What we know after the 49ers' win over the Rams
Crazy stat of the day? Rams haven't scored in the first quarter in any of their last NINE games. — P. Schrager (@PSchrags) September 27, 2013Thankfully (we think) for the Rams, they did kick a field goal in the first quarter to end that streak. As far as the passing game, Sam Bradford had a night to forget, although he might see San Francisco's NaVorro Bowman in his nightmares for while. Bowman sacked him twice, forced a fumble and influenced countless plays with his speed rush off the edge. Bradford had trouble finding open receivers all night, finishing 19 of 41 for 202 yards and a garbage-time touchdown pass. Speaking of Sam Bradford, is he the long-term answer for the Rams? Ian Rapoport reported this before the game:
From @MikeSilver & I on Total Access Kickoff: #Rams are willing to re-do Sam Bradford's contract now. They view him as their franchise QB — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 26, 2013However, this first-quarter throw should give some people pause: As you can see, Bradford had Austin Pettis wide open down the seam and all he had to do was lay it in there. However, he overthrew him. Sure, the Rams did get on the board first with that field goal, but against the 49ers you must hit throws like this to set the tempo. A touchdown here would have put the crowd in to a frenzy and backed the 49ers into a corner early. These are throws a quarterback MUST hit. This is Bradford's fourth NFL season and while the weapons around him are still young, how long will the organization wait? A great quarterback makes the players around him seem like All-Pros (see: Manning, Brees, Rodgers, etc.). At some point, Bradford will have to show more before the Rams throw a bunch of money at him. The fair-catch kick is back!! Hey, did you know if a team calls for a fair catch on a punt, they're allowed an unimpeded field goal attempt? Neither did I. Apparently, the 49ers have a better grasp of the NFL rules than almost anyone, because with a few ticks remaining before halftime, they took advantage of it. Check it out: As you can see, Phil Dawson's attempt wasn't even close. The wind in the dome (farce) must have blown it short and wide left. However, it did serve as an educational tool for everyone watching. And of course, NFL on FOX rules guru Mike Pereira was given a time to shine:
Fun to see that rule tried. It is a fair catch kick. It is basically a field goal try without a rush by the defense. Second one I have seen. — Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) September 27, 2013
For those asking, if the kick is missed and is untouched by the defense, defense gets the ball at the spot of the kick if there is time left — Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) September 27, 2013Another note on the fair catch kick, the clock starts when the ball is kicked.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) September 27, 2013At least one NFL player learned something:
Never thought I would see a free kick actually used. Last thing I thought watching this game. Very interesting and now I understand the rule — Alterraun Verner (@Alvern_1) September 27, 2013Going back through history, only five such free kicks have ever been successful. Mac Percival kicked a memorable game-winner for the Bears in 1968. The last successful one was in 1976, when Ray Wersching of the San Diego Chargers (and later of the 49ers) nailed a 45-yard attempt. The more you know, right? Joe Staley really can scream The 49ers got quite a scare in the fourth quarter when Staley, the cornerstone of the offensive line, went down with a left ankle injury. Staley could be heard screaming in pain on the television broadcast. One could only imagine the severity of the injury, but after a couple minutes he got up and was able to walk off the field with a little bit of assistance. So, what's the diagnosis?
For about 15 seconds, Staley thought he'd broken his ankle. He yelled, 'it's broken!' Thankfully he was mistaken. Hilarity ensued — Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) September 27, 2013That's right, it was just a big scare and Staley should be fine. His teammates made sure to rib him about it.
Joe Staley appears to be ok. Offensive line mates were goofing on him after the game in the locker room...even he was smiling. — P. Schrager (@PSchrags) September 27, 2013Joe Staley was walking w/just a minor limp in the locker room & Alex Boone was howling with laughter mimicking Staley's on-field bellows.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) September 27, 2013Even Staley himself weighed in on his dramatics:
I'm good. And I scream like no dude should ever scream lol my bad. — Joe Staley (@jstaley74) September 27, 2013Thanks, Joe. You've given people ammunition to goof on you for a long time. Questions? Comments? Send them to email@example.com and we might respond in our weekly mailbag!