They say a tie is like kissing your sister.
If that’s the case, it’s no surprise the St. Louis Rams were left with a bad taste in their mouths after playing to a 24-24 draw in San Francisco on Nov. 11.
“It’s kind of just starting the sixth quarter here,” Rams quarterback Sam Bradford said. “Obviously, we’re looking to finish this game with a win, not a tie. But, I think there’s definitely a sense of some unfinished business going into this game.”
The Rams were sick about the outcome, and rightfully so. They jumped out to an early 14-0 lead against the division-leading 49ers, held the lead with 1:13 left in regulation and had multiple chances to end the game in the overtime period.
The Rams shot themselves in the foot plenty of times, but the game also served as the coming-out party for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick, a 2011 second-round draft pick, entered the game in the middle of the second quarter after starting quarterback Alex Smith left the game with concussion-like symptoms.
Kaepernick led the 49ers to the comeback tie, and he’s also started the last two games for the 49ers, throwing for 474 yards and three touchdowns to just one interception in their two wins. Kaepernick has also rushed for a touchdown, another weapon he possesses – he torched the Rams for 66 yards and a score in that week 10 meeting.
Although 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has been reserved in naming Kaepernick the team’s starter for the rest of the year, on Wednesday he confirmed the second-year player would start this weekend in St. Louis. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said preparing for Kaepernick involves focusing on both his arm and his legs.
“It’s a challenge,” Fisher said. “Guys have to be aware. He pulls the ball down and runs for the first touchdown of the game against the Saints and that’s the additional dimension that he adds to that offense.”
The Rams got an eyeful of Kaepernick, and the entire 49ers team, what seems like just days ago. This weekend at the Edward Jones Dome, they’ll attempt to do what they couldn’t three weeks ago – get the 49ers down and keep them down. Fisher warned it won’t be easy.
“Experience kind of suggests that when you play games three weeks or four weeks apart, the second game is usually completely different than the first game,” Fisher said. “They don’t mirror each other at all. That’s just the way it is.
“We’ve got to take the same approach – the same physical approach – as they will into the game and then just make plays. We had a productive day against them on offense. They’re very, very talented on defense. We expect it to be a little bit harder this time around.”
If the week 10 tie was kissing your division rival, a win this Sunday would serve as effective mouthwash for the Rams.