'It's just disgusting': 49ers run over Rams 35-11

News-DemocratSeptember 26, 2013 

— For the second time in five days, the St. Louis Rams' run defense sprang some major leaks.

Frank Gore ran for 153 yards and a touchdown in leading the San Francisco 49ers past the Rams 35-11 on Thursday night at the Edward James Dome.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick also threw touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis.

The Rams, who surrendered 175 rushing yards to Dallas' DeMarco Murray on Sunday, dropped to 1-3.

San Francisco which improved to 2-2, rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns in the game.

"It's disgusting, it's just disgusting,'' Rams defensive end Chris Long said of the rushing yards that the team has yielded in its last two games. "That's not who we are. If we keep playing like that, it'll be who we are, but we don't believe that is who we are.

"We're going to have to get things fixed. When you give up that many yards on the ground, it's a lot of things going wrong, and we have to fix a lot of things.''

The Rams' woes were best exemplified by Gore's 34-yard TD run on a fourth-and-1 play with 37 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Rams called a timeout to set their defense before Gore's run.

Once Gore broke through the line of scrimmage, he had an open lane to the end zone.

Long said the Rams must address their issues on run defense because the problem isn't going away by itself.

"In the NFL, you can't expect for things to magically get fixed for you,'' Long said. "We're going to have to get tough in here, we're going to have to get detail-oriented and we're going to work together to make plays to dig ourselves out of this hole.''

Meanwhile, the Rams' running game remained stuck in park. They had only 18 rushing yards as a team.

"Obviously as a football team, we have a lot to work on considering what has happened in the last five days, and we're going to have to take advantage of some of the opportunities here through the weekend and early next week to get some of these issues fixed, namely our inability to run the football,'' Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

An 18-yard run by Gore on the 49ers' first rushing play of the game moved the 49ers into Rams territory

After Phil Dawson was wide right on a 53-yard field goal attempt, the Rams took over at their own 43.

A 22-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Brian Quick along with a 15-yard face mask penalty against San Francisco got the Rams in field-goal position.

Greg Zuerlein connected from 40 yards out to give the Rams a 3-0 lead.

The Rams continue to be plagued by special teams penalties. In the first quarter, they were flagged for a 15-yard penalty for interference on a fair catch on a punt and then had a holding penalty on a punt return that backed them up to their own 5-yard line.

Kaepernick's 20-yard touchdown pass to Boldin pulled the 49ers ahead 7-3 with 6:22 remaining in the second quarter.

Two plays earlier, Kaepernick and Boldin had connected on a 42-yard pass.

After the 49ers' first touchdown, the Rams marched inside 49ers territory, but Bradford's high-arcing pass to Quick was tipped away by San Francisco's Tramaine Brock and intercepted in the end zone by Donte Whitner.

The 49ers attempted a rare free kick after calling for a fair catch at the end of the first half, but Dawson's 71-yard attempt was well off the mark.

Gore fumbled on the 49ers' opening possession of the second half, and the Rams' Rodney McLeod recovered the loose ball at the San Francisco 44.

The Rams were unable to capitalize on the turnover.

The 49ers went up 21-3 on a 12-yard TD pass to Davis with 8:49 remaining in the third quarter.

A fumble by Bradford as he was being sacked by NaVorro Bowman enabled the 49ers to pad their lead to 28-3.

San Francisco's Tony Jerod-Eddie recovered Bradford's fumble at the St. Louis 3, and Anthony Dixon ran for 2 yards and then a yard for a touchdown with 10:15 to go.

Armstrong recovered a fumble by running back Kendall Hunter at the San Francisco 24.

Bradford threw a 6-yard TD pass to Lance Kendricks with 5:44 left. Rookie Benny Cunningham ran for the two-point conversion.

Bradford completed 19 of 41 passes for 202 yards in the game.

After a failed onside kick, Hunter ran 29 yards for a touchdown, sealing the Rams' third straight loss.

"It's definitely frustrating,'' Rams defensive end Robert Quinn said. "No one expected this. I know this team didn't expect this. It's a long season. All it takes is a win and all of the sudden we're on a roll and everyone forgets about the last three games.

"Once we find our swagger or whatever it is, we'll be all right.''

Notes

Rookie safety T.J. McDonald was taken off the field on a cart with a leg injury in the third quarter. ... Cornerback Cortland Finnegan exited the game in the second quarter because of a thigh injury. His return was initially reported as questionable, but then downgraded to doubtful in the third quarter. ... Running back Isaiah Pead was among the inactive Rams. Pead's absence left Cunningham, Zac Stacy and Chase Reynolds as the backups to starter Daryl Richardson.

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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