The Rams will try to play the role of spoiler on Sunday when they host the 49ers for the regular-season finale. The last time these two teams met in Week 13, the 49ers handed St. Louis a 26-0 shutout at Candlestick Park.
But as members of the Rams (2-13) told the Bay Area media during conference calls on Wednesday, they don’t want to leave a bad taste in their mouths heading into the offseason.
“If we can get this ‘W,’ it definitely gives us some momentum to end this season a high note,” Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis said. “Nobody wants to end the season on a losing note.”
St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford was sidelined due to injury in the Week 13 matchup and it’s unknown if the franchise signal-caller will be under center on Sunday. Bradford (ankle) didn’t practice on Wednesday and would be replaced by Kellen Clemens in the starting lineup.
Though there is no postseason in sight and his team is set to face the NFC West champion 49ers, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said his team will keep the same approach.
“The same as the other 15 (games),” Spagnuolo said. “We’re trying to win a football game – and in this particular case against another good football team. Obviously, (coach) Jim (Harbaugh) and the 49ers have done a great job there. We think it’s a great challenge; it’s a division game.
“The one thing about playing the last game in any situation is that it’s nice to have if you can find a way to win the last game because it carries into the offseason.”
As Spagnuolo also noted, the NFC West stepped up its level of competition this year, featuring three teams that stayed in the playoff picture until nearly the end of the season. But no team has it better than the 49ers (12-3), who are one win away from securing the NFC’s No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.
Even though his team is sitting in the cellar of the division, Laurinaitis said he thinks the Rams will have a fighting chance on New Year’s Day.
“All the guys in our locker room are extremely competitive,” Laurinaitis said. “Especially when you’re playing the San Francisco 49ers – there’s just something special about that game. It’s a physical game; we know they’re going to be pounding the ball. We have to be ready to go.”
Click here to listen to Spagnuolo’s Conference Call
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