The St. Louis Rams flew across the country and played 1.25 games, and all they got was a lousy tie. Here's where we try to go 1000 words without using the phrase "kissing your sister."
So that happened. The St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers played to a 24-24 draw, opening up the dreaded third column in the record. You might hate ties, but newspaper editors, website coders and TV graphic artists DESPISE the tie. Plus, now we have to hear Chris Berman read like 400 disclaimers before all NFC playoff scenarios.
Trust me... this tie wasn't good for anyone.
The positive tie-ist is pumped.
The Rams went on the road, faced one of the NFL's elite defenses, and hung 24. Only the third time in 2012 they've been able to get 3 TDs in a game.
Steven Jackson finally had a Steven Jackson day. Almost 30 carries, 100+ yards, 25+ receiving yards, and a TD. The offensive line welcomed back LT Roger Saffold to boot.
For five quarters, the Rams slugged with a heavyweight and didn't cede an inch. A big part of growing as a team is learning how to win on the road. This is technically not a win or a loss, but it showed spine in the enemies' house.
The Rams beat the 49ers in 1st downs (27 - 25), yards per play (5.7 - 5.3) and total yards (458 - 341). And did it with their best WR and most talented CB sitting out for violating team rules.
The negative tie-ist, however is nonplussed.
Danny Amendola had about 150 yards called back on penalties by himself, including a back breaking 80 yard bomb for an illegal formation. 13 flags on the day, once again, sunk a winning effort.
The 49ers aren't exactly the '99 Rams, but take Alex Smith out of the equation and you've got yourself a real, live average offense led by Colin Kaepernick. Read that name again. Colin. You think there can be an NFL star named Colin? Smith was taken out of the game in the first half with a concussion. The backup was able to ring up 17 points.
Is there a bigger punch in the gut than seeing a 53 yard game-ending bomb sail through the uprights, only to have it called back? Please tell me, if there is.
It's just going to be up to you to decide how to parse this one out.
If you're having a shitty Monday, than you're probably more inclined to believe the Rams pissed a win away. If you're off for Veteran's Day, then it's probably a game that was entertaining and not a loss.... so you're not busted up over it at all.
Honestly, a great case could be made either way.
I'm going to reluctantly put myself in the 'this was good' camp, based only on the opponent. The 49ers are going to the playoffs and, if healthy, could come out of the NFC to represent it in the Super Bowl. They were coming off a bye (as the Rams were) and had time to exploit the Rams' weaknesses, but couldn't. If this exact game had been on the road, or against Arizona... then it'd be as good as a loss.
Rams can build on this, though.
Side: the all-time series is now 61-61-3 between the 49ers and Rams.
We can't just let Bradford off the hook totally, though.
And let me preface this by saying this is petty. But back in the day when Marc Bulger was the starting QB, November '09 to be exact, there was a play where Marc Bulger needed 6 yards for a first down. The pocket opened up he ran for 5 yards.
No first down. Took a couple seconds to get touched. I knew at that moment that Bulger was done as the Rams QB.
Because the other players were going to watch that play in film on Monday and see what we saw - a guy that didn't have that burning desire to win. Marc liked to win. I'm sure he wanted to win. But he didn't NEED to win.
On the last drive of the game, the Rams were 1st & 10 on their own 38 yard line. Roughly 20 yards or so from a legit shot for a game-winning field goal. Bradford dropped back to pass and Aldon Smith was free on a jailbreak rush. Bradford went down unprompted, and Smith touched Bradford for the sack.
I can't say that Bradford wouldn't have not got mauled had he tried to make a move on Smith. Nor can I say that he had the opportunity to make a great play. But that play in particular kind of rubbed me the wrong way. It seemed like something Marc Bulger would do.
Again, maybe this is an overly dramatic reaction to what was horrible blocking by the o-line. I just can't square the play with the burning desire to win that say a Ben Roethlisberger might have on that exact play.
NFL players are really bad about needing routines. They do everything on schedule. All week. Every week. Including having emotions, positive or negative, after a game. So I bet that was a confusing flight home. It's something they're not used to.
Well played, Rui.
I think that you're wrong here, sir. The finale was disappointing to some, I'll grant you that. But on a whole, I think that this was a good show.
True story, I bought a box of Capri Suns the other week. Just the perfect amount of juice-like substance in each pouch. Plus they made the straw poking area much easier to penetrate.
St. Louis... you ready to be in the middle of a genuine media circus? I think it might be coming to town this weekend.
Real Meter: (Where we project the Rams win total for the year): 5-10-1