If the 49ers are going to be a playoff team, games like Sunday’s against the Rams are the games they need to win. And San Francisco won, convincingly.
The 49ers delivered a 23-13 beatdown of the Rams, improving their record to 8-4 and moving a full game ahead of their nearest rivals for the final NFC wild card spot.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has struggled for so much of this season, had an outstanding game, completing 19 of 28 passes for 275 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions. He seemed very comfortable spreading the ball around to Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and new arrival Michael Crabtree, who looked good in his first game of the season after tearing his Achilles tendon in the offseason. Crabtree had two catches for 68 yards.
The Rams, on the other hand, were a mess. Their secondary couldn’t cover anyone, and quarterback Kellen Clemens couldn’t get anything going offensively. St. Louis has played good football at times recently, but this loss was a very disappointing performance.
There was one down note for San Francisco, as All-Pro left tackle Joe Staley left the game with a knee injury. If that injury is severe, Staley would be a huge loss. But as the 49ers prepare to host the Seahawks next week, they have to like how they’re playing to start December. And they have to feel good about their chances of playing well into January.