2012 NFL Week 13 Recap, Analysis: St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers

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To think, we almost had a second tie, between the same two teams, in the same year. Crazy. Instead the Rams were able to avenge the win they let slip through their fingers at CandleStick. It took a 54 yard field goal with 26 seconds left in overtime to do it, but the Rams continued their unbeaten streak against the NFC West, with a 4-0-1 record on the season. Their record against the rest of the league: 1-6.

Sam Bradford was able to replicate his success against the Niners from their last game against the division leaders. Best of all he did it without his favorite target in Danny Amendola. Filling in as the number one receiver on the depth chart for the injured receiver, Chris Givens had a fantastic game. While the Niners were able to minimize his impact in the deep passing game, he still managed to get 11 receptions for 92 yards. Steven Jackson’s mid-season renaissance - that you could argue started in the first overtime game against San Francisco - continued as he was able to get a combined 117 yards. If only this group could’ve gotten a touchdown...

Colin Kaepernick on the other hand, had no such success. As a matter of fact, he even looked human. Fear not, the sky isn’t falling. He had a relatively good game on the stats sheet with 208 yards passing and 84 on the ground, but stats never tell the whole story. He had two crucial mistakes that were as far as I’m concerned the determining factor in this game. He was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, which counts for a safety, in the third quarter. He also made a horrible pitch in the backfield to Ted Ginn Jr. that went straight over his head. The Rams would recover the fumble, and score their only touchdown of the game on the same play. The rookie, looked like, well, a rookie.

The defenses both had solid games, and what better testament to this than the final score. The Rams even got most of their points as a result of defensive plays, and the Niners were able to keep the Rams out of the end zone. The “Smith Brothers” had another great game, tallying a sack each. That brings Aldon Smith’s total to 17.5 on the year.

On the Rams side, Janoris Jenkins had another great game, and now has 3 touchdowns in the last two. The defensive line also played great, and was able to pressure Kaepernick all day. They also held Frank Gore in check, as he would only get 58 yards on the day and average 2.5 per carry. Not all that often that Gore looks so average.

The Rams have got to feel good about this one. They landed the victory they should have left CandleStick with only 3 weeks ago. If the Rams could play this well against teams not in the NFC West, my god they might even look like a playoff team.