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Silver linings: Rams at 49ers

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The facts: The Rams fell to 0-4 with a with a 35-0 road defeat to the 49ers in Week 4.

The upside: Even the worst defeats tend to feature a bright spot or two.

  • Steven Jackson remained on pace for nearly 1,500 yards rushing. More importantly, he set the right example for a struggling team by running hard from start to finish and saying the right things afterward.

  • Receiver Donnie Avery appeared to play with more speed and confidence. His 22-yard catch-and-run on third-and-14 was a start. He had three catches for 47 yards. That yardage figure was, amazingly, a game-high figure.

  • The defense allowed only 228 yards and 14 points. The score was 7-0 until midway through the third quarter.

  • Danny Amendola opened the game with a long kickoff return (reduced by penalty from 92 to 27 yards).

  • The pointless debate over quarterbacks -- Kyle Boller or Marc Bulger -- lost all momentum.

  • Steve Spagnuolo benched left tackle Alex Barron following a costly penalty. Rams fans have wanted to do that for a while.

  • The Rams seem to care. As Leonard Little tweeted in the middle of the night: "Up thinking. Can't sleep at all." Jackson, a few hours later: "I'm up & at it. Mind racing. Ice massage is needed and time alone."

Looking ahead: The Rams face the Vikings at home in Week 5.