The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on December 25, 2016 · D4
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · D4

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 25, 2016
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D4 SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2016 gosAnflrics (Hmcs LATIMES.COMSPORTS DID YOU NOTICE? FIRST QUARTER When the 49ers advanced to the 48 on the opening drive, the Rams blitzed linebacker Alex Ogletreeand corner E.J. Gaines on third down, San Francisco's line collapsed and Eugene Sims benefited with a sack. On Jared Goff's interception, Kenny Britt had beaten Tramaine Brock to the inside, but the pass was so far behind the Ramsreceiverthat it went right into Brock's hands. On Carlos Hyde's ensuing 19-yard touchdown reception, Ogletree was in coverage but got stuck outside, behind the wash of a crossing pattern, providing the 49ers running back with a gaping hole in the middle of the field after a short catch. An interception by Rams safety Cody Davis came on a horrendous play by the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback was trying to connect with tight end Garrett Celek, who was tightly covered by T.J. McDonald, and the pass sailed 10 yards over their heads. On Tavon Austin's 30-yardscoring run, the 49ers displayed all facets of what makes them the league's worst rush defense they lost contain at the I ine, the defensive backs fai led to force him back inside, and several tackles were missed. SECOND QUARTER Dominique Easley was stymied on the line by Andrew Tiller before making a swim move to the inside and sacking Kaepernick. As it has all season, the Rams' offensive line continued to break down. On a 49ers blitz, the interior split, allowing Chris Jones to run up the middle unblocked and drop Todd Gurley for a five-yard loss. Two plays later, despite rushingonly three, the 49ers were instantly on top of Goff, who threw quickly and incomplete, forcing a punt. THIRD QUARTER DeForest Buckner gave the Rams' line fits, knocking down two Goff passes at the line, recording a tackle for lost yardage and, in the third quarter, leaving guard Jamon Brown flat-footed before getting a sack. After Austin's touchdown run, each time the Rams went back to that play the 49ers were waiting and dropped him for lost yardage. FOURTH QUARTER On the turnover that set up the Rams' third touchdown, Kaepernick left Hyde vulnerable with a poor pass to the flat that made him turn his back to the defense. E.J. Gaines hit the unsuspecting Hyde at the knees, the bal I came loose and was recovered by Morgan Fox. The play was originally ruled incomplete (after the fact), thenthe call was reversed after a Rams challenge. Didn't Kaepernick's two-point conversion run look a lot like Vince Young's famous Rose Bowl score for Texas against a USC defense that also lost contain on an obvious rollout call? Rams receiver Brian Quick looked completely lost running his route on the game-clinching interception. Athan Atsales SUMMARY San Francisco 7 0 0 15-22 RAMS 14 0 0 7-21 First Quarter San Francisco - Hyde 19 pass from Kaepernick (Dawson kick), 9:01. Drive: 2 plays, 17 yards, 00:37. Key play: Brock 39 interception return to Rams 17. San Francisco 7, RAMS 0. RAMS - Gurley 1 run (Zuerlein kick), 4:07. Drive: 9 plays, 52 yards, 4:54. Key play: Cooper 51 kickoff return to Rams 48. RAMS 7, San Francisco 7. RAMS - Austin 30 run (Zuerlein kick), 2:33. Drive: 1 play 30 yards, :08. Key play: C.Davis 29 interception return to San Francisco 30. RAMS 14, San Francisco 7 Fourth Quarter RAMS - Higbee 2 pass from Goff (Zuerlein kick), 10:32. Drive: 4 plays, 25 yards, 2:13. Key play: R.Robinson 16-yard defensive pass interference penalty. RAMS 21, San Francisco 7. San Francisco - Kaepernick 13 run (Dawson kick), 5:06. Drive: 13 plays, 75 yards, 5:26. Key play: Kaepernick 11 pass to Draughn. RAMS 21, San Francisco 14. San Francisco - Streater 10 pass from Kaepernick (Kaepernick run), :31. Drive: 10 plays, 73 yards, 2:39. Key play: Kaepernick 12 pass to Celek. San Francisco 22, RAMS 21. TEAM STATISTICS SF LA FIRST DOWNS 21 13 Rushing 5 6 Passing 14 5 Penalty 2 2 THIRD DOWN EFF 6-16 4-13 FOURTH DOWN EFF 1-1 1-1 TOTAL NETYARDS 323 177 Total Plays 71 57 Avg Gain 4.5 3.1 NETYARDS RUSHING 70 99 Rushes 29 29 Avg per rush 2.4 3.4 NETYARDS PASSING 253 78 Sacked-Yds lost 4-13 4-12 Gross-Yds passing 266 90 Completed-Att 28-38 11-24 Had Intercepted 1 2 Yards-Pass Play 6.0 2.8 KICKOFFS-EndZone-TB 4-2-0 4-3-2 PUNTS-Avg 9-41.3 8-46.0 Punts blocked 0 0 FGs-PATs blocked 0-0 0-0 TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE 85 170 Punt Returns 2-9 5-12 Kickoff Returns 2-37 4-129 Interceptions 2-39 1-29 PENALTIES-Yds 11-100 5-45 FUMBLES-Lost 2-1 2-0 TIME OF POSSESSION 31:03 28:57 Individual Leaders RUSHING: 49ERS, Hyde 13-38, Draughn 10-17, Kaepernick 6-15. RAMS, Gurley 23-67, Austin 3-26, Goff 