So just as I predicted the Rams were zero competition for the 49ers as they steamrolled them 26-0. The Niners dominated on both sides of the ball shutting down the Rams offense even without their best player linebacker Patrick Willis. Willis went down with a right hamstring injury in the first half and was held out of the rest of the game as a precaution. P52 will have an MRI within the next couple of days but his injury isn’t considered serious. He was seen walking around on the sidelines chumming it up with teammates (watch how it’s done Deshaun Jackson).
The Rams did absolutely nothing on offense to speak of. They could barley manage a 1st down and never got the ball far enough into 49ers territory to pose any real scoring threat. The Rams best player running back Stephen Jackson did nothing and the Rams were forced to go to the air the majority of the second half after the 49ers opened it up.
Gore’s record, clinching the West, and more after the jump
The Rams did do a good job in the first half containing the 49ers inside the red zone. In a column later this week I’ll take an in depth look at the 49ers red zone offensive efficiency (or lack thereof as of late). But let’s not dwell on any of the negatives from this game, not with all the positives to reflect on.
Alex Smith looked great, connecting on 2 (should have been 3 Vernon Davis!) 50+ yard TD passes. Smith handled the pressure well all day, threw for just under 300 yards and 2 scores. Oh and how about that triple option run play for 9 yards huh? Anybody think Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers coaching staff have watched a little Tim Tebow this season? Not that Alex can run like Tim but he was a spread option QB in college so running that play here and there may just work for SF.
Frank Gore surpassed Joe Perry for the all time rushing record (finally!). It seems like forever ago when the Gore record watch began, after a couple of tough games Gore now sits alone atop the franchise as the all time leading rusher. The announcers touched on it during the game but what a great feeling it is seeing Gore finally on a winning team. He deserves it as much as anyone on the roster, as the work horse on a bad team for many years it’s going to be special to see Gore in the postseason. Hats off Frank Gore, I for one feel lucky to have had the opportunity to watch you throughout your entire career. The 49ers have had a long history of great backs. Roger Craig, Joe Perry, I could go on and on. We all got to witness history today, thank you Frank Gore. I look forward to the day when your number is up with the all time greats of the franchise as a retired number.
And finally clinching the NFC West. To put it another way, the San Francisco 49ers are NFC West Champions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s been a long, long time 49er fans and it’s finally here! The wait is over, our beloved Niners are returning to the playoffs. I don’t want to look ahead and talk about the rest of the games or how we’ll do in the playoffs. Let’s save that for later, you shouldn’t worry about that tonight either. The 49ers are NFC West champions, the last time that happened was 2002, let’s bask in this for a moment 49er fans shall we.
Stay tuned for my Hamm’s pigskins of the Week on Tuesday. Also lookout for a throw down with our Green Bay Packers affiliate where me and the Niner Noise staff will set the record straight on why the 49ers and NOT the Pack are the team in the NFC! Coming later this week.
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