals were 15-2 against the NL East and swept Miami and Philadelphia.

NOTES: Zimmermann has 43 career wins, one shy of the Nationals' franchise record held by Livan Hernandez. ... Miller leads all rookies with 15 wins, also the most by a Cardinals rookie since Dick Hughes won 16 in 1967. ... Lynn (14-10, 4.09) faces Travis Wood (9-11, 2.98) on Friday. Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 3.02) gets his final start on Friday at Arizona against Patrick Corbin (14-7, 3.28).

Lawyer implicated in more bank robberies

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 10:15 Published in Local News

A 64-year-old Wentzville man with a law degree from Washington University, who is already in jail for allegedly robbing a bank and shooting a state trooper, is now a suspect in up to six other bank robberies. Warren J. Gladders is charged with robbing the First Bank in Dutzow, Mo., on Friday, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a search of his home after the robbery found evidence of the other crimes.  That evidence was turned over to the FBI, which is leading the investigation. Gladders' attorney, Brad Kessler, declined comment, saying he had not yet had a chance to speak to his client.

 

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