The Rams needed a victory over the NFC West-leading 49ers but failed to do so. It seems as if their season is slowly slipping away despite the fact that their division is very much alive for any team. The Rams are still undefeated against divisional opponents, and the team showed signs of impressive play.
Going against the second-ranked defense of the 49ers, which was allowing 271.4 yards per game, St. Louis amassed 458 total yards on offense.
The Rams' defense played tough against the versatile offense run by San Francisco. Alex Smith left the game in the first quarter after he suffered a concussion due to a tough hit by linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick replaced Smith and filled in very well.
But an illegal formation that blew an 80-yard pass play on the first play in overtime and a costly delay of game penalty on a game-winning field goal—which St. Louis Post Dispatch says the holder blames on himself—were too much to overcome.
Regardless, the Rams looked good in many facets of the game. The offense was actually alive for the first time in quite a while, and it was incredible to see. Sam Bradford was throwing and connecting with his men. Brian Quick had a huge touchdown catch, and Austin Pettis gave the Rams the lead with a touchdown grab of his own late in the game. He didn't throw an interception and was only sacked twice, which is a huge deal for a struggling offense and an offensive line that moves guys around like musical chairs.
Besides the offense driving on the highly coveted 49ers defense, St. Louis tried to stay tough on defense itself. Add this with the not one, but two fake punts converted in the game, and you have the Rams gaining confidence in their game. The youngest team in the NFL just went head-to-head with an NFL powerhouse but unfortunately missed its chances to win.
Although they came away with just a tie, the Rams still showed a major improvement coming out of the bye week.
A win was in their grasp, and it would have been great, but a tie is a tie, and the potential seen will boost the Rams' confidence for the rest of the season.