November 11, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers fan Susan McClanahan during the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers tied the St. Louis Rams 24-24. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

St. Louis Rams Miss Opportunity For Upset In 24-24 Tie With San Francisco 49ers

Lets imagine that you did not actually watch the game… Listen to these stat lines and try to predict the outcome: 1) Sam Bradford goes 26 for 39 passing for 275 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, 2) Steven Jackson rushes 29 times for 101 yards and a touchdown, and 3) Danny Amendola has 11 receptions for 102 yards. Moreover the Rams will give up only 2 sacks, and convert on 7 out of 16 third down tries.

The St. Louis Rams clearly outplayed the San Francisco in nearly every aspect of the game. Sam Bradford played lights out, which will likely be overshadowed by the exiting of Alex Smith and the legs of Colin Kaepernick. Alex Smith left early after taking a massive hit from Jo-Lonn Dunbar before the quarterback could make his way to the ground for a slide. The St. Louis Rams took full advantage of the injury, moving their lead to 14-7 at halftime. Kaepernick, after looking out of place in the first half, came out gunning in the second, or should I say… running. The 49ers back up pushed his team within 3 points halfway through the 4th quarter with an outstanding run around the end of the line. The benching of Chris Givens finally reared its ugly head, with his replacement, Isaiah Pead, fumble the following kickoff deep in St. Louis territory. The next play saw Frank Gore dashed through the line, giving the 49ers a 21-17 lead, their first of the night. Bradford orchestrated an amazing drive to put the Rams ahead in the waning minutes of the 4th, but David Akers would ruin that fun with a clutch field goal as time ticked twoards zero. Then the real fun began…

The St. Louis Rams started with the ball in overtime, and came out blazing on the first snap of the first possession. Sam Bradford connected with Danny Amendola on an out-and-up, scortching the defense for an 80-yard catch and run, which set the Rams up in perfect position to put points on the board. However, a late flag crept into the game, which was later confirmed by Mike Pereira to be an “illegal formation” penalty on St. Louis. Brandon Gibson had not checked with the side judge to ensure that he was on the line of scrimmage, failing to cover up the left tackle, and, thus, drawing the flag since Saffold had not reported as an “eligble receiver.” The 49ers would get their shot at the game, marching down the field before David Akers shanked a field goal attempt wide left that would have won the game. The Rams got their second chance, driving into San Francisco territory, well within the range of Greg Zuerlein. With time ticking down, the Rams snapped the ball and Zuerlein punched the ball through the upright for a 53-yard game winning field goal… Alas, time had ticked a little too far, resulting in a “delay of game” penalty. Zuerlein’s next 58 yard attempt sailed wide right. Each team would get another shot with the ball, but neither would come to fruition…

The St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers ended the game in an extremely disappointing tie, the first since 2008 when the Philadelphia Eagles played the Cincinnati Bengals. It was an anti-climactic ending to a hard-fought game from both teams. Some will question the clock operator, some will question with referrees, some will question the clock management by the Rams coaching staff in overtime, some will question the decision to bench Chris Givens and Janoris Jenkins. However, that is another article for another day… GO RAMS

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