San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams 9/26/13 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: San Francisco 49ers 35, St. Louis Rams 11
September 26, 2013
The NFL’s Week 4 kicked off last night with a make-or-break divisional battle that was as close to a must-win game as you can get this early in the season. The defending NFC champ 49ers were coming into St. Louis to face the Rams, a team that had put them in their place in their two meetings last season. To make matters more urgent, both teams were coming off embarrassing blowout losses in Week 3.
Let’s take a closer look inside the numbers so we can see exactly how this one played out. We’ll also glance forward to Week 5 and see what each team’s immediate future has in store.
What Happened: The 49ers needed an electric performance on both sides of the ball in order to temporarily silence the doubters, and that’s exactly what they got in this one. Things started off slowly on offense, with just 25 total yards in the first quarter, but San Francisco eventually found their stride. The Rams struck first, notching a field goal for the first points of the game, but the Niners would do the vast majority of the damage from there on out, controlling the matchup for an eventual 35-11 victory. That brings San Francisco back to .500 at 2-2 on the year, while St. Louis falls to 1-3.
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The Stars: San Francisco’s injured defense should get all the credit for this one. They were down a few key players but still managed to step up with five sacks, a fumble recovery and a pick. The rush defense in particular was working in this one, holding the Rams to just 18 total yards on the ground.
On the offensive side, the 49ers can be proud of Frank Gore, who tallied 153 rush yards and a TD on 20 carries. New arrival Anquan Boldin was the big contributor through the air with five receptions for 90 yards and a score.
The Rams don’t really have anyone on their roster who can claim he had a good game, except for maybe kicker Greg Zuerlein, who remained perfect on the year with a 40-yarder in the first quarter.
The Goats: The flip-side of all the 49ers’ success showcases St. Louis’ failures. The Rams offense could muster just 188 net yards and tallied an ugly 17 percent (3-for-17) third-down efficiency. The aforementioned rush game (or lack thereof) was spearheaded by Daryl Richardson, who posted just 16 yards on 12 carries. Still, with the team playing from behind for most of the game, we can hardly blame them for abandoning the futile rush attack.
Rams QB Sam Bradford couldn’t get the passing game going, either, as he posted his worst stats of the young year in this one. He went just 19-for-41 for a paltry 202 yards, one late TD and one interception.
Injuries: St. Louis lost a couple of key defensive guys in this one, which adds injury to insult. Cortland Finnegan (thigh) and T.J. McDonald (knee) both left the game, with McDonald’s injury looking particularly serious.
For the Niners, they were already spread pretty thin, but avoided getting any worse. CB Nnamdi Asomugha and Patrick Willis both missed out on the game, but will have an extended period to recover before Week 5.
Outlook: Speaking of Week 5, let’s take a look at both teams’ upcoming opponents. The Rams will try to get their flailing season back on track against the equally flailing Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile, the 49ers will try to build on their momentum against the Houston Texans, which looks like it’ll be a more fitting test of their team’s current state.
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