(FootballStL) -- How many ways to read into that one, huh? Going to San Francisco to play the division leaders who just so happen to be one of the best - if not the best - teams in the NFL. This wasn't supposed to be very close.
Especially after that impressive exhibition in London.
How do your feel about the Rams and 49ers playing to a tie? Share your thoughts.
On the surface of it, if you were told the Rams escaped this road game with a 24-24 tie (the first in the league since 2008) you'd probably be thrilled. After getting blasted by the Patriots in the UK to be able to tie one of the leagues best? On the road?
Absolutely you'd be thrilled.
But anyone who watched and therefore saw how many different ways the Rams gave away that victory - even if it wasn't a defeat - knows this wasn't something to be thrilled about. Not in the least.
An illegal formation in overtime negating a bomb to Danny Amendola that would've given the Rams the ball inside the 49ers five yard line?
A delay of game penalty later in OT negating a game winning 53-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein?
It was almost as if these guys were trying their hardest to discover new ways to not win. They were getting quite creative too. An Isaiah Pead fumble here, a Johnny Hekker 13-yard punt there. And let's not forget the 13 total penalties the Rams committed totaling 85 yards.
They certainly didn't play like a smart, disciplined football team.
The fact the Rams were able to make enough plays, though, to snatch a 24-24 tie in San Francisco shows how far they've come. This many mistakes would normally equate to a three touchdown defeat. It wouldn't have been close.
But the talent level has improved slightly, the game planning and game management has improved immensely and that in itself means more competitive football on Sundays.
You can't ignore the fact the Rams ran 16 more plays than the Niners (80 to 64) and won the time of possession battle (40:45 to 34:15). You can't ignore the fact the Rams defense held the Niners to just 2-11 on third down attempts.
But you also can't ignore the 13 penalties (several of which came at the absolute worst times). Winning teams don't take a delay of game call when kicking a game winning 53-yarder. Winning teams don't get called for illegal formation in overtime on a play that would've won you the game.
These aren't the same old Rams. No, they're not. The expectations have been increased a lot.
However, with increased expectations the margin for error is smaller. So, no moral victories in San Francisco.
That tie is a massive disappointment.