49ers vs. Rams: Post-game notes and transcripts

Brian Bahr

We take a look at the post-game notes and transcripts from the 49ers 24-24 tie with the Rams.

With the Tie...

  • It marked the San Francisco 49ers 14th tie since joining the NFL in 1950 and first since 1986 [10-10 at Atl. (10/19)]. It also marked the 49ers first tie at Candlestick Park since 1972 [20-20 vs. NO (10/22)].
  • The San Francisco 49ers record against the St. Louis Rams now stands at 62-61-3, including 31-31-2 at home. The last time the 49ers and the Rams played to a tie was in 1968 [20-20 (11/17)].
  • San Francisco is now 8-1-1 in NFC West divisional games under head coach Jim Harbaugh, including 2-0-1 this season.

Divisional Dominance:

  • The 49ers have not lost in 12 consecutive home games against division opponents, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Hot Hands:

  • WR Michael Crabtree led the team with 5 recepts. for 70 yds. and 1 TD.
  • Crabtree hauled in his 4th TD of the season on a 14-yd. TD pass from QB Alex Smith on 3rd down. Crabtree has now registered 3 TDs on 3rd down, ranking t-3rd in the NFL.
  • Crabtree has tallied a TD in each of his last 5 games against St. Louis.

Kap Steps In:

  • QB Colin Kaepernick came off the bench, replacing an injured QB Alex Smith, and completed 11 of 17 atts., for 117 yds. and a QB rating of 84.7. He also added 8 carries for 66 yds. and 1 TD.
  • Kaepernick capped of an 81-yd. drive in the 4th qtr. with a 7-yd. TD run. He now has 3 rushing TDs on the season.

Gore Closes In On Rushing Touchdown Record:

  • RB Frank Gore rushed for 97 yds. and 1 TD on 21 carries. Gore's 20-yd. TD run in the 4th qtr. marked his 5th TD of the season and 48th of his career. He trails just RB Joe Perry (50) and RB Roger Craig (50) for the most rushing TDs in franchise history.

The Dynamic Duo:

  • Since 2011, the 49ers are now 18-1-1 when RB Frank Gore and RB Kendall Hunter combine for 20 carries or more.
  • Gore led the way with 97 yds. rushing on 21 carries, while Hunter added 15 yds. on 3 carries.

Aldon Brings the Pressure:

  • LB Aldon Smith brought down Bradford for two sacks on the day, giving him 9.5 sacks for the season and 23.5 for his career. Smith's 9.5 sacks rank 3rd in the NFL.

Special Teams Takes It Away:

  • Late in the 4th qtr., CB Tramaine Brock stripped the ball from Rams RB Isaiah Pead on a kickoff return, marking his first career FF. The loose ball was scooped up by S Darcel McBath, his first career FR. On the ensuing play, RB Frank Gore scored on a 20-yd. TD run.

Extending Their Streaks:

  • TE/LS Brian Jennings has now played in 201 consecutive games.
  • DT Justin Smith has now started 180 consecutive games, dating back to his rookie season in 2001. Smith's consecutive start streak ranks 3rd among defensive players, behind Ronde Barber (208) and London Fletcher (188), and 4th among all NFL players, behind Barber, Fletcher and Jeff Backus (185),
  • TE Vernon Davis has now started 84 consecutive games, which ranks 3rd in the NFL among TEs behind Tony Gonzalez (96) and Jason Witten (92).
  • C Jonathan Goodwin has now started 63 consecutive games, the 5th most among centers.
  • K David Akers has now played in 114 consecutive NFL games, the 3rd most in the NFL among kickers.
  • P Andy Lee has played in 137 consecutive NFL games, 3rd most among NFL punters.

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference - November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

Have you ever experienced a tie like this? How does it feel?

"Well, first of all, it was a good football game. And both teams had their opportunities and thought both teams battled. Our team had some things go against us and then battled back, and had opportunities. So, I think that's what I make of it. It was a good football game."

Is that the first time you've ever experienced a tie in your career?

"From what I can remember. There might have been another one."

Do you think that you didn't beat the Rams because QB Alex Smith had to go out?

"No. I wouldn't put it on any one thing. I know the effort was there. It was a good football game. We made plays. They made plays. And it equaled out in the end."

Do you know which play caused the concussion?

"From what I've been told by the doctors and the trainers it seems like it was the quarterback sneak."

That LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar hit on the far sideline? No, the fourth and one play, right?

"The sneak. The fourth-and-one sneak."

What was it that told you guys that he was dealing with a concussion?

"He said his vision was blurred before going back in on the series that we didn't put him in. So, said he had blurred vision. So called up [QB Colin Kaepernick] Kap. Got him warmed up and Alex went over and saw the doctors."

