There’s three things that are true about tie games: they’re like kissing your sister, Donovan McNabb is forever linked with them and this Sunday’s Rams-49ers contest ended in one. After 75 hard fought minutes, neither the Rams nor the 49ers could rely on their kicker to win the game for them. Both Greg Zuerlein and David Akers missed big spot kicks in the bonus period and the NFC West may now come down to a game that ended in a tie.
The game personified eventful and nail bitting. Alex Smith suffered a concussion early on in the first quarter, but stayed in long enough to throw a 14-yard touchdown to Michael Crabtree. However, at that point the 49ers were already down by two scores and the touchdown cut the lead in half, but didn’t tie the game.
After Smith left with a concussion, Colin Kaepernick came in and actually did more than just a good job. His relief apperance will forever be linked to the outcome of the game, which some may use to knock him, but when he came in the game things only got worse for the 49ers and it was Kaepernick and his performance that allowed San Francisco to only count this as a half-loss.
He wasn’t outstanding, but he was efficient and that’s all the 49ers needed to avoid the loss. Frank Gore, on the other hand, went bananas yet again rushing for nearly 100 yard, but despite how good the 49ers ended up looking on paper, the Rams looked even better — and in all honesty they should have won the game.
But instead of Sam Bradford becoming the talk of the NFL after an incredible game against the 49ers in which he didn’t turn the ball over once, penalties ended up doing the Rams in.
After David Akers missed an easy field goal wide left, the Rams were set up beautifully to win the game. But instead of having the game end on a 53-yard field goal by Legatron, the Rams were called for delay of game and were pushed back five yards. For the record, Zuerlein made the kick with plenty of distance and leg, but he wasn’t able to make it from 58-yards moments later.
Worse yet, the Rams started off the overtime period with an 80-yard pass and catch by Danny Amendola which was called back for an illegal shift. The pre-snap penalties killed St. Louis and ultimately became the reason they didn’t win an game they should have by every means.
Instead we have out first tie-game since Donovan McNabb forgot the rules back in 2008 when the Eagles tied 13-13 with the Cincinnati Bengals. But this is more significant as it’s a divisional game and the Rams season could end up coming down to a game they should have won but ended up tying.