ST. LOUIS (3-5) At SAN FRANCISCO (6-2)Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOXOPENING LINE - 49ers by 12RECORD VS. SPREAD - St. Louis 5-3; San Francisco 5-3SERIES RECORD - 49ers lead 62-61-2AP Pro32 RANKING - Rams No. 26; 49ers No. 4LAST MEETING - 49ers beat Rams 34-27, Jan. 1, 2012LAST WEEK - Rams had bye; 49ers had byeSTREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Niners have won seven of last eight in series. ... Rams on three-game losing streak. ... San Francisco tries to move to 2-0 after bye week under coach Jim Harbaugh. ... 49ers beat Rams 26-0 last Dec. 4 at Candlestick Park to clinch franchise's first playoff berth since 2002. ... RB Frank Gore became 49ers' career rushing leader in that game by passing late Hall of Famer Joe Perry. ... 49ers have 11-game home winning streak against NFC West dating to Oct. 26, 2008, loss to Seahawks. ... St. Louis begins stretch with three of four vs. NFC West. It's team's first road matchup against division after beating Arizona and Seattle at home. ... San Francisco QB Alex Smith connected with nine receivers in 24-3 road rout of Cardinals on Monday night game of Oct. 29. Completed 18 of 19 passes for 232 yards, three TDs, and 157.1 passer rating. ... San Francisco defense held Arizona to 7 yards rushing on nine carries, tying franchise record for fewest yards rushing allowed in game. ... 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree has TD catch in each of last four games vs. Rams. ... Rams WR Danny Amendola has missed three straight games with right shoulder injury, including 45-7 loss to Patriots at London's Wembley Stadium on Oct. 28. Limited in practice this week. LT Wayne Hunter sat out last two games with back injury. ... Rams QB Sam Bradford threw for 205 yards and TD against Patriots, has passed for 1,797 yards and eight TDs this year. ... Rams LB James Laurinaitis and 49ers RT Alex Boone were roommates for year at Ohio State and both insist they plan to trash talk as much as possible.
Under the 49ers’ new regime, the club has already invested more in the free-agent market than a year ago under then-general manager Trent Baalke.
Just a reminder: The free-agent signing period does not officially open until March 9.
The 49ers on Friday reached a contract agreement with veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who is penciled into be a starter in the team’s new 4-3 base scheme under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
It was the first significant move under new general manager John Lynch, who also signed a player with NFL experience earlier in the week.
The 49ers also added cornerback K’Waun Williams to a one-year contract. Williams served as the Cleveland Browns’ nickel back for two seasons. The Browns released him before the start of last season and he was unable to play due to an ankle injury.
Mitchell was available to be signed before the start of the new league year because the Miami Dolphins released him last week in a move to save the team $4 million in cap space.
Mitchell took four free-agent visits and after wrapping up his tour with the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, he and the 49ers quickly agreed on a four-year, $16 million contract that includes $5.5 million of money in the first year, according to a source.
Last year, Baalke did little to improve the roster for coach Chip Kelly. The 49ers, who finished 5-11 in Jim Tomsula's one season, dropped to 2-14. Just hours after the season concluded, the 49ers announced the firings of Baalke and Kelly.
The only veteran free-agent addition who stepped on the field for the 49ers last season was offensive lineman Zane Beadles. The 49ers signed Beadles in late-March to a three-year, $9.75 million contract with a $1.75 million signing bonus. Beadles had a good season for the 49ers, starting 13 games at left guard and the final three games at left tackle.
The 49ers have already shown more willingness to be aggressive under Lynch’s leadership.
Mitchell, 29, is a seven-year veteran who began his NFL career from 2010 to ’13 with the Houston Texans. He was a rookie in Saleh’s final season as assistant linebackers coach in Houston.
Mitchell joins DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Quinton Dial on the 49ers defensive line. The 49ers view Mitchell as a high-energy player who bring good character to the locker room. The signing of Mitchell could be an indication the 49ers are moving on from Glenn Dorsey, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.
With 5.5 sacks in seven seasons, the 49ers do not figure to use Mitchell in passing situations. The club must try to bolster its pass rush in free agency or the draft. Last season, Buckner and Ahmad Brooks shared the team-lead with six sacks apiece. In 2015, Brooks and Aaron Lynch both led the way with 6.5 sacks.
The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on Friday, CSNBayArea.com has learned.
Mitchell, 29, will earn $5.5 million in his first year with the 49ers.
The seven-year veteran played in nine games last season for the Dolphins. He recorded 17 total tackles.
Since entering the league in 2010 as a third-round draft pick with the Texans, Mitchell has appeared in 100 games between Houston and Miami, totaling 206 tackles. He has also recorded 5.5 sacks.
#49ers reach four-year, $16M deal with DT Earl Mitchell, per source. He receives $5.5M in first year.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) February 25, 2017