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49ers vs. Rams score update: Frank Gore touchdown follows brutal Isaiah Pead fumble

The St. Louis Rams lost the ball—and the lead—late in the fourth quarter when Isaiah Pead fumbled a kick return late. Frank Gore scored soon after to make it 21-17.

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

The 20-yard touchdown run from Frank Gore seemed almost inevitable, for the San Francisco 49ers, after the St. Louis Rams' beleaguered rookie Isaiah Pead fumbled a kick return shortly after the Niners put the score within three. It was inevitable, as it turned out—Gore ran in on the Niners' first play from scrimmage, and all of a sudden the Rams, who'd led all game after two first-quarter touchdowns, were down by a fourth quarter score of 21-17.

It's not over, but if the Rams don't do a better job of containing Frank Gore it will be. After the touchdown he has 15 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown to go with three receptions for 18 yards. Their chances also depend on Sam Bradford's ability to recover from a moribund second half after getting off to a hot start with Danny Amendola and rookie Brian Quick.

There's still plenty of football left, but right now the Rams look unable to contain the 49ers' offense—even with Alex Smith out of the game. Bradford will need to find a way to match them big play for big play, especially as the 49ers close in on the Rams' running game.