Is he day to day, or did he have X-rays?

"For a concussion? He has a concussion. That's been determined."

So, he's...

"Yeah, there'll be a protocol, a progression that he'll go through."

Kaepernick did a pretty damn good job, didn't you think all things considered?

"Yes. Yes. Think Kap did a very good job. Came in, good focus, good demeanor. Made plays and thought he handled himself, acquitted himself very well."

When you don't win does it feel like a loss?

"I don't know exactly how it feels yet. I've asked several people, some of our players. And I think they feel like I do. Don't know quite how to feel right now. But, the way I feel is that was a good football game. It was a hard-fought game, and came out even."

What did you tell the team?

"Well, we don't want to talk about what we tell the team. But, it was kind of similar to that."

You guys started off in a 14-0 hole. I guess the easy thing to say is you guys weren't ready to play. Was there anything to that, or what's your opinion on why you guys started slow?

"Don't know exactly."

That 80-yarder to WR Danny Amendola in overtime that was called back. What's your interpretation of that call and what did you hear? Because it was kind of hard to tell with the sound down in the press box. what was going on.

"It was an illegal procedure."

Illegal procedure?

"That's what I thought I saw again, it was loud as well. Thought maybe with the quarterback that the center got the ball up late. And they move it. That's not the official ruling. Just what I saw. But, I don't know."

Talk about the two fourth-down passes by the Rams on the punt situations. How do you feel like your special teams did on those?

"Well, the first one we were trying to block the punt before the half. We sent our corner, to add an extra man into the punt block. And that's something that you know that a team can do. They can throw a pass when they see that. And that takes a lot of gumption to do it and they did it, backed up as far as they were. And they executed it very well. The second one, again, was well-executed on their part. Tough break for us to get that done on us. But, tip your hat to them."

Ever seen a fake punt from, I mean a punter to throwing from the end zone?

"That's what I'm saying. That punter was a quarterback at Oregon State. We're well aware of the fact that he could throw the ball pretty darn good. He ran the scout team at Oregon State. It was good execution on their part."

At the end of regulation, what was the thought process on whether to try to take the shot at the end zone and what point to settle for the field goal?

"In the end of regulation?"

Yeah.

"In overtime?"

End of regulation. Last play you ran from the scrimmage?

"OK. Yeah, we decided to take the shot for the touchdown. It was incomplete. You talking about the pass to [WR] Kyle [Williams]? Yeah, the thought was to try to take a shot at the end zone there. Yeah."

And with that throw incomplete, it wasn't.

"Well, he ended up throwing it to Kyle. Now, it might have been just a tad outside of - if Kyle would have caught that pass, it might have been a catch and tackle. So, it was an incompleted pass. We tried to get the touchdown. Didn't get it."

Did you feel there wasn't enough time on the clock to try for another shot at the end zone? There was eight seconds (actually 5 seconds remaining). I believe it was second down.

"No, not at that point we decided to kick the field goal. We didn't have any timeouts."

With a four-hour game, have you ever played in a game or coached a game that's ended like this before?

"Played in some overtime games, yeah."

How much extra coaching did you have to do to with Kaepernick during the timeouts? Was he pretty solid?

"He was pretty solid, yeah. We felt that just that everything that was in the game plan he was good with, comfortable with and could execute. And he did a very good job. There was no sense of uptightness, or tenseness. He was very good."

QB Colin Kaepernick
Post-Game Quotes-November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

Was this the first time you have ever experienced a tie? How did it feel?

"Yeah, it was the first time. Not very good."

Despite the outcome, how did you do today?

"I thought I did pretty well. Obviously, there is a lot of room for improvement and a lot of things I would like to do differently. I just went out there and tried to do what I could do to help this team."

When did you realize that you were going to go out there and play?

"When we were standing on the sideline, before I went in. They told me that Alex [Smith] wasn't going to go in and I was up."

They didn't tell you when he went to the bench?

"No."

It seemed that it took you awhile to get into the flow of the game and it wasn't until the 4th quarter hit that it started working for you.

"It did take me awhile to get into the flow of the game. I mean from there, I felt comfortable with everything that we were doing."

In that last pass to WR Kyle Williams during regulation, was he just not paying attention?

"We were trying to get a quick pass to him to see if he could get into the end zone. If he couldn't we had to get our balance. It was kind of a him or nothing throw because we didn't want to get tackled inbounds and have the clock run out."

Was that purposely incomplete?

"I was just getting it out of my hands because of the look I had."

At what point did it dawn on you guys that a tie was possible in overtime?

"I think when our defense went back out there with a minute something left. We realized that was a possibility."

You can always make things happen with those legs. Were those runs by design or were you just freelancing because it looked like your receivers were pretty well covered?

