Mostly clear

For 49ers, tie feels like a loss

  • Frank Gore runs through the tackle of Craig Dahl in the 3rd quarter. The San Francisco 49ers tied the St. Louis Rams, 24-24, on Sunday, November, 11, 2012.
    (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

SAN FRANCISCO — Win or lose, the 49ers usually leave the field thinking they've given their best efforts.

But a tie? That's uncharted territory for most of these guys.

"First time ever," veteran center Jonathan Goodwin said after the Niners' 24-24 deadlock against the visiting St. Louis Rams. "Baseball as a kid, anything, I don't remember finishing a game tied. It almost felt basically like we got a practice."

The 49ers need some more of that after this five-quarter, 3-hour, 50-minute rumble. They fell behind by two touchdowns practically before the fans were in their seats, surrendered not one but two first downs on fake punts and very nearly got torched for a game-winning touchdown by the Rams in overtime.

And there are even larger issues. Starting quarterback Alex Smith left the game with a concussion midway through the second quarter. He injured himself diving for a first down on fourth-and-1 at the St. Louis 48-yard line, and finished the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree before admitting to coaches that his vision was blurred.

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