Niners keep hopes alive; beat Rams 23-20 in OT

It was too close for comfort, but the 49ers came out on top against St. Louis and are now 3-6. The team was always on the wrong end of close games, but with Troy Smith at the QB position, the 49ers have a renewed sense of energy and refuse to go down without putting up a fight.

The team needed a late rally to fend off the Rams and Troy Smith proved that he can be counted on down the stretch. Smith passed for 356 yards and a touchdown. His lone TD pass went to Michael Crabtree with 2:10 remaining in regulation and made the game 20-17. The Rams would score a field goal as the clock expired and send the game to overtime.

The Rams started the OT period with the ball but failed to get a first down. It was up to the 49ers to win the game as the ball would go back to their hands. The team started at their own 34 and drove down 55 yards before an Andy Lee field goal would become the difference. Frank Gore did the bulk of the work during that period rushing for 33 yards. The other 22 yards came on a defensive pass-interference penalty against Rams DB OJ Atogwe. Gore finished the game with 87 yards and a touchdown.

The two leading receivers for the Niners were Delanie Walker and Vernon Davis. Smith has had a good rapport with the tight ends in his first two games and look for that success to continue going down the stretch. Two of Crabtree’s five TDs have come from T. Smith. The offense, while slow at times, has clearly been better with Troy at the helm and look for it to evolve even more in the coming weeks.

The Niners play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. They must continue to keep going forward one game at a time. The last two games, they have played disciplined football and as long as that continues, they will keep winning games.

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