"A couple of the runs were by design, a couple were scrambles. I mean, our offensively line did a great job protecting and opened up running lanes and some of the passing lanes. So, I just tried to take advantage of that."

Did you talk to Alex [Smith], how does he seem?

"Yeah, he seems alright. Obviously a little shaken up, but he seems okay."

What did you learn today?

"Just have to compete and got to be better."

When you take over with a minute left, down by 3, what's the mindset when you know a field goal will take you to overtime but you want to score a touchdown. How do you balance that?

"That's exactly what you want to do, you want to take your chances but you want to be smart about it. Obviously, you don't want to turn the ball over or anything like that. You have to make your plays down field to get into the field goal range."

You scrambled a couple times and took some hits. Are you aware that there is no backup for you?

"Yeah, but I've never been one to play with a conscious like that. I'm going out there to try and make a play and try to win a game."

Since nobody knows with a concussion, how long Alex Smith will be out, are you comfortable taking the team into Monday Night Football?

"Very comfortable."

Can you share with us the secret of who would have been your backup, had you been injured?

"I'm not sure who that would have been."

End of regulation pass to Kyle Williams, was he your number one read?

"That was an all or nothing play, we got a bad look so it was kind of a throw it away."

Have you ever been told that you had to go in there to backup somebody?

"Yeah, that's how I got my starting job in college."

Did this remind you of a crazy game in college?

"A little bit, in the way it ended. Obviously, you don't want a game to end in a tie. I've never been a part of one. It's a different feeling."

What was your best throw or decision today?

"I would say either my outside throw to [WR Michael] Crabtree or the one over the middle to [TE] Vernon [Davis]. I thought I stayed in the pocket pretty well. I took a hit and we got a completion."

Do you recall how you got that quarterback position in Nevada?

"Our quarterback had an ankle injury."

LB Ahmad Brooks
Post-Game Quotes - November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

On tipping a Rams pass late in the game:

"I could have ended the game right there, but I didn't grab onto the ball, dropped it."

Just came out too quick?

"I mean yeah. Sometimes you don't really expect to get those plays at certain moments. It hit my glove, hit my hand, I should have just palmed onto it, but, I just batted it down a little bit."

How does this feel, is this your first tie in the NFL?

"Yeah."

Does it just feel weird?

"It feels weird."

You guys didn't win or lose.

"It actually feels like a loss, to tell you the truth. That's just how it feels, doesn't feel like we won the game, but you know we didn't lose. It doesn't go in the record as a loss but it feels like a loss, because we know we should have won the game. We started off slow. I think they were ready to play. You can never underestimate a team or overestimate a team, both. They came out ready to play."

CB Tarell Brown
Post-Game Quotes - November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

Have you ever been part of a tie in any sport?

"No, never."

Does it kind of feel like a loss?

"It just feels like it's unfinished business. At the end of the day I think both teams wanted to go out one more time and just try to see who could win the game. We couldn't today, couldn't get over the top."

How much confidence did you guys have in QB Colin Kaepernick when he went in there for QB Alex Smith?

"Did a great job. Young guy coming in making plays, didn't expect to play but he prepares hard every day during the week and does an amazing job. He did a great job out there today."

Is it strange to play for four hours and five quarters and walk off the field in a game you didn't win?

"Yeah definitely. The type of character this team has, we definitely wanted to go out there for one more opportunity and I bet they had the same mindset as well."

Any explanation for the slow start? You guys were down 14-0 in a hurry.

"Sometimes it's like that. Sometimes teams come and jump ahead, a lot of teams are out to get us right now. We can't have starts like that, especially if we want to be in the top of the division. We understand that, we slipped out of one today, did a good job of coming back and fighting against adversity but we know we can't play like that again."

TE Vernon Davis
Post-Game Quotes - November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

QB Colin Kaepernick started slow coming off the bench but really got it rolling. What was it like for him, for you guys in the huddle? How do you think he fared?

"I think he did a great job. He's talented, so talented. He wants to do well. He wants to make plays and help this team. So, I would give him a B+ for going out there and taking care of everything that the coaches gave him. They put some things on his plate that he was able to handle."

The first and third quarter, you all looked kind of flat. What did head coach Jim Harbaugh say to get you to respond better to that?

"Just talking to us. The guys, they knew what we had to do. We're on a mission. We have goals that we want to achieve. So we know what it takes to get there. We have to win. We have to play hard. We can't play catch-up, meaning we can't be down 14 points and try to catch up because in this league sometimes it doesn't work.

What does a game like this do for you going into a game Monday night against the Chicago Bears?

"It prepared us. Chicago's a good team. They have a lot of talent. I know that we'll be ready."

