The 49ers and Rams ended the game with a 24-24 stalemate on in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon. This is the first tie in the NFL since 2008. The 49ers are now 6-2-1 after nine games this season.
Alex Smith went down with a concussion after successfully attempting a quarterback sneak on a fourth and short. He completed three passes after the hit, including a 14-yard catch-and-run touchdown to Michael Crabtree. Jim Harbaugh said Smith told him that his vision was blurry after the drive and the team decided to keep him on the bench.
Smith didn’t return to the field after the touchdown and Colin Kaepernick appeared in his first game as the full-time quarterback. He will need to go through an NFL protocol under the league rules in order to be cleared for next week’s game against the Chicago Bears.
The score was 14-7 when Smith threw the touchdown to Michael Crabtree. The Rams added a field goal from Greg Zuerlein to make it 17-7. A 14 yard pass to Steven Jackson and a personal foul on Ray McDonald set it up.
With Kaepernick in, the 49ers were able to engineer an 11-play, 81-yard touchdown drive to make the score 17-14. Kaepernick found Vernon Davis for a 17 yard gain and Frank Gore had a 3 yard run on a fourth and short. He scored the touchdown later on a zone-read option to the right for seven yards.
The momentum continued with San Francisco as Isaiah Pead fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Tramaine Brock forced the fumble while Darcel McBath recovered it. On the next play, Frank Gore scored on a 20-yard sweep to the right to give the 49ers their first lead of the game at 21-17.
The Rams responded back with a 14-play, 81-yard touchdown drive. They moved down the field after faking a punt for the second time in the game with a pass by punter Johnny Hekker to Lance Kendricks for 19 yards. Sam Bradford found Austin Pettis the touchdown to give the lead back to the Rams at 24-21.
On the next possession, Kapernick was able to find Kyle Williams with a 13 yard pass down the right sideline to get into field goal range. Harbaugh tried to go for the win but the play didn’t execute as the pass was incomplete as the attempt to Kyle Williams fell to the ground.
“We decided to take the shot for the touchdown,” said Harbaugh. “It was incomplete. The thought was to take a shot at the end zone. We didn’t get it.”
David Akers tied the game with a 33-yard field goal to force overtime and the score was 24-24. On the 49ers’ first possession of overtime, Kaepernick was able to run for 14 yards and put the team in field goal range at the Rams’ 25. David Akers ended up missing the 41-yard attempt and the game continued.
The Rams had their chance too. Danny Amendola had an 80-yard reception to the 49ers’ 2 yard line, but it was called back because of an illegal procedure penalty. They were able to move to the San Francisco 33 thanks to a Steven Jackson 8-yard run. Zuerlein made what looked to be a 53-yard field goal, but the snap was too late and it ended up being a delay of game penalty. He would go on to miss the 58-yard attempt wide right.
Kaepernick finished the game 11/17 with 117 passing yards and no interceptions. He also had 66 rushing yards with one touchdown.
“It did take me awhile to get into the flow of the game,” said Kaepernick. “I mean from here, I felt comfortable with everything that we were doing.”
This became the 18th tie in NFL history and fifth tie in the last 22 years. The last time the 49ers had a tie was a 10-10 game in 1986 against the Atlanta Falcons. Some 49ers’ players said it felt strange and had no idea what to think with this tie.
“I didn’t know you could tie,” said Dashon Goldson. “When I saw both sides walking onto the field, I was like, ‘Where’s everybody going?’”
Even though the game wasn’t a loss, Ahmad Brooks said it had a negative feel to it. The fact that it wasn’t a win dampened this game, according to Brooks.
“It actually feels like a loss to tell you the truth,” said Brooks. “It doesn’t feel like we won the game, but we didn’t lose. It doesn’t go in the record as a loss but it feels like a loss, because we know we should’ve won the game.”
The Rams started off with runs by Steven Jackson. Four consecutive running plays led to two first downs and 23 yards. Sam Bradford found Brian Quick wide open after Chris Culliver slipped for a 36-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring.
The Rams moved down the field again thanks to a 17-yard reception by Lance Kendricks. RB Daryl Richardson broke free for a 32-yard gain to put the Rams within striking distance. A personal foul facemask penalty by Ray McDonald put the Rams in the red zone. Steven Jackson scored off a 7-yard run to make it 14-0.
Harbaugh said this was a tough game. Both the Rams and 49ers were in a fight until the end, it just didn’t end how he wanted it to be.
“It was a good football game,” said Harbaugh. “Both teams had their opportunities, both teams battled. I won’t put this game on any one thing. They made plays and we made plays and we tied it up in the end.”
The 49ers will play the Chicago Bears for Monday Night Football on November 19th.
-Frank Gore’s X-Rays after the game were negative.
-Brandon Jacobs, Trenton Robinson, A.J. Jenkins, LaMichael James, Joe Looney, Ian Williams and Scott Tolzien were inactive for this game. This is the eighth game Jacobs has been inactive.
-The 49ers had 183 total yards on the ground, but only had 112 total rushing yards from Kendall Hunter and Frank Gore combined.
-Michael Crabtree led the 49ers’ receivers with four receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown.
-Vernon Davis had four receptions for 30 yards. Delanie Walker was only targeted once.
-The 49ers won the turnover battle committing the only one of the game by Isaiah Pead. There were a few fumbles by the 49ers but none were lost.
-The Rams had five sacks in this game and dominated the battle in the trenches early on, but only one sack came late. The offensive line adjusted well to protecting Kaepernick.
-The 49ers were unable to create pressure on Sam Bradford as Aldon Smith recorded the only two sacks. Both of them were missed blocking assignments.