Three of the road losses have come by a combined total of six points, and for the third time away from home the Rams were unable to force a turnover. Adding to the disbelief of this loss, the 49ers were faced with third-and-32 from their own 47 with 2:30 remaining and converted a first down on fourth-and-18 that preceded a 16-yard touchdown pass.
That put the 49ers ahead, and after the Rams tied the game on a 33-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, San Francisco won with a field goal in overtime following a 22-yard pass interference penalty on safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.
The Rams now return home to face Atlanta, and then go on the road for three consecutive games against Denver, Arizona and New Orleans.
Said quarterback Sam Bradford, "We had a lot of opportunities to put that game away in the fourth quarter, we just weren't able to do it. It's just really frustrating when you have a chance to put teams away and you don't do it."
Asked what it takes to win those games, Bradford said, "Just finishing. Somehow we've got to find that killer instinct. We've got to be able to put teams away when the game is on the line. When we've got the ball as an offense we need to go and make it a two-possession game with seven, six minutes left in the fourth."
After scoring the touchdown that put the Rams ahead 17-10 with 2:48 remaining in the third quarter, they had four straight three-and-outs that ran just 5:59 off the clock. Then, after winning the coin toss in overtime, the Rams had another three-and-out. The Rams failed to convert their last six third downs and were 2-for-14 in the game.
Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "We've got a bunch of fighters in there and I told them I'd go to war with them anytime. I'm proud of that particular part of it. We have another game this coming week and we've just got to figure how to win those games. We just couldn't find a way to close it out.
"But we're not going to sit there and pout over a loss. We're still in the thick of things; seven games to go. We're going to approach it that way."
BY THE NUMBERS: The 49ers had nine plays of 20 yards or more totaling 291 yards and five plays of 30 yards or more totaling 201 yards. Those five plays accounted for 47.7 of their total yards (421) and the nine plays represented 69.1 percent. Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "I'm a little disappointed in all the big plays. Those will always kill you, especially when away. Again, they found a way to make more plays than we did and won the game."
LINEUP WATCH: Kevin Dockery started at cornerback instead of Bradley Fletcher and was beaten early on a 65-yard pass play that led to the 49ers' first touchdown. Spagnuolo provided no specific explanation for the reason behind the lineup switch.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
-- LT Rodger Saffold suffered an ankle injury early in the second quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Renardo Foster. Saffold missed some practice time during the week because of a shoulder injury. X-rays were negative on Saffold's ankle, but no details were provided whether the injury was to the lower part of his ankle or if it is a high ankle sprain.
-- OT Renardo Foster, who started at right tackle on Oct. 31 against Carolina because Jason Smith was out with a concussion, played almost three full quarters at left tackle when Rodger Saffold exited early in the second quarter with an ankle injury.
-- CB Kevin Dockery started on the right side instead of Bradley Fletcher and was victimized early in the first quarter on a 65-yard pass play from QB Troy Smith to WR Josh Morgan.
-- LB Chris Chamberlain became the third player to start at weak-side linebacker this season for the Rams. Larry Grant opened the season as the starter, and Bryan Kehl replaced him as the starter for the Week 8 game against Carolina. Chamberlain started against the 49ers, and is back at nearly full strength after suffering a fractured toe in the season opener.
-- WR Mardy Gilyard started his first game with the Rams when the offense opened the game in a four-receiver set. However, Gilyard played sparingly and never had a pass thrown his way during the game.
-- QB Sam Bradford extended his streak of pass attempts without an interception to 138 after completing 30-of-42 passes against the 49ers.