49ers rewind: No time to dwell on loss

It did not take 49ers coach Mike Singletary long to get his team looking ahead to San Francisco's game this week against the St. Louis Rams. About 10 minutes after the 49ers' crushing 27-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Singletary made it known exactly what he expected of his team. He anticipates a bounce-back effort against the winless Rams on Sunday at Candlestick Park.

The 49ers were victimized by Brett Favre's last-second heroics – a nice 32-yard throw and a remarkable catch by Vikings receiver Greg Lewis in the end zone with :02 remaining that dropped San Francisco from the ranks of NFL unbeatens and kept Minnesota undefeated at 3-0.

But Singletary set out immediately to turn the heartbreaking loss into something that provided a learning experience for the entire season.

"It's already a positive," Singletary said. "It's one of those things where you go through a season and you hope that it doesn't happen. We were 2-0 and everyone was thinking, 'Well, hopefully, we can keep this thing going.' When you lose a game of this magnitude, we knew it was going to be a war coming in here. ... I'd rather we lose now, taste it, chew on it, swallow it and get better.

"I want them to remember it. I want them to remember what it feels like. It's not a taste you want to have very often, but learn from it and go from there."

The 49ers (2-1) have a chance against the Rams to make it through the first half of the NFC West schedule without a loss. The 49ers already have victories over the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.

"We're not going to dwell on this loss," 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith said. "We have to get ready to play St. Louis."

The 49ers' confidence seemed bolstered in the losing performance. They went to the Metrodome and came within :02 of winning their second road game this season against a team that advanced to the NFC playoffs a year ago.

"We are a good team," 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes said. "It's not we're going to be a good football team. But we have to look at the film and get better."

TRENDING: The 49ers might want to begin featuring the passing game a little more with running back Frank Gore banged up and unlikely to be a factor against the Rams. Gore might not be available because of an injury 49ers officials describe as a right ankle strain. With Gore not likely to play, rookie Glen Coffee should get his chance to carry the load for the second game in a row. Coffee entered after Gore aggravated his ankle on his first carry. Coffee rushed for 54 yards on 25 carries against the Vikings.

LINEUP WATCH: Receiver Brandon Jones, the 49ers' highest-priced free-agent acquisition of the offseason, should be ready to start seeing action Sunday against the Rams. Jones has worked off a lot of the rust in two weeks of practices but has yet to be active for a game. Jones sustained a broken right shoulder blade in practice Aug. 6.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--- RB Frank Gore aggravated his right ankle strain on his first rushing attempt Sunday and did not return. X-rays proved negative, but the 49ers might opt for the conservative approach of letting him fully heal from the injury before trying to get him back on the field. Gore was scheduled to undergo a MRI exam late Monday afternoon to determine the extent of his injury.

--- TE Vernon Davis finally showed the promise of being a No. 1 quality receiver on Sunday. Davis, playing for the first time in a tight-end friendly offense, caught seven passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Each figure was a career high.

--- QB Shaun Hill had a fine game statistically, completing 15 of 25 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. However, the 49ers were 0-for-11 on third downs. Hill completed 5 of 8 third-down passes, but all of them came up short of first downs.

--- LT Joe Staley sustained a knee contusion when he said he was leg-whipped during the game. He missed some playing time but returned to action. He was scheduled to undergo a MRI exam late Monday afternoon to determine the status of a knee contusion.

--- RB Glen Coffee figures to see a lot of playing time in the coming weeks, as starter Frank Gore is questionable with an ankle strain. Coffee got off to a slow start Sunday and finished with 54 yards on 25 rushing attempts. He did not catch a pass.



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