Although the San Francisco 49ers were the team billing their week 13 clash as the ‘do-over’ game, the St. Louis Rams also wanted a redo of a game that they feel should have been in the win column for their squad. The second installment of this divisional battle looked eerily similar to the first, but this time around, there was a winner.
Aside from the Rams amazing throwback uniforms to 1999, the football out on the field was bit more difficult to look at for much of this game. The San Francisco defense lived in the Rams backfield for the majority of contest, forcing the team to abort the rushing attack for the most part and utilize the short passing game as an extension of that to get the ball into Steven Jackson’s hands. Getting him away from the big interior line of the Niners was very successful and he finished with five catches for 69 yards.
Obviously the biggest storyline from this game is the fact that it again required overtime to settle things. At least this time a winner was actually determined and against all odds, the Rams somehow pulled out the win.
Perhaps the biggest performances on the day came from the special teams rookies in punter Johnny Hekker and kicker Greg Zuerlein. Hekker pinned the 49ers deep time after time shifting the field position battle in favor of the Rams. Zuerlein nailed a 53-yard field goal to send the game into overtime before drilling a 54-yard kick in the overtime period to pull out the win.
On defense, the Rams did very well for the most part to confuse and befuddle the Niners’ young signal caller Colin Kaepernick. His mistake on the pitch play that resulted in a fumble recovered by Janoris Jenkins in the end zone is what really shifted this game in the Rams’ favor.
There are so many stories coming out of this game for the Rams, but without question the biggest one is the issue of redemption. The team felt like they should have one the previous showdown with San Francisco that ended in a tie, but on a missed field they did not. Now in the rematch, it was only fitting that Zuerlein got his payback as well by making the kick to get the victory for St. Louis.
This game was a battle of will for a young Rams squad and head coach Jeff Fisher has to be excited by the fight that this club showed down the stretch. Now at 5-6-1, the Rams have to be considered a possibility as a playoff contender. The idea of them actually making the postseason is about as likely as them winning this rematch with the 49ers: oh, wait…
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