C Jonathan Goodwin
Post-Game Quotes - November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

On whether playing this game after a bye week affected the team:

"It doesn't, because I think we had the same exact schedule last year after the bye. So, they played better than us in the first quarter. I don't think it had anything to do with the bye. I'm pretty sure we had the same amount of days off last year and the same schedule, so I don't think it had anything to do with the bye. Hats off to them, the way they started the game. Fortunately, we were able to catch up and at least tie it up."

QB Colin Kaepernick came in and seemed to be real cool, calm. Was that sort of the same guy you've seen in practice?

"Yeah, he's always been a confident guy. A guy I'm sure is itching to play. He came in with us being behind and was able to get us at least to a tie game, so hats off to him. We still didn't accomplish what we wanted to do. It's a weird feeling. But right now all we can do is move on to next week."

Is the mood in here that you guys lost? It seems like it's sort of somber.

"At the end of the day, you always want to win the game and we didn't win the game. That was the goal. At this point we just have to come in and see what went wrong starting the game off and fix it and we've got a tough one coming off next week, so the goal is to move on to next week and figure out why we didn't win this one."

S Darcel McBath
Post-Game Quotes - November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

Were you guys aware that that was a possibility, given the punters background as a quarterback?

"Yeah, [assistant head] coach [special teams coordinator Brad] Seely did a great job of getting us ready, letting us know that he used to be a backup quarterback. So we knew all those things, I guess it was just a mental error on the part of somebody out there, on all of us, not recognizing the situation."

Was it a surprise that they would do it where they did it? They were in the end zone when they threw that first one, teams rarely run a fake that deep.

"Yeah, it was a surprise. They did gutsy things to try to win the game, so hats off to them. We will be more prepared next time."

S Donte Whitner
Post-Game Quotes - November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

Can I get your quick thoughts on tying this game with the Rams?

"It feels weird, never been involved in a tie. We're about wins around here, so we are not going to take any satisfaction in this football game. We're going to take a couple days off, rest up, heal up and get ready for the Chicago Bears."

Tell me about QB Colin Kaepernick, how you felt he did coming off the bench?

"I feel like he did a pretty good job. Came in, second team guy, led us to some touchdowns, used his legs, did everything we asked him to do and he did a great job. We had an opportunity to win that football game out there. We didn't play our best. They came and brought it today and we leave here in a tie. So we're not going to take any satisfaction. We're going to get back to work and we have to come get a win next week."

WR Danny Amendola had a huge day for them, talk to us about what it was like covering him out there today. He's a guy with great footwork, great quickness, great hands.

"Very quick guy, one of the quickest in the National Football League. He made a couple of plays, so hat goes off to him. It's tough to cover him, it's tough to take him out of the game plan. He's going to get his yards, but we just have to finish that football game and come out with a win."

LB Patrick Willis
Post-Game Quotes - November 11, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

You played five quarters, you played four hours and to walk off without a win or loss, is that a strange feeling for you?

"Yeah, it is. It's the first time I have ever been a part of a tie. I guess the good you can take from it is it's not a loss, but it's not a win. Today, it was a crazy game. Obviously, coming off a bye week we were still a little rusty out there, but give credit to St. Louis. They came out and jumped on us fast 14-0 like in a blink of an eye. We dug ourselves a hole. "

What were you thinking in overtime with all those strange things happening? The penalties, the missed field goals, what was going through your mind watching that unfold?

"It's just one of those things where they start out, it's 14-0 before you know it and you are like, ‘Woah wait a minute, this is not right.' Then you go out there and buckle down. Just the way the game was going back and forth and then you go into overtime and today was just one of those games. Today was probably the first time I've been a part of something of this magnitude in the regular season."

LB Patrick Willis, that team was the first team this season to put up 14 points in the first quarter against this defense. What were they doing so well that this defense was having a difficult time stopping?

"They were running a run play against us that we say they scheme against us, it kind of works against the 3-4. It was working today in the first quarter and then we found a way to fix it and that's what we do best. Before you know it they kind of got on us and it was 14-0, but we kept on staying together and not getting frustrated. One of the things I love most about our defense and our defensive coaches is that throughout the game we constantly are always trying to find a way to improve and find out what's hurting us when things are hitting us. Even when things are going well we are trying to figure out what they are trying to do to us."

You looked like you had a big stop in the third quarter and then they ran that fake punt to keep the drive going. What's it like when you come off the field and then you see that fake punt and have to go back out there again?

"It's tough. Anytime you think you are getting off the field on a third down, you are thinking you are going to go over there, look at the plays they just ran, get some Gatorade and get off your feet. Next thing you know you have that sudden change and have to go right back out there on defense again. It's tough, but for us you always have to be ready for anything and today they got us with it a couple of times."

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