The clock ticks its very last seconds in OT. Two teams, one leading the conference and the other going through a rebuilding process, battle to the very end. Seems to me this is a game the Rams should have won (of course because I’m a Rams fan). Seems to me Brian Shottenheimer should be shot (or maybe just socked in the gut a couple times because we need him next week) for how he ran the Rams offense late in the game. Here are some immediate reasons the Rams only came away with a tie:
- Isaiah Pead
- No one told Colin Kaepernick the backup QB isn’t supposed to be as good as the starter
- Frank Gore
- Offense Team Management
With 8:29 left in the game the Rams were up 17-7. The 49ers had just scored a TD off a 7 yard run by Kaepernick. The Rams send in Isaiah Pead for the kick return. I don’t think the Rams would have been using him at all if it wasn’t for the fact that Danny Amendola wasn’t 100% healthy and they were trying to protect him. Pead hadn’t run a kick return past the Rams 20 all day long. Although disappointing; we could live with it. The Niners kick off, Pead makes the catch, he starts the run back, and he fumbles. The only thing you don’t want to happen happens. The 49ers recover the ball on the Rams 28 yard line. Frank Gore quickly takes the ball into the end zone and the Niners are right back in the game.
Don’t you just want to laugh when you hear this name? 49er’s starting QB Alex Smith came out of the game with a concussion in the 2nd quarter. Rams fans felt bad for Alex, but happy about the Rams chances moving forward. Again, someone forgot to tell Colin Kaepernick the backup QB isn’t supposed to be as good as the starter (I want that man’s job!). Kaepernick went 11-17 for 117 yards. He also rushed for another 66 yards and a TD. The main point is that after the half the 49ers offense seemed to hum along at its normal pace.
This was the best display of rushing I have seen in a very long time. If either team had won I would have said it was an epic game for that team. But Frank Gore was insane. He was soooo fast, he hit so many would be tacklers soooo hard, and he got the job done on every single carry. Has your play been blown up? No problem. Give Frank Gore the ball. Is your QB having a problem securing the ball from the center? No problem, just make sure it bounces around the ground somewhere near Frank. When the 49ers needed a first down or big play he simply got it done. Now, a lot of these things could have been said about Steven Jackson today. He played super tough and broke the 100 yard rushing mark for the first time this season. But, there were times when the Rams needed a first down and SJ wasn’t able to get it down. Gore looked legendary today. Gore went 21-97 (4.6 yards per carry), and a TD, no fumbles. SJ went 29-101 yards (3.5 yards per carry), 1 TD, and no fumbles.
Offense Team Management
The Rams gave up a potential 10 points due to bad game management. There were 2 egregious offenses and they both occurred in OT. If neither mistake had occurred the Rams would have won the game. The first occurred on the Rams first play of OT. From his own 18 yard line Bradford threw a bomb to Danny Amendola. Amendola wash pushed out of bounds just short of the goal line. Unbelievable. But very late a flag was thrown. Apparently, when the Rams tackle came into the game, based upon the formation of the line on the upcoming play, he needed to check in with the official. He didn’t. The play came all the way back. Later in OT, with only 2:48 remaining in the game Zeurlein attempts a 53 yard field goal. The field goal is good, but the Rams are called for delay of game. 5 yards is tacked on to the next kick. (Do I really need to tell you what happened?) Ack…
All and all this game was an epic battle; neither team quit and both teams played hard to the end. Special mention goes out to Danny Amendola who played to win. He showed guts and he played at a very high level even though you could tell he wasn’t completely healthy (he caught 11 of 12 for 102 yards). For the season the Rams are now 3-5-1. Next week the Rams play the Jets at home. We can’t afford an emotional let-down in this next game. Until next week… Go Rams!!!