2-4, Brown 1-2. PASSING: 49ERS, Kaepernick 28-38-1-266. RAMS, Goff 11-24-2-90. RECEIVING: 49ERS, Streater 6-63, Draughn 6-48, Kerley 5-62, Celek 4-39, Hyde 3-24, Burbridge 2-15, Harris 1-14, Harper 1-1. RAMS, Kendricks 3-36, Gurley 3-20, Austin 2-14, Higbee 2-5, Britt 1-15. PUNT RETURNS: 49ERS, Kerley 2-9. RAMS, Austin 5-12. KICKOFF RETURNS: 49ERS, Shepherd 2-37. RAMS, Cooper 4-129. TACKLESASSISTSSACKS: 49ERS, Hodges 9-4-0, Jones 4-2-0, Bethea 4-2-0, Brooks 4-1-1, Tartt 3-2-0, Harold 2-3-1, Dial 2-1-0, Buckner 2-0-1, Reaser 2-0-0, Blair 1-0-1, Lynch 1-0-0, Robinson 1-0-0, Purcell 0-1-0, Brock 0-1-0. RAMS, Countess 8-3-1, Ogletree 7-1-0, Gaines 7-0-0, Easley 4-1-1, Donald 4-1-1, Hayes 4-1-0, Barron 4-0-0, Thomas 3-1-0, McDonald 3-0-0, Fox 2-1-0, Sims 2-0-1, Johnson 2-0-0, Davis 2-0-0, Brockers 1-1-0, Westbrooks 0-2-0. INTERCEPTIONS: 49ERS, Brock 1-39, Robinson 1-0. RAMS, Davis 1-29. Officials -Referee Walt Anderson, Ump Butch Hannah, HL Jerod Phillips, U Byron Boston, FJ John Jenkins, SJ Laird Hayes, BJ Greg Wilson, Replay Billy Smith. Attendance - 83,656. NFL WEEK 16: SAN FRANCISCO 22, RAMS 21 RAMS REPORT Goff knows he needs to get By Gary Klein and Mike DiGiovanna Jared Goff is still searching for his first NFL victory. The Rams' rookie quarterback passed for a touchdown Saturday, but he failed to consistently move the offense and the San Francisco 49ers made two key interceptions in a 22-21 win over the Rams at the Coliseum. Goff, making his sixth start, completed 11 of 24 passes for 90 yards. He was sacked four times. Goff said he was not losing confidence. "I understand I need to be better," said Goff, the No. 1 pick in the draft. "We all need to be better, especially offensively, if we want to win games." Goff had a pass intercepted in the first quarter, and the 49ers scored two plays later for a 7-0 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, he connected with rookie tight end Tyler Higbee for a short touchdown that gave the Rams a 21-7 lead. But after the 49ers pulled to within 21-14 with just over five minutes left, the Rams went three and out, setting the stage for Colin Kaepernick's touchdown pass and scramble for a two-point conversion. The 49ers intercepted Goff's pass with 21 seconds left to seal the victory. Goff has passed for five touchdowns with seven in WALLY SKALIJ Los Angeles Times 49ERS CORNERBACK Rashard Robinson intercepts a pass by Jared Goff in the final minute, ending the Rams' last chance for a winning field goal. It was the second interception of the game thrown by Goff, who completed only 11 of 24 passes for 90 yards. Fourth-quarter collapse is more of same Rams, from Dl against the 49ers, who have won only two games both, of course, against the Rams. The season-opening 28-0 defeat at Levi's Stadium on "Monday Night Football" was regarded by some as an anomaly after the Rams won their next three games and sat atop the NFC West. That thought vanished as the losses mounted. But the Rams, wearing their throwback uniforms, were favored in the rematch with a 49ers team that had 17 players on injured reserve and first-year Coach Chip Kelly on the hot seat. It did not matter. "It's horrible," three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. "I don't know what else to say. ... It's definitely frustrating, man. I'm kind of tired of going home mad every week." Said receiver Tavon Austin: "We had the game. We were up by 14 in the Number of victories recorded by 49ers this season against a team other than the Rams. The 49ers had lost a franchise record 13 in a row before recording win No. 2. RAMS QUARTERBACK Jared Goff is brought down Blair in the third quarter at the Coliseum, one of four terceptions for ateamthat is 4-11. Goff said he intended to do "everything in my heart and soul to get it all fixed." "Ultimately, it's on us and it's on me," Goff said. "It comes back to the quarterback every time, it's on me. I need to be better. "Every day in practice I need to be better and every day on Sundays I need to be better. I promise everyone out there, all of the Rams fans, that I'm going to do everything I can, everything in me, to make that happen and get this thing fixed." fourth and we gave it away." The defense faltered at the end after the Rams' NFL -worst offense once again failed to keep it off the field by sustaining drives. Rookie quarterback Jared Goff completed 11 of 24 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions, as the Rams totaled only 177 yards in offense against a team giving up an average of 424. "The offense needs to play better," Goff said. "It starts with the quarterback, it starts with me. As the leader of the team, the leader of the offense, I need to be better. Better than I was today, for sure." Despite Goff's struggles he was sacked four times -he positioned the Rams for victory by connecting with rookie tight end Tyler Higbee for a touchdown with 10:32 