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NFL Scores: Penalties Take Away, Giveth San Francisco 49ers 20-17 Lead

For a while it looked like a penalty would give the San Francisco 49ers the lead, and for a while after it looked like penalties would cost them the game. After a senseless face-masking penalty from the St. Louis Rams brought the 49ers an additional 15 yards, an offensive holding penalty led the 49ers to their second called-back touchdown pass of the afternoon. The 49ers were left at 4th-and-18 late in the drive.

But Troy Smith regrouped and threw another touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree, and this one counted. Smith is now 17-for-28 with 356 yards and one touchdown, an astounding performance from a guy who was, up to this moment, the second-best quarterback named Smith on the 2-6 49ers’ roster.

The St. Louis Rams find themselves with two minutes left to score and remain in first place—the Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, lead the Arizona Cardinals 29-18 with five minutes left in their own fourth quarter. Sam Bradford is 23-for-33 with 193 yards and a touchdown at the two-minute warning.