NFL Picks And Predictions Week 17: 49ers Vs. Rams

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 14: Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams runs away from a diving Nate Clements #22 of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 14 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

A victory over the Rams this Sunday would give San Francisco a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs.

It has been a long time since the San Francisco 49ers played some meaningful football in the regular season's final week. Thanks to a great year under new head coach Jim Harbaugh, they'll be doing so later in January as well.

Having already captured their first division title and postseason trip in nine years, one would think the Niners would be antsy at getting postseason play underway. However, a victory over the St. Louis Rams this Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome would give San Francisco a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs.

All five of CBS Sports' experts think the Niners will win this one. Same goes for the ESPN experts.

Peter King thinks the Niners win it easy, though he had kind words for Rams' coach Steve Spagnuolo.

A few words in defense of one of the best men I've met in my years covering football, Steve Spagnuolo. I'll always remember an August night in 2010 when the Rams beat the Patriots in Foxboro in a preseason game, and afterward, two reporters from Spagnulo's hometown paper in Massachusetts were there to write a story about the local boy who came into town and beat the almighty Patriots, and about how well he was doing in his coaching life. Spagnulo was beaming that they cared enough to come to the game, and he spent far more time with them than the other media there that night. A very good man is likely to lose his job next week, but that won't diminish anything about the man or his ability to coach defense.

Stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the St. Louis Rams be sure to visit Turf Show Times. For more on the Niners, head over to Niners Nation. Visit SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.

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