Rapid Reaction: 49ers 35, Rams 11

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
11:56
PM ET

ST. LOUIS -- A few thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' 35-11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

What it means: For the second consecutive week, the Rams essentially didn’t show up, this time on a national, prime-time stage. It's being kind to give them the benefit of the doubt for mounting some sort of charge in the second half in Atlanta in Week 2. That’s officially a trend.

At this point, rather than being a young team on the rise as many expected, the Rams have regressed in all three phases and it’s fair to wonder which direction this supposed steppingstone season is headed.

Stock watch: Up: None. Last week, we gave a mention to punter Johnny Hekker. The team no-showed again, and the only thing that seems to be improving is its potential draft position in April.

Down: The St. Louis Rams. Offense, defense, special teams, coaching, you name it, it’s trending in the wrong direction.

Division dominance done: Under coach Jeff Fisher the Rams were 5-1-1 against NFC West foes entering this one and they seemed to have a particular spell over the Niners in 2012. Forget all of that.

An ailing San Francisco team -- missing two of its best defenders on a short week -- got healthy in a hurry against the Rams and atoned for a winless showing against St. Louis last season with a thoroughly dominant and convincing victory on the Rams’ home turf.

What’s next: The Rams will have a long weekend to lick their wounds from the past two games and try to figure out where everything has gone wrong. Some serious reflection will be important because after a home game against Jacksonville, which no longer looks like a gimme, the Rams play a stretch of three games that includes trips to Houston and Carolina and a home game against Seattle.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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