September 26, 2013

NFL Notebook: Bucs making a switch at quarterback

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

THURSDAY'S NFL GAME AT A GLANCE

49ERS (1-2) at RAMS (1-2)

WHEN: 8:25 p.m.

SERIES RECORD: Tied 62-62-3

LAST MEETING: Rams won 16-13 in OT, Dec. 2, 2012

LAST WEEK: 49ers lost to Colts 27-7; Rams lost to Cowboys 31-7

TELEVISION: NFL Network

OUTLOOK: San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick spent some of his free time this week trolling Twitter and retweeting many of the most critical, even vile comments about himself. How he's a one-year wonder. How the 49ers never should have gotten rid of Alex Smith. The word is motivation. San Fran's young QB has played two terrible games in a row in consecutive losses, and both he and the Niners are too talented to make it three in a row. It won't be easy. The Rams beat and tied the Niners last season and were 4-1-1 vs. the NFC West, and the visitors have two key players hobbled in tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring) and linebacker Patrick Willis (groin), both questionable. But Tony Romo strafed this weak St. Louis pass defense this past Sunday and so should Kaepernick in this Thursday prime-timer. The Rams' secondary is allowing opponents 71 percent completions and a 114.7 passer rating. That's a timely get-well card to Colin.

PREDICTION: 49ers, 24-17

-- Greg Cote, The Miami Herald

TEXANS: Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus said he's been fined $15,000 for a hit on Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco.

Mercilus was fined for a play where his helmet hit the chin of Flacco. Mercilus was given a penalty for roughing the passer.

Mercilus said he plans to appeal the fine.

JETS: Rookie cornerback Dee Milliner injured a hamstring at practice and his status for Sunday's game at Tennessee is uncertain.

Milliner, the team's top draft pick in April, was limited at practice after the injury.

GIANTS: After a 38-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Giants are promising only one change for Sunday's game in Kansas City against the Chiefs.

There is going to be an attitude adjustment.

Win or lose, the Giants (0-3) aren't going to have another no-show performance against the Chiefs (3-0).

"I think the better Giants team is going to show up this week," receiver Victor Cruz said. "It's a different mind-set. Today's practice was completely different than what we had in the past. The energy was different. The feel was different. We're excited. This is where I think we turn the page and make a good run and get a couple of wins."

An upbeat coach Tom Coughlin is promising a more physical team. And if practice was any indication, there was a little feistiness to the workout.

"These guys are hungry, being 0-3 and especially the way we lost that game," punter Steve Weatherford said. "We wanted to win that one for Coach and we didn't play well."

COWBOYS: Receiver Dez Bryant was fined $7,875 by the NFL for a throat-slashing gesture that resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty last week against St. Louis.

Bryant made the gesture while celebrating a 2-yard touchdown catch in a 31-7 victory against the Rams on Sunday.

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