The 49ers travel to Green Bay on Sunday knowing defeat could end their playoff hopes. Arizona meanwhile will hope to be fired up by Derek Anderson’s post-game meltdown so they can stun the Rams.
Opportunity knocks for San Francisco If you want to see some emotion in the NFL then 49ers games are mandatory viewing for the rest of the season. Vernon Davis cried while addressing his team-mates in the pre-game huddle against Arizona on Monday night and the tears did their job as San Francisco rolled to a 27-6 win on the road.
This is a game where the numbers for the season only tell half the story. While Green Bay have outplayed San Francisco in every area over the course of 2010, the 49ers have been vastly improved in recent weeks and will be a tough match-up for any opponent. The Packers look like a serious contender to make the playoffs and remain my pick to win the NFC. That said, they haven’t been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks and could be there for the taking.
I expect to see a lot of heart from the 49ers on Sunday. It probably won’t be enough to take the win outright but I love them as +9.5 underdogs with Sports Interaction. This defense has the ability to reduce Aaron Rodgers’ effectiveness while Troy Smith can create enough to make the San Francisco offense a factor. Look out for a bruising game in Lambeau Field on Sunday.
Rams can roll on the road It took five attempts but last week the St. Louis Rams finally recorded a win on the road, taking out Denver 36-33. With the NFC West still very much up in the air, the 5-6 Rams could take a big step towards the playoffs with victory in Arizona this weekend.
The Cardinals might finally be regretting their decision to part ways with Matt Leinart before the season got under way. The former USC star might not have set the world alight in the NFL but he could hardly do worse than Derek Anderson. The Cardinals have lost six straight with Anderson under center. That’s a far cry from back-to-back division titles, including a Super Bowl appearance, in Kurt Warner’s last two years in the desert. Anderson’s post-game rant with a reporter last Monday night has even been parodied by NBA star Dwight Howard. This team has become a laughing stock and the only way to change that is to get fired up by Anderson’s rage. I don’t see it being enough this weekend. Bet on St. Louis at -3.5 favorites with Sports Interaction.