The 49ers persevered, overcoming injuries and a seven-point defecit en route to a 23-20 overtime win over the St. Louis Rams who began the day tied for the lead in the NFC West.
Joe Nedney injured his right knee on the opening kickoff and there were a host of injuries on the offensive line. First, Adam Snyder went down with a sprained shoulder so when Anthony Davis had to leave the game for one play, Tony Wragge came in at right tackle. Then, Joe Staley went down and was carted off the field with a leg injury. Wragge again came in and held down the fort at left tackle for the majority of the rest of the game.
“I’ve never played left tackle in a game,” said Wragge. ”I practiced it, maybe eight or nine years ago, but I’ve never played left tackle in a game. That’s my role, which is be a multiple position guy and come in and contribute.”
For the second game in a row, Troy Smith rallied the 49ers late in the game. Singletary challenged Smith to prove that he wasn’t just “a one game guy” after the 49ers win against the Broncos in London. Smith lived up to the challenge, completing 17-of -28 passes for 356 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating was 116.7.
“There are too many tremendous athletes here to not share the ball, for everybody to not have an opportunity to make a play,” Smith said. “It’s on me to do that.”
Standout Stat: The 49ers were able to stretch the field as Smith racked up 356 yards through the air.
Highlight Reel: The 49ers faced a fourth-and-18 on their final drive of the fourth quarter. Smith hit Frank Gore out of the backfield for a gain of 23. After the game, Smith admitted that Gore changed the route due to the Rams coverage.
“Frank being the player that he is…definitely let me know, putting a bug in my ear as we were breaking the huddle some of the things that he would ad-lib if it happened,” said Smith. ”It happened that way, and we were going up the sideline.”
Put it in Perspective: I spoke with Josh Morgan following the game who told me, “It’s like March Madness around here. It’s win or go home.”
In a game that the 49ers felt they had to win, they did just that and knocked of the division leaders. The Seahawks beat the Cardinals in Arizona so the 49ers stand two games behind Seattle at 5-4. The 49ers have a lot of momentum right now, having won three of their last four games.
Singletary said the team still has a lot to work on as they committed 14 penalties for 105 yards which negated three touchdown passes. That will be an area the 49ers will have to clean up when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) next Sunday at Candlestick.
Tags: Frank Gore, Joe Staley, Tony Wragge, Troy Smith
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