Thearon W. Henderson
The San Francisco 49ers played a horrible game, and came away with ... a tie against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, after a scoreless overtime period.
Your benevolent dictator, Fooch, is at the game, so I've got the postgame recap/thread for ya'll. I didn't watch a good portion of the game as I just got paid for the first time in three months and was putting together furniture all day. What I did see, I didn't like ... not one bit. I wrote some notes, and then I wrote a good portion of this as I watched the final couple drives so it gets pretty long-winded. If you want it short and sweet: you wasted four hours of your life watching a meaningless tie game. Congrats.
St. Louis came out and marched for a pair of touchdowns while the 49ers defense woke up from a comatose state. Mistakes were made on both sides of the ball, and starting quarterback Alex Smith went down with a concussion early in the second quarter and did not return.
From there, it was Colin Kaepernick time and ... there was something of a rough start. He missed a lot of passes and generally looked like he was panicking, but he ended up coming to life near the end of the third and the start of the fourth. It helps that Frank Gore is really awesome, too.
Kaepernick ended up rushing for a touchdown that ... may not have been a touchdown if you really look at it, but there wasn't nearly enough evidence to overturn it. Then, the 49ers forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and Gore scored on a quick touchdown to give San Francisco the 21-17 lead with about nine minutes to play.
Of course, the Rams converted another fake punt from deep in their own territory and managed to drive all the way down the field and score a touchdown. The 49ers' defense was just unprepared and came out flat for that drive.
San Francisco came back out on offense, picked up some nice yardage, and then Kaepernick threw a 2-yard pass for some reason. Thankfully, the Rams had to take an injury timeout, and Kaepernick made another decent run for a first down, and then hit Kyle Williams for another one. Frank Gore then picked up 9 yards and the 49ers were in field goal range. They then went to Kendall Hunter, who neglected to go out of bounds to San Francisco burned their last timeout with 11 seconds to go from the 15-yard line.
They then decided to take a shot at the end zone and Kaepernick missed Kyle Williams ... which was good, because it was likely he wouldn't have got out of bounds. So it was a 33-yard field goal and David Akers made it without issue, making the game a tie at 24-24.
Rams received to start overtime and the 49ers got stupid lucky. There was about to be an 80+ yard pass, but it was brought back due to a penalty, that appeared to be personnel related. It was illegal formation by the looks of it. So the Rams had to punt. That was scary.
San Francisco came out, Michael Crabtree made a big catch for a first down, Kaepernick ran some more, and they got into field goal range. Akers came out for a 41-yard attempt ... and he missed it. So that happened.
St. Louis came back out, and the 49ers defense, once again, looked terrible. They picked up a few first downs, got into field goal range (they ran the ball a bunch and were successful). They ended up with a 53-yard field goal attempt and it was good ... wait no, it was a delay of game. So now it's a 58-yard attempt. And he missed it.
THEY DON'T WANT ME TO EVER STOP WRITING
San Francisco gets the ball near midfield, and Kaepernick doesn't throw to a wide open player in the flat with a lot of room to run. Instead, he prefers to run it himself, picking up 2 yards. So yay on that one. Then, he gets sacked, and the 49ers punt it. The Rams come out again, Sam Bradford throws a terrible pass, but they get a nice call from the refs on defensive holding.
Bradford falls down in front of Aldon Smith, and the Rams receivers ... walk back to the line of scrimmage. They clock it with five seconds left, well out of field goal range on a 3rd and 18. Then they get a delay of game, and ... well, this one is over. 24-24 tie game.
Anyway, general recap aside, here's some random notes and stuff I made when I was watching the game.
BECAUSE WHY NOT - It's just like this team to go out and lose to a team like the St. Louis Rams. They are not a good football team, and they went out and walked all over us in the first quarter. And then, in the third quarter, they started to do it again. Hooray. The final score is inconsequential, if San Francisco played that way against a better team, they'd have been down by four touchdowns, not two.
KAEPERNACTION IS ... NOT GOOD? - Kaepernick is so bad looking down the field. It's almost like he's going through the motions when he looks as though he's got his eyes downfield. He missed Vernon Davis multiple times, and didn't even see Kyle Williams running open for a touchdown that, as the commentary team noted, would have been good from 1,000 yards. Obviously, we can't expect him to come into the game and exercise all of the fundamentals you expect from a starter, but man, he needs to take a step back and let it slow down for him.
WHAT RUSH DEFENSE? - Steven Jackson has been bad this year. I know he's our rival and all of that, but the stats back it up. With the ball in his hands, he has not been a good running back. Maybe it's the rivalry that changed him, but he started out great today and played like the guy we've known him as for years. The rush defense had an awful lot to do with that, though. Guys were missing tackles, tripping and falling all over themselves and generally ... being not good.
BUT GORE IS BETTER - I wrote, prior to the game, that Gore has outlasted his running back rival, Jackson. He has the longevity, and in 2012, he's a much, much better running back. There are times when Gore looks a little slow, but there's other times when he looks better than ever. I love watching him just run into guys and come out of the collision running at a full clip.
DARN - Pretty sure Kaepernick was out for that rushing touchdown BUT, I will say that the call was correct, in that there was not enough evidence to overturn it. Thankful for the bad angle. Thanks NFL!
OH, CULLY - Chris Culliver has not been very good this season. He can lock down some seriously big plays and he's very fast, but he got beat constantly during this game. He was tripping and falling over himself. I'm a big fan of this guy but he makes too many silly mistakes.
LOL REFS - God, they were horrible. On both sides.
We were going to have a Sunday Night Football thread, but let's just use this, OK? OK.