The Rams pulled one out of their hats today. You always want to think your team outperformed their opponent, but the 49ers gave the Rams a little help in this one. The top level stats favored the 49ers.
|Time of Possession||39||35|
Perhaps the most important stat in this game was ‘Turnovers’. In the entire game there was one; one game changing turnover. With just 3:04 remaining in the 4th Niners’ QB Kaepernick threw a backwards pass over his receiver’s head. Since it was backwards it’s treated as a fumble and was a live ball. Rams CB Janoris Jenkins recovered the ball and stumbled into the end zone. Slightly uncharacteristic of the Rams, they then took advantage of the opportunity and executed on a 2 point conversion. This score brought the Rams back from near certain defeat.
Games like these are why I love sports. It was a very tight game where the 49ers seemed to have the edge throughout. But, I never got the sense the Rams were out of it. Their defense played so tough, never tiring, which kept the team energized. Even going into the final 5 minutes of regulation play I had a feeling something was going to happen. You could call it a choke by Kaepernick or you could say the Rams’ relentless defensive pressure on him finally paid off (3 sacks and continuous pressure to contain his running ability). If you’re not a Rams fan you are definitely thinking the safety called in the 3rd was a rip off. You know… I’m not even going to address it because the Rams were also hit by significant bad calls that affected offensive production.
5 Keys to the Rams Victory:
1 The Rams’ defense holding Frank Gore to 23 for 58 for 2.5 yards per carry and 1 TD
2 The Rams defensive pass rush getting inside Kaepernick’s head and getting him a little rattled
3 The Rams defense coming up with a critical turnover at just the right time
4 Late in the game we saw Steven Jackson getting the job done. In their last meeting it was Frank Gore who was the major play maker. In this game both RBs were pretty well contained, but SJ helped the Rams move the ball down the field when it counted in OT.
5 Today, Greg Zuerlein was a better kicker than David Akers. Akers successfully kicked a 23 yard and a 33 yard field goal during the course of the game, but when the game was on the line he could not come up with the 51 yard clincher. Zuerlein on the other hand kicked a 53 yard field to send the game into overtime and then a 54 yarder for the win. Zuerlein has had his struggles, but today he came up big.
Just like the last time these 2 teams played, the game did not disappoint. This win could go a long way as the Rams head into the final leg of their 2012 schedule. Go Rams!