(Sunday, January 3rd)
Final Score: San Francisco 28, St. Louis 6
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Frank Gore rushed for 107 yards on 23 carries with a pair of touchdowns, as the San Francisco 49ers routed the St. Louis Rams, 28-6, in the season-finale for both teams at the Edward Jones Dome.
Alex Smith finished 17-of-28 passing for 222 yards and a touchdown for San Francisco (8-8), which closed the campaign by winning three of four to end a string of six consecutive losing seasons. Vernon Davis had six receptions for 89 yards and a score, while Michael Crabtree had three grabs for 58 yards in the win.
"I am very thankful that we won the game," San Francisco head coach Mike Singletary said. "This is not the style of game that we wanted to have, this is not the way we wanted this game to go. Nevertheless, I am thankful that we were able to come back out in the second half and put some drives together and make some plays. I thought our defense played well for the most part all day."
Niners wide receiver Isaac Bruce started but did not make a catch in what was believed to be the final game of a distinguished 16-year career.
The 37-year-old veteran spent the majority of those seasons with the Rams from 1994-2007 and owns team records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches, in addition to earning four Pro Bowl nods and helping St. Louis to a win in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Josh Brown kicked two field goals for the Rams (1-15), who have dropped 13 straight at home and finished the season with eight straight losses overall to ensure themselves the No. 1 selection in the 2010 draft.
"I give them a lot of credit. They won the football game. And then to have it kind of get away like that at the end is, you know, I'm hoping we can erase those seven minutes in our mind and think about all the other things," Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "But the bottom line is we lost the football game and the season's over. We were hoping to finish on a high note and weren't able to do that."
Keith Null got the start at quarterback for St. Louis and completed only 7- of-17 passes for 57 yards before getting replaced by Kyle Boller, who finished 4-of-11 for 23 yards.
After a scoreless and uneventful opening quarter, the Rams put up the first points with four minutes left in the half.
With six minutes to play, San Francisco failed to take advantage of good field possession, then were unable to convert a 4th-and-2 from the St. Louis 35 and the hosts capitalized.
Hull hit Donnie Avery for a 20-yard gain to pick up a first down on 3rd-and-5, but the drive stalled and Brown drilled a 54-yard field goal.
Brown then missed a 45-yard attempt as time expired and the Rams took a 3-0 into the break.
San Francisco took the lead near the midway point of the third quarter, when Moran Norris plowed ahead for a one-yard touchdown, capping an eight-play, 83-yard drive to make it a 7-3 game.
Boller came in for an ineffective Null on the Rams' next series, but St. Louis went three-and-out.
With the 49ers still ahead 7-3 with 11 1/2 minutes left in the contest, Danny Amendola's 56-yard punt return set up Brown's 29-yard field goal to make it a one-point game with 9:11 remaining.
However, the Rams answered by scoring on their next two possessions. First, it was Smith connecting with Davis for a 73-yard TD, then Gore took it in from three yards out for a 21-6 St. Louis lead with 4:05 to play.
Gore added a six-yard TD run with 2:16 remaining.
Despite the loss, the Rams still hold a 60-58-2 edge in their regular season series with the 49ers...San Francisco defensive end Justin Smith ended with 3 1/2 sacks.
01/03 19:13:15 ET
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