St. Louis Rams Close Out Season With Overtime Loss to San Francisco 49ers

After losing to the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's season finale, the St. Louis Rams have finished with seven wins in three of the last four seasons.

The St. Louis Rams haven’t finished .500 in a season since 2006 but were in position to reach that mark in the late stages of Sunday’s season finale against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Rams just couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities.

After Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein's field goal attempt in overtime was blocked, the host 49ers capitalized by driving the length of the field pulling out a 19-16 victory when Phil Dawson's 23-yard field goal with 3:27 left sailed through the uprights.

“We had opportunities,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters. “We had opportunities to catch the ball, we had opportunities to kick the winning field goal and it didn’t happen. I’m disappointed for the players because of the work that they put in, especially over the last few weeks.”

The Rams (7-9) had their three-game win streak snapped and fell to 27-36-1 in Fisher’s four seasons in St. Louis. 

“You congratulate Coach Jim (Tomsula) for the good job that they did,” Fisher said. “They had their team ready to play, all three phases. We gave up plays in all three phases — we dropped balls, we gave up big plays defensively and had a couple special teams penalties and the difficulty kicking field goals. That’s pretty much the difference.”

The Rams fell flat just one week after their 23-17 road win against the playoff-bound Seattle Seahawks, which snapped a 10-game losing streak for the Rams in Seattle.  

Once again, it was a lack of offense that did in St. Louis. 

Quarterback Case Keenum completed 22 of 37 passes for 231 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 77.6. 

"There’s a few plays that I’d like back on third down," Keenum told reporters. "Some off throws to guys that were open. It’s those crucial moments of the game that come down to winning or losing.”

Playing without rookie running back Todd Gurley, who missed the game because of a mild turf toe injury, the Rams rushed for 133 yards on 33 carries, an average of 4.0 yards per attempt. 

“They are a stout front,” Fisher said. “Disregard their rankings in rushing defense. They’re a stout front. They are hard to move. When they anticipate run, they play it well. They are sturdy. We ran the ball. We had over 100 yards rushing. We had the big play out of Benny (Cunningham) early. It’s just hard.”

St. Louis had plenty of chances, but couldn’t capitalize.

The Rams led 3-0 midway through the first quarter on a 33-yard field goal by Zuerlein, fell behind 10-3 after Blaine Gabbert's touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin and a 26-yard field goal by Dawson. 

The visitors answered with a 32-yard field goal from Zuerlein, a touchdown run from Tre Mason — following Eugene Sims' interception return deep into 49ers territory — and a 44-yard field goal from Zuerlein to take a 16-10 lead at halftime. 

Unfortunately for the Rams, they didn’t score again. 

The 49ers tied the score after Dawson kicked field goals in the third and fourth quarter and then won it with another field goal, Dawson’s fourth of the day, late in overtime. 

Fisher described the inability to get to 8-8 on the season as “very disappointing.”

“We had numerous opportunities early in the year and we didn’t get it done,” Fisher said. “We lost close games. So we have to get past that.”

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com


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