If you wanted 40 points, hail mary shooting stars, and offensive magic, Sunday’s rematch between San Francisco and St. Louis probably didn’t tickle your twine.
This game was a train wreck of defensive glory, a nightmare for any offensive coordinator.
Welcome to a divisional game in the NFC West.
The Rams first points came with 4:27 to play in the 3rd-quarter…thanks to a defensive safety. And fittingly enough Jim Harbaugh called a horrible option pitch inside their own 20 and Colin Kaepernick tossed it into space as rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins alertly swooped the pigskin and summersaulted into the end zone for the third time in two games.
At this point the Dome feels like The Greatest Show On Turf days, appropriate for the Rams wearing their 1999 retro threads. The place came to life, all it needed was a pulse and the Rams defense delivered.
Sam Bradford hit Lance Kendricks on a well covered two-point conversion and the Rams were somehow tied in a once hopeless game.
But Kaepernick soon hushed the spirited crowd with a 50-yard run after Quentin Mikell’s blitz effort turn awry, and the 49ers had a great chance to get the clock under a minute, with the lead.
Yet the 49ers coaching staff called a baffling pass which fell incomplete on first down, and Kaepernick ran out of bounds on a 3rd-and-21 at the Rams 25-yard line, saving St. Louis a timeout with 1:34 to play.
The gold miners of 1849 started handing back their fortunes to the Rammies, and it cost ’em the game.
Sam Kaepernick, er Bradford, scrambled twice for 25-yards (+15/late hit) thanks to a soft Cover-2 defense and Greg “Legatron” Zuerlein booted a 53-yard game tying field goal as time expired.
Typically a glance at a box score reserves the 300-yard number plateau for QB’s…today it was Andy Lee (306) and Johnny Hekker (388) punting a combined 15 times.
Back to overtime. Clock ticking…And the most exciting play is Hekker shanking a 14-yard punt, giving SF the ball at midfield. Sure enough, David Akers’ game winning field goal bends right at the last second giving the Rams another shot.
Steven Jackson squeezed out 14 yards on four attempts, and Chris Givens made a great catch to give Legatron a chance to make history.
And boom. He hit the “you-know-what out of it”, said Chris Long. If not for the net that ball could still be flying.
Zuerlein connected from 54-yards out, becoming the 1st kicker in NFL history to tie a game with a FG of 50+ yards as time expired in the 4th quarter AND kick an OT field goal of 50+ yards in the same game.
Zuerlein covered 107 yards scoring 6 points. The defense scored 8. The offense, 2.
They won the battle in a series that needed 10 quarters with way too many blunders to believe. Wow.