Rams edge 49ers 16-13 in overtime
ST. LOUIS (AP) Knees bent and arms moving in rhythm, defensive end Chris Long shimmied around the St. Louis Rams locker room, imitating John Travolta's dance moves from "Pulp Fiction" as owner Stan Kroenke made the rounds shaking hands.
After 10 hard quarters proving Jeff Fisher's rebuilding project belonged against the class of the NFC West, and more, heck, they deserved a little celebration.
"It's gratifying," Long said after Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in overtime to give the Rams a 16-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, avoiding a second tie in three weeks between the teams. "I feel for everybody who's come here and really put in the work and bought into what coach Fisher's doing."
The rookie's winning kick on fourth and inches from the 36 came after he sent the game into overtime with a 53-yard field goal as time expired in regulation. The kick was right down the middle with plenty of distance to spare.
"I was just trying to make the kick and not think about anything," Zuerlein said. "I was pretty relieved, you know."
The Rams (5-6-1) scored twice in the final 3:04 of regulation, getting their lone touchdown when rookie Janoris Jenkins returned an errant pitchout by Colin Kaepernick 2 yards for his third defensive score in two weeks. They've won two straight after an 0-4-1 skid.
Kaepernick also gave up a safety in the third quarter that cut the 49ers' lead to 10-2 when he was penalized for intentional grounding passing out of the end zone while under duress. Referee Carl Cheffers said it was intentional grounding because the pass did not cross the line of scrimmage.
"Our defense played a great game," said Kaepernick after his third start since replacing Alex Smith. "I gave up those points that were on the scoreboard for the Rams so that's 100 percent my fault."
The 49ers (8-3-1) failed to take advantage of a 14-yard punt by rookie Johnny Hekker to midfield when David Akers was barely wide right on a 51-yard attempt with 4:11 to go in overtime. Akers is just 7 for 15 from 40 yards and beyond.
"I probably missed it by 3-4 inches to the right," Akers said. "I just feel horrible for letting my teammates, the organization and the fans down."
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh had only compliments for Kaepernick and blamed the coaching staff for calling the botched pitchout, and indicated Kaepernick would get his fourth straight next week at home against Miami.
"I'll let you know if there's a change, but right now I think it'll be the same as it was this week," Harbaugh said. "I'm proud of Kap, proud of the way he played."
Zuerlein is 7 for 11 from the 50 and beyond. Before the 53-yarder at the end of regulation, he had missed four of his previous seven attempts including a 58-yarder near the end of the half.
The last time teams tied twice in a season was in 1963, in games between the Eagles and Steelers. The last time teams had two ties in a season was in 1973 when it happened to four teams.
The first 49ers-Rams meeting this season was the NFL's first tie in four seasons, and was a lot more wide open with both teams missing chances to end it in overtime. Fisher bristled during the practice week that the tie was a wakeup call for the 49ers.
"I think the perception was well, we might have caught them on a bad day," Fisher said. "It's a good feeling in the locker room."
Most of the game was a defensive struggle, nothing like the 24-all tie in San Francisco. Michel Crabtree was a rare offensive standout with seven catches for 101 yards, while rookie Chris Givens had 11 receptions for 92 yards for St. Louis.
Neither team had any success running the ball. The 49ers' Frank Gore was held to 58 yards on 23 carries for a 2.5-yard average with a 1-yard scoring run in the first quarter and the Rams' Steven Jackson had 48 yards on 21 carries for a 2.3-yard average against the No. 2 rush defense.
"I'll tell you, they put their whole team in the box," Gore said.
Akers' 33-yard field goal put the 49ers ahead with 1:38 remaining, a score set up by Kaepernick's 50-yard carry on a rollout. It left just enough time for Sam Bradford to guide the Rams 45 yards in seven plays.
The Rams were suddenly in the game when Kaepernick was well off the mark on a pitch to Ted Ginn Jr. from the 17 and Jenkins fell on it at the 2 before flopping into the end zone. Kendricks beat coverage from Patrick Willis on a 2-point conversion catch that tied it at 10 as the Rams succeeded even after a false start penalty on tackle Rodger Saffold.
Both teams kept it close to the vest in the first half with the 49ers ahead 7-0 after outgaining the Rams 113-85 and putting together one nice drive capped by Gore's 1 yard scoring run late in the first quarter.
Zuerlein had the distance on a 58-yard attempt with 25 seconds to go in the first half, but was well wide to the right.
The Rams wore retro jerseys from their 1999 championship season, featuring yellow numbers and striping, and marked the franchise's 75th anniversary. Several former players were introduced at halftime with fan favorites who played in St. Louis such as Isaac Bruce and Todd Lyght getting the strongest ovations.
NOTES: 49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham (shoulder) did not return after getting hurt in the fourth quarter. Harbaugh said the team "won't know right away" about the severity of the injury. ... Aldon Smith's sack late in the first half gave him an NFL-best 31 1/2 his first two seasons, a half-sack better than Reggie White in 1985-96. ... The Rams sacked Kaepernick twice at the end of the half, including Bill Hayes' second of the game. ...
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Updated December 2, 2012
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Joe Castiglione talked with John Lackey after he picked up the W against the Twins. Lackey threw seven innings, and retired the 1st twelve batters of the game.
Dave O'Brien talked to John Farrell before the end of the Twins series. The Sox skipper said that Big Papi's success is no surprise given his work ethic.
John Farrell postgame press conference
Dale and DJ roll on with their puck talk and chat some more about the goalie matchup in this series, as well as the lack of a quality power play for both of these teams. In fact, DJ says the Rangers are even worse on the PP than the B’s! The guys also get into the resurgence of Milan Lucic and his deceptive speed and grit. Dale and DJ talk about the similar styles of play for these teams and look forward to Game 2.
Dale and DJ get into the two coaches and their polar opposite styles and demeanor. Both teams play a similar style, but the coaches certainly convey their messages in a different way. Dale isn't buying the Tortorella hype and thinks he's a little overrated. DJ thinks he's a good coach, but isn't a fan of anti-media stance. The guys also talk about Jagr and how he has not lived up to the hype. They weren't expecting him to light it up or be the savior, but DJ says he wasn't prepared for just how slow the aging veteran is. Another big topic for B's fans this season is the play of Tyler Seguin and why he has yet to become the superstar everyone anticipates he will be. This leads to Claude Julien's style and if he does actually have something against the younger players. That Iginla trade shows its ugly head again as well.
WEEI.com's DJ Bean joins Dale in studio for Sports Sunday to discuss the Bruins playoff run. Game 2 is later today and the guys discuss the results of the first game of the series. They get into the construction of the lines for the B's and if they would make any changes. DJ has a few ideas for the lines today. The boys also discuss the two goalies - Tuukka vs Henrik Lundqvist and wonder why people automatically think the Rangers have the edge at goalie. Finally, they get into the legacy and the decisions of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
Jeff Bauman, a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, joined the show to give the guys an update of his condition and a first-hand account of that terrible day. Jeff told the guys how he wrote the description of the bomber as soon as he could. Mr. Bauman added that he is aided every day with the knowledge that he is alive and the terrorist that detonated the bomb is dead.More from this show
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.More from this show
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.More from this show