It took almost 150 minutes, but the Rams and 49ers finally came to a conclusion. And the Good Guys came out on top. Somewhere Ken Norton Jr. is working an innocent goalpost for all the right reasons.
THIS was the first real football memory that I have. The Rams were new to St. Louis, but everyone informed me that I already had a duty—a sworn obligation, really. That if I stood by one thing in the NFL, it was that I hated the 49ers.
As they beat the snot out of the Rams twice a year, every year, it wasn't hard. Those bastards were the litmus test and the Rams never, ever measured up.
When the '99 Greatest Show on Turf ended a four year STL drought against SF with a win, I think that was the exact moment where all of us Rams fans stopped acting like we believed in Kurt Warner & Co., and started to ACTUALLY believe.
If they could beat the 49ers... this team was legit.
Turns out that the ascension of the Rams into Super Bowl contenders dovetailed with 49ers' slide into mediocrity. The Rams ended up joining them in the mid 00's and the juice doesn't get flowing as easy when both teams are 4-8.
And while the Rams are still a losing team according to their record, they're on the come. The 49ers are there now, with a young nucleus that is poised to make extended runs to the postseason over the next few years. For the first time in nearly a decade, the Rams and Niners are playing meaningful games against each other.
And, damn, did I forget just how great it is to beat those shit stains.
Down to the wire again?
Ties in the NFL just don't happen. And the Rams were a 50+ yard missed FG away from pretty much assuring that this was going to be the first time since the 60s that the same teams tied twice in the same season. Again, special teams—a shanked punt for the Rams, a missed David Akers FG for the 49ers—decided the fate of the game.
If the 49ers are actually the cream of the NFC crop, real Super Bowl contenders, then just why are the Rams sitting below .500?
Pissing away games against the Lions, Jets and Dolphins was painful at the time. But now? Now it's downright depressing to think about how much fun today would be if the Rams were playoff contenders. I want to be positive about this. I really do.
But the end-game of the win against SF is that the Rams get a worse draft pick. Sucks.
Samuel Bradford didn't play great. But he did do the things needed to win an NFL game. The drive in OT with two long scrambles was pristine, if also aided by a stupid personal foul 15 yard penalty by SF. And the two-point conversion in Q4 was clutch, since a false start by Rodger Saffold put the Rams almost eight yards out from the end zone.
Bradford has two of the five highest passing totals against the 49ers in 2013. And that's minus Amendola and with Steve Smith's corpse out beating balls into the turf with his "hands."
We've said it for weeks, but Bradford is paid to make the big plays in the big moments. And Sunday, while not jaw dropping, was effective. Something to build on. A start.
It wasn't all puppies and rainbows, though.
Jenoris Jenkins knows that when it's 3rd and 3, that playing 8 yards off the line of scrimmage isn't going to end well, right?
If that Colin Kaepernick lateral pass doesn't go astray, the Rams lose that game, right?
Brian Schottenheimer knew it was 3rd & 1 when he called a deep bomb down the sideline out of nowhere, right?
Getting it to the 50 and hoping that Legatron makes a FG isn't an offensive strategy that Jeff Fisher is counting on for the long term, right?
Chris Long is still on the Rams, right?
Let's not linger on the negative after such a massive win. But this game was teetering on a razor's edge for the bulk of four hours Sunday. There are issues to address. There's room to improve.
Good luck to the 49ers in the playoffs. Just remember one thing, though - The Rams still own your asses. See you in 2013.
Rapper E-40 has made many bad decisions since leaving The Click, so it's not surprising that he's out making bad football picks on Twitter.
Love Mike Brockers saying the rivalry is back. Love the talk that this could be a MNF or SNF game in 2013. Love that we already have something to look forward to next football season, no matter what happens the next several weeks.
Carl Cheffers sounds like the name of a bad ref. He did nothing to dispel this assumption on Sunday. Bitching about referees is about as entertaining as reading about as your fantasy team. Or your kids. So we'll leave it at read that Tweet again, research where Carl is going next week, go to Vegas... pay for the whole deal courtesy of Carl.
I thought about spinning this off into its own post when news broke earlier this week of Rams owner Stan Kroenke buying a huge ranch and 4,500 cows in Montana. Then I got sad thinking how we're probably going to look back on this in a couple years and realize that Mr. Kroenke was willing to spend $100+ million on cows, but because we the taxpayers won't buck up for a new stadium, he's taking his team to LA.
Damn straight, Rally Squirrel. Damn straight.
Real Meter: (Where we project the Rams win total for the year): 8