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New challenge awaits improved 49ers

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the first time this season, the 49ers are facing an opponent they're expected to handle easily.

A victory over the Rams would elicit shrugs. A defeat would raise all sorts of questions. There's no pressure on the Rams.

The 49ers can pass the test if they handle the Rams the way they should handle them.