The Rams would blow another game late as the 49ers won the game by scoring two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the game. The Rams defense had silenced the 49ers offense for 55 minutes producing 4 turnovers and 4 sacks. After trailing 3-0 after one quarter the Rams would score 16 consecutive points, 10 of those coming in the last two minutes of the first half. However, the Rams had to settle for a 22 yard Josh Brown field goal after a 15 play 60 yard drive had stalled on the San Francisco 4 yard line. St. Louis had 1st and Goal on the SF 5 and failed to score a touchdown that could have potentially been enough to seal the game for the Rams. The Rams called terrible playcalls near the endzone. On 1st and Goal Steven Jackson carried the ball for a loss of 3 yards. On 2nd down Jackson got the call again, this time gaining a yard. On 3rd and Goal from the 7, Marc Bulger had to scramble and only gained 3 yards to get to the 4 yard line. It looked like a give-up drive. Not one play looked like it was designed to put 6 points on the board. Torry Holt has been an effective receiver most of his career; why not call a fade route towards the corner of the endzone for him to attempt to jump and grab? The play calling is just too conservative. A play like that hasn't been seen since the Mike Martz era. Maybe the coaching staff thinks they lack playmakers that are unable to catch touchdowns within the 5 yard line?
San Francisco waited until there was less than 5 minutes remaining in the game before finding the endzone. Shaun Hill connected with Isaac Bruce for a 3 yard touchdown reception. The touchdown for Bruce was his 1000th career reception. After spending 14 years with the Rams, it was a given that he would accomplish that feat against his former team today.
After a Rams 3 and out, the 49ers got the ball back with plenty of time. Trailing 16-10 with 2:27 and possession at their own 33 yard line, Shaun Hill was sacked by Pisa Tinoisamoa for a loss of 7 yards. Then on 2nd and 17, defensive end James Hall was flagged for encrouchment, and gave the 49ers 5 free yards to make it a more managible 2nd and 12. Hill would complete his next three passes and give the 49ers a 17-16 lead after throwing a 48 yard touchdown to Josh Morgan with 90 seconds to go.
The Rams had one last chance to move into field goal range to win the game and on 4th and 9 at the Rams 38 yard line, Bulger threw a pass that was tipped by the defense and Donnie Avery managed to concentrate and make a sideline circus catch at the 49ers 45 yard line. Then came a running play which Steven Jackson lost 3 yards on. With 25 seconds left, why are you calling dumb plays like that? It was stupid, and on the next play the 49ers sealed their win when Marc Bulger was intercepted. The 49ers would win 17-16, a game that should have easily been another Rams victory.
Week 17 Matchup
The Rams close the 2008 season on the road as they travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. St. Louis (2-13) and Atlanta (10-5) don't have much to play for. One team is watching the playoffs on television and the other already has wrapped up the 5th seed.