Apparently, the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers never heard that old saying that tying was like kissing your sister.
The Rams wanted less of that image than the Niners did and managed to pull out an overtime win when the game seemed like it was headed for another tie between the two teams.
In a thrilling overtime game—the second between the two teams this season—the matchup ended in a 16-13 Rams win that will give Jeff Fisher's team a major boost for the rest of the season.
The Rams aren't going to the postseason this year, but they've helped to make things difficult for the Niners in regard to their playoff prospects.
It was a back-and-forth defensive struggle throughout, but it was Greg Zuerlein's two field goals that were the difference for St. Louis. He booted a 53-yarder with two seconds to play to send the game to overtime, then made the game's final score to help keep these teams from tying again.
David Akers missed a 51-yard field goal with a little under three minutes to play that would have given San Francisco the lead.
Postgame Recap and Analysis
Kaepernick was the player of the game for both the Rams and the Niners. He accounted for eight of St. Louis' first 10 points. His turnover in his own end zone led to the first touchdown of the game for the Rams, and an intentional grounding in the end zone was the safety that opened the scoring for St. Louis.
He finished with 208 yards passing and the crucial turnover that opened the door for the Rams.
There was only one offensive touchdown between the two teams, and the defenses both came to play in this one. Sam Bradford played turnover-free football and helped move his team into position for the game-winner.
The move doesn't hurt San Francisco (8-3-1) too bad, which still has a firm lead in the NFC West over Seattle. Meanwhile, St. Louis (5-6-1) has taken positive steps toward being one of the dark-horse teams for 2013.
ESPN was one of the first to note the rarity of these two teams heading into overtime for the second time this year:
As the Rams were able to tie the score with less than a minute remaining, beat writer Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reminded us the nickname of St. Louis' bright young kicker:
The Leg returns. Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein snaps slump with 53-yard FG as time expires to tie game at 13-13 and send teams into OT again.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) December 2, 2012
Before the game began, Kaepernick had the chance to do something two Hall of Fame QBs could not do during their time in San Francisco. ESPN's Stats and Information had the look:
Colin Kaepernick could become the first 49ers quarterback since the merger to start 3-0 in his first 3 starts with the team (h/t elias)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 2, 2012
This game wasn't the only one that featured a big day for the NFC West. The division played everything close on Sunday, as noted by Sports Illustrated:
NFC West Today: Three teams in overtime, the other loses by one point.— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 2, 2012
Rich Eisen noted how this was all too familiar. If you're a fan of The Office, you'll like his hash tag:
Uh oh. The Rams and 9ers punt on their first possessions in OT. #HereWeGoAgain— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) December 2, 2012
Pro Football Talk gave us a stat that also puts Kaepernick in elite company. Is anyone clamoring for Alex Smith anymore?
Kaepernick's 50-yard run was the longest QB run in team history, one yard longer than Steve Young's epic 1988 TD run against the Vikings.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 2, 2012
Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller wasn't happy until the final went through:
And finally, from ESPN's Stats & Information, we haven't seen two ties from the same team since 1963. Looks like we'll have to wait a few more years:
Via Elias: Last teams to play 2 ties vs. each other in a season were the Eagles & Steelers in 1963.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 2, 2012