The San Francisco 49ers improved to 4-2 on Monday with a 31-17 win over the St. Louis Rams. It wasn't pretty for extended stretches, but the 49ers took care of their business. The 49ers got off to a slow start, but finished strong with a big defensive effort in the second half, and a huge game for Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers quarterback finished with 343 yards and three touchdowns, as well as 37 rushing yards. The 343 yards marked the second highest passing total of his career.
The Rams looked like the better team throughout most of the first half, but all that changed on a dime. Trailing 14-3 with 30 seconds left in the second quarter, Kaepernick connected with Brandon Lloyd on an 80-yard catch and run for a touchdown. Lloyd put a double move on Janoris Jenkins and was wide open behind the Rams defense. Kap dropped the ball in perfectly and Lloyd carried it in stride for a touchdown.
The 49ers put together a run of 24 straight points to take a 24-14 lead into the fourth quarter. The 49ers had some opportunities to put the game away, but the Rams hung around. The Rams cut the lead to 24-17 on a field goal with 2:24 to go, but could not recover an onside kick. They eventually got the ball back with a minute remaining, but Dontae Johnson sealed the game with a pick six of Austin Davis.
The big story of the game, well, aside from the win, was injuries. The 49ers lost several players to a variety of injuries. Patrick Willis hurt his toe late in the second quarter and was out the rest of the game in an orthopedic boot. Jimmie Ward suffered a quad injury early in the third quarter, and that was followed by Mike Iupati suffering a concussion. Neither player returned. Finally, Stevie Johnson suffered an injury on the Rams onside kick. He got off the field under his own power, but with a limp, as it appears he took a knee to the hip.
The 49ers now have a short week (well, one day shorter) before heading to face the Denver Broncos. The injuries will be the big story this week, so we'll keep you updated as we learn more.