The San Francisco 49ers (4-4) lost 13-10 on the final play of the game against the St. Louis Rams (3-5) on Sunday after quarterback Colin Kaepernick fumbled at the goal line.
In a game where the 49ers appeared to dominate the game in every aspect, sloppiness (and possibly some questionable calls from the refs) got the best of the the team.
The Kaepernick-led offense started strong, scoring on a 34-yard field goal by kicker Phil Dawson on their opening drive.
A strong Rams pass rush kept pressure on Kap, giving him little time in the pocket and kept drives short through the rest of the first quarter.
Despite a rough first quarter, the 49ers defense came up huge with an interception by safety Antoine Bethea with 13:21 left in the half.
Kaepernick and the 49ers capitalized on the turnover, scoring on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Kap to receiver Anquan Boldin, 10-3 49ers.
The score, however, would be the last for the 49ers.
On the ensuing drive for the Rams, the 49ers defense once again intercepted Rams quarterback Austin Davis, this time by cornerback Perrish Cox.
However, the Rams pressure on Kap was too much and the 49ers quarterback fumbled the ball on a sack — one of eight on the day for the Rams defense.
Three plays later, the Rams got in the endzone to tie the game up at 10 all.
At the end of the first half the 49ers had the chance to take the lead back on a 55-yard field goal, but Dawson’s kick came up short.
The play, however, was not without controversy. Rams receiver Tavon Austin fielded the short field goal and appeared to be tackled for a safety after stepping out of the endzone and jumping back in.
The referees, which have been highly scrutinized for a lackluster performance on Sunday, ruled that Austin’s forward progress prevented the safety and the teams went into the locker rooms tied at 10.
Sloppy play by both teams continued into the third quarter with neither team being able to get points on the board.
The game changed in fourth following a horrible 25-yard punt by the usually dependable Andy Lee, giving the Rams the ball at the San Francisco 29 yard line. The Rams would score a field on the drive.
The 49ers found themselves with a chance to win or tie with just over 3 minutes left in the game.
Kaepernick led the 49ers 87 yards down the field to give them a shot to win — and the team had thought they won, twice.
On 1st and goal from the 2 yard line, Kap threw to receiver Michael Crabtree which the team had thought won the game. However, the referees ruled the Crabtree did not possess the ball in the endzone and ruled him out at the 1 yard line.
On 2nd down from the 1 yard line, Kap threw the ball away through the back of the endzone and with 9 seconds left in the game, the 49ers had one more chance for a touchdown before settling for a field goal and a tie — at least that’s how it seemed.
The 49ers called a quarterback sneak in which many thought had won the game. After clearing the pile of players, the referees ruled that Kap had fumbled at the goal line, and the fumble had been recovered by the Rams.
After review of the play, the officials couldn’t find conclusive evidence that Kap had crossed the goal line before fumbling the ball.
Rams win 13-10 in a crazy finish.
With the wild ending, many 49ers believed the game had been won on that last play.
“I know I crossed the line,” said Kaepernick following Sunday’s loss. “…I was looking in the endzone.”
The 49ers very well may have scored on the last play, but the team still played a sloppy game with lots of missed opportunities.
Kaepernick finished the game with 237 yards passing with 1 touchdown on 22 completions. He also had another 14 yards rushing and lost 2 fumbles.
Despite the 4-4 record for the team, Kaepernick, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Monday, is still having what possibly the best year of his career passing.
The 49ers will now travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. on Fox.
Colin Kaepernick attempts to cross goal line on quarterback sneak ruled a fumble by referees. 11-2-14