Sunday’s matchup with the San Francisco 49ers played out much like the entire 2015 season did for the St. Louis Rams.
The Rams’ defense played well enough to keep St. Louis in the game, but the offense disappeared for long periods and the Rams eventually fell to the 49ers 19-16 in overtime.
The walk-off field goal by San Francisco’s Phil Dawson followed a Greg Zuerlein attempt from 48 yards out that was blocked by cornerback Dontae Johnson.
“Once Kenny (Britt) made the catch and we got down there it was ‘let’s run the ball three times and not give up any minus yards and kick the field goal and go home’ and we weren’t able to do it,” Coach Jeff Fisher said after the game.
The 16 points for the Rams all came in the first half as St. Louis missed two field goals and punted three times on their five possessions after the half.
St. Louis was forced to play without their best offensive weapon, Todd Gurley after he was ruled out before the game due to a toe injury. With Gurley sitting, second-year back Tre Mason got the start and found the endzone for the only touchdown of the day for St. Louis.
Outside the scamper for six, which resulted after a Rams’ interception that left the ball inside the redzone, Mason was held in check, rushing for only 44 yards on 18 carries.
The rest of the Rams’ rushing attack, including wide receiver Tavon Austin, was able to find some holes in the 49ers’ defense, rushing for 89 yards on 15 carries, but struggling to find consistency with 40 of those yards coming on a Bennie Cunningham 40 yard run in the fourth quarter.
The passing attack wasn’t any better with Case Keenum throwing for just 231 yards despite passing the ball 37 times and failing to find the endzone.
The poor performance solidified the Rams place at the bottom of many important offensive categories including total yards and passing yards, as well as placing them 30 of 32 in total points scored.
The St. Louis defense, giving up just 19 points in the loss, was gashed by former first round quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who became the first 49ers’ quarterback to throw for 300 yards since week 1.
The game was likely the last for San Francisco head coach Jim Tomsula, who took over for Jim Harbaugh this season, and gave the first year head coach a 5-11 record in his first season.
The loss gives the Rams the 15th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft and leaves the franchise with their 9th consecutive losing season and 12th straight non-winning season.