left. "I felt real confident in where we were," Goff said. Touchdowns scored by the Rams in the first quarter. Also the number of touchdowns scored in the first quarter for the previous seven Rams games combined. Healthy scratch Left tackle Greg Robinson, who has struggled all season with penalties and inconsistent play, was benched and listed as inactive for the second time this season. The second pick in the 2014 draft out of Auburn also sat out a 49-21 loss at New Orleans on Nov. 27. "We talked on Monday about making a little change to our offensive line just to try to get something going in the run game and to shore up some protection," inter But Rams fans had to feel uneasy. In Goff's debut on Nov. 20 against Miami, the Rams led by 10 points at the Coliseum with just over six minutes left. The Dolphins drove for two touchdowns to win. After losing to the 49ers, Rams players remembered it well. "It reminded me of the Miami game," cornerback Trumaine Johnson said. "We played good all game, then the last few possessions, it's like we gave up, man, the whole team, including myself." The defense had the misfortune of running into Kaepernick just as he recaptured his vintage form down the stretch. The sixth-year pro mostly made headlines this season for not standing for the national anthem and for speaking out against social injustice. On Saturday, he BY THE NUMBERS Yards covered by Rams receiver Tavon Austin on his touchdown run in the first quarter, the longest run from scrimmage for the club this season. WALLY SKALIJ Los Angeles Times by San Francisco's Ronald sacks by the 49ers. im Coach John Fassel said. "We weren't using Greg as a scapegoat for any of the problems on the line." Left guard Rodger Saf-fold moved to left tackle, Jamon Brown started at left guard, and Tim Barnes (center) and Rob Ha-venstein (right tackle) remained at their spots. Andrew Donnal started at right guard, and rookie Pace Murphy played some tackle. Saffold said his move to tackle "was pretty much a game-time decision. I did what I could. I felt like I came out really well. There's of engineered two clutch drives and also ran the ball in for the decisive conversion. The Rams led, 21-7, when Kaepernick scrambled for a touchdown that pulled the 49ers to within a touchdown with about five minutes left. The Rams went three and out and the 49ers took over at their 27. Kaepernick masterfully drove his team down the field, connecting with receiver Rod Streater for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left. Kaepernick then scrambled to his right and dived into the end zone for the winning points. "It was a designed rollout," Kelly said. "That's what we were trying to do with him try to get him on the edge." The Rams' hopes for a possible game-winning field goal ended when Rashard Robinson intercepted Goff's pass. "That's football," said better course a couple of plays that I want back, just kind of knocking the rust off, but once again, I do it for this team. Wherever they ask me to go, I'm going to go." For the record Johnny Hekker, who punted eight times Saturday, established an NFL season record for punts placed inside opponents' 20-yard line with four more of them, giving him 50 this season. The previous record of 46 was set by Arizona's Dave Zastudilin2012. "Johnny has had a historic season punting the football with his inside -the-20 numbers and his net average, which is a reflection of his punt-cover team," said Fassel, who is also the Rams' special teams coordinator. "I'm proud of Johnny." Quick hits With his one catch for 15 yards, Kenny Britt became the Rams' first receiver to amass 1,000 yards receiving since Torry Holt posted 1,189 yards in 2007. Britt has 68 catches for 1,002 yards, both career highs. "It's special, even though it comes from a season that we weren't expecting," said Britt. ... Pharoh Cooper set up the Rams' first touchdown with a 51-yard kickoff return to their 48-yard line in the first quarter. Rams running back Todd Gurley, who had a one -yard touchdown run but averaged fewer than three yards in 23 carries. "Nothing is in the bag. We done went through this before." Way too many times. "It's definitely frustrating to lose the way we have; we just find ways to lose," defensive tackle Michael Brockers said. "But I commend these guys for stayingtogether. We haven't had any big issues with pointing the fingers or anything like that." The Rams will be off Sunday and then return to begin preparations for the Cardinals. Fassel said he had an idea for motivating players in the finale, but he declined to reveal it. "Hopefully," he said, "the last game of the season next week is a good memory." Twitter: latimesklein Yards of offense the Rams averaged for each of the last three quarters. They finished with 177 yards against a defense that had been allowing 424.9 per game.

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