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Rams vs. 49ers: What Does Tie Result Mean for Each Team?

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Rams vs. 49ers: What Does Tie Result Mean for Each Team?
Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL's first tie in four years left both the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers with a glass-half-empty feeling Sunday.

But the tie most certainly will hurt one team more than the other. 

Sunday's 24-24 tie may be as close to a moral victory for the Rams as there can be, but the draw hurt the Niners' opportunity to gain a full game on the New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons.

If the tie helps anyone come the playoffs it's NFL statisticians, who can be all but assured of simple divisional tiebreakers between San Fran and the rest of the league.

Unless, of course, the Rams sneak into the playoffs. If that happens, then, well, all bets are off.

For the Rams, coming off a three-game losing streak, a tie is as good as a win.

The Rams hung tough with San Francisco after getting wiped out last week by the New England Patriots.

Their run defense struggled, giving up 183 yards, but the team was clutch on third downs, stopping the Niners on all but two of 11 third-down conversions. 

Head coach Jeff Fisher's club is now 2-0-1 in the division, and still 3-3 in the conference.

For the Niners, who looked like they had gotten back on track after their own blowout at the hands of the Giants, now must wrestle with another one that got away.

This year's Niners don't have the full, 60-minute tenacity of last year's upstarts.

Alex Smith is struggling. Again. The Niners defense gave up over 150 yards on the ground and just shy of 300 yards in the air. 

This, against a team that had lost three straight in convincing fashion.

On paper the tie means that San Fran gains half a game on the Giants, Falcons and Bears. 

But in between the line it means much more. It means that San Francisco may not be the lock many thought they were to make it back to the NFC Championship Game.

As for the Rams, the tie keeps them believing in a new system, a new coach and a new defense that is feasting on quarterbacks. 

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