San Francisco 49ers 17
St. Louis Rams 16
For most of the games this year the 49ers played well for three quarters and failed to finish the game in the fourth quarter (See Eagles, Patriots, Giants and Dolphins games). Yesterday’s game against the Rams was the opposite of recent 49ers losing efforts. The 49ers led by Shaun Hill doing his best impression of former starter J.T. O’Sullivan were doomed to lose to a team much worst than them ended up pulling out the win in the fourth. Through the first three quarters Hill was 8 of 19 for 89 yards, three interceptions and no touchdowns. In the fourth quarter Hill shed the O’Sullivan impression and looked like a Pro Bowl QB going 10 of 15 for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Not to mention Hill lead the Niner’s in rushing with 45 yards. Not having Frank Gore hurt the offense. The 49ers D did not show up for the first three quarters as well but stopped the Rams three times from scoring in the fourth quarter and held them to three points in the second half. Cornerback Tarell Brown had a game-saving interception in the fourth that sealed the victory.
WR Isaac Bruce got his 1,000th reception and moved into second place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards. His 1,000th catch was a three yard TD that helped the Niner’s get back into the game making it 16-10. Bruce had a solid game with 6 receptions, 66 yards, one TD against his former team as he went back to St. Louis for the first time since signing with the Niner’s.
Overall the game yesterday still showed the 49ers have a lot of work to still accomplish if they want to be contenders. The offense losses its confidence with Gore not in the back field and when your QB leads the team in rushing and he is not a running QB you have problems. Mike Singletary was ready to pull Hill after his third reception and even had O’Sullivan warming up but leaving in Hill was the right move. Pulling your QB late in the season with the team just looking to get a win to build towards next year does not send the right signal to the rest of the team. The 49ers need stability and it starts with the QB. The options are limited in the off-season to find an established QB so Hill might be under center again next year. Taking him out of the game would have done damage to Hill and his psyche and what he can accomplish as the 49ers starter.
Next Up: @ home Redskins
Last game of the season for the Red and Gold. If the 49ers pull out the win they will finish the season winning five of the last seven games and three of the last four. Coach Singletary will finish the 5-4 cementing his claim as permanent head coach.