Rams vs. 49ers: Live Score, Video and Analysis
The 9-2 49ers can clinch the NFC West title with a win, while the feisty Rams, even at 2-9, hope to make the Niners pop the champagne corks on another day.
The 49ers come into today's game with running back Frank Gore needing just 22 yards to set a new San Francisco career rushing record. Gore also needs only 91 yards to wrap up his fifth 1,000-yard season. Quarterback Alex Smith, meanwhile, will try to hit paydirt again after being shut out of the end zone last week in the Niners' 16-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
On the Rams' side of the ball, running back Steven Jackson will be looking for his fourth 100-yard-plus game after being held to 106 yards total (3.3-yard average) in his last two games. The Rams come in badly depleted by injuries, with quarterback Sam Bradford listed as questionable early this morning on NFL.com.
The big question for today's game: Can the Rams overcome their injury situation and mount a challenge to a highly motivated 49er team? Keep it here, and I'll be updating you with commentary and analysis throughout the game.
The 49ers are back. At 10-2, they are this year's first team in the NFL to clinch a divisional championship. For San Francisco, it's the first NFC West title since 2002.
Some said the Niners might stumble today with the NFC West crown on the line. And, truth be told, they did a bit when they settled three straight times for field goals, wasting opportunities and keeping St. Louis in the game. Vernon Davis dropped a perfect pass in the end zone, and the 49ers were letting the Rams hang around.
Then Alex Smith stepped up and launched a 52-yard scoring pass to Michael Crabtree, and, following David Akers' fourth field goal, hit Kyle Williams on a short turnaround route at the 50-yard line and Williams took it almost untouched to the house.
Once again, the Niners' defense was overwhelming. Part of their dominance can be attributed to the devastating season of injuries to the Rams' offensive line. But the 49ers defense throttled the Rams all day. Steven Jackson couldn't get started, and backup QB A.J. Feeley looked uncomfortable all day.
For the Rams, it was a continuation of a season of disappointments. Projected by many to win the NFC West this year, the Rams have been devastated by injuries on both sides of the ball. They're now 2-10, and although no one is putting it in the tank, it's time to start thinking about next year.
For the 49ers, though, it's time to celebrate success that came faster than just about anybody expected. If you think back to Bill Walsh's second year, the 49ers' marketing slogan was a cautious, "Watch the Building." That season, the Niners won their first Super Bowl. No one is yet predicting that for this year's team--but crazier things have happened.
OK, everyone, that's it for today. Thanks for following the blog, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
Ted Robinson on 49ers station KNBR just made a nice point about being a playoff team. Last year, he noted, the Seahawks at 7-9 wree "a team in the playoffs, but were not a playoff team." The 49ers, on the other hand, are indeed a playoff team. Word.
Niner coach Jim Harbaugh just made a nifty move to avoid being doused with Gatorade. The clock is winding down, and the 49ers are now the NFC West divisional champions.
Final score: 49ers 26, Rams 0.
Another wretched day for the Rams. Another injury to the offensive line, an ineffective running game (again, those offensive-line injuries) and not much in the passing game. This season started out with high hopes in St. Louis, but the Rams lost their first six games and have been beset by injuries. It's turning into a season to forget.
Second-string offense in for 49ers. Running the ball with Anthony Dixon. 55-yard Andy Lee punt.
Rams do nothing. Punt goes to Kyle Willims. 49ers take over at their 48.
49ers punt. Ball fair-caught at the Rams' 11. 6:19 to go.
Caepernick now in for San Francisco. Two TDs for Smith, both over 50 yards. Great afternoon.
Now Austin Pettis loses yards, and the Rams go for it on fourth-and-12. Aldon Smith sacks Feeley, and the 49ers take over.
The Rams got a little offense started, but the 49er defense stepped up. Key play was the breakup by Whitner. If Alexander catches it--and he had his hands on it--the Rams are in business at the 1.
Feeley throws to Gibson for a first down, and the Rams have something going at last. Feeley throws long for Danario Alexander, defended by Donte Whitner at the one-yard-line. Nice play by Whitner to deny the catch to Alexander.
Tim Ryan just noted that Justin Smith's shoulders are bigger than his shoulder pads...and they are. What a huge upper body on this two-time pro-bowler.
Offsetting penalties on third down...roughing the passer on the 49ers, holding on the Rams. Third down again...Feeley completes for a first down. Flag on the play. Late hit on Larry Grant, filling in for Patrick Willis. First down for Rams at their own 47.
Nick Miller brings the kickoff out to around the 21 as the Rams take over again.
Kyle Williams -- SEE YA! Took a pass from Smith at the 50 on a turnaround, then sprinted half the length of the field into the end zone. Second nice play of the day for Williams.
49ers 26, Rams 0.
49ers called for delay of game on third down. A few dumb mistakes today...need to be excised as the team looks to the playoffs. They haven't mattered much today, but they could be critical in the future.
Fan dressed up as Santa Claus waves a 49er flag as the Niners take over.
Brit Miller gets nothing for the Rams, and offensive guard Jacob Bell is hurt. According to TV guys, Bell is the last remaining offensive-line starter from opening day. What a miserable year of injuries for the Rams.
What a hit by Larry Grant of the Niners! His helmet flies off as he smacks Jackson for a loss.
End of the third quarter. 49ers in control, 19-0.
Smith sacked on third-and-nine, and the Rams will get another crack at it. Four sacks for the Rams today. Far from giving up, the Rams defense is giving opportunities to the offensive unit. Let's see what the Rams can do.
Brown back at cornerback for the Niners as Steven Jackson picks up seven or eight on first down for the Rams.
Paas for a first down on a buttonhook to Ginn at midfield. Good to see Ginn getting more touches.
49er cornerback Tarell Brown is down and being attended by 49er medical staff. With injury to Willis, could be a problem.
Now Aldon Smith rushes in and sacks Feeley. Rams punt to Ginn, out of bounds at around the 33.
Rams still have yet to convert a third-down play. For St. Louis, this one is starting to slip away.
Fans are tossing confetti as the kick sails into the end zone. Rams take over at the 20. First pass from Feeley goes incomplete. Tim Ryan on Fox notes that the Rams have yet to convert a third down.
Nice comment by Tim Ryan about the frustrations of the 49ers recently in the red zone...likens it to pointing out a flaw in the Mona Lisa.
David Akers in for his fourth field-goal try...34 yards...and it's good.
49ers 19, Rams 0.
Beautiful throw by Smith to Ginn off a play action. Ginn catches it on the right side at th3 Rams 45, then cuts back left and posts a 30-plus-yard gain. Kyle Williams called for an illegal block to the back..;.but now makes up for it with a spectacular 22-yard run. Great blocks by Snyder and Iupati.
First and 10 at the 17...Gore powers down to the 10.
Carlos Rogers knocks down a Feeley pass over the middle, and the Rams will punt.
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