Final

49ers 17

(6-9, 3-5 away)

Rams 16

(2-13, 1-7 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 21, 2008

Edward Jones Dome, Saint Louis, MO 

1 2 3 4 T
SF 3 0 0 1417
STL 0 13 0 316

Top Performers

Passing: M. Bulger (STL) - 227 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: S. Jackson (STL) - 32 CAR, 108 YDS

Receiving: I. Bruce (SF) - 7 REC, 61 YDS, 1 TD

Bruce pads Hall of Fame resume as 49ers escape vs. putrid Rams

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- For 3 1/2 quarters, Shaun Hill threw more interceptions than completions to Isaac Bruce.

Fast Facts

• Shaun Hill hit Josh Morgan on a 48-yard passing touchdown with 1:22 remaining to give the 49ers the victory. It was San Francisco's longest passing TD of the season.

• Hill got the win despite throwing a career-high three interceptions.

• Isaac Bruce recorded seven receptions for 61 yards to give him 1,001 receptions for his career, becoming the fifth player in NFL history with 1,000-plus career receptions. His career total of 14,936 moves him past Tim Brown for second place on the NFL's all-time receiving yard list.

• The Rams have lost nine straight overall, five straight at home and matched last season's loss total at 13. They are 4-20 vs. divisional foes since 2005.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

The San Francisco 49ers' offense clicked just in time to erase a 13-point deficit, and for the 36-year-old wide receiver to reach a pair of milestones during a late-game flurry against his former team.

Bruce scored one of the touchdowns that rescued Hill's awful day and sent the St. Louis Rams skidding to their ninth straight loss, 17-16 on Sunday.

"It was a great game in the last quarter," Bruce said. "I'm very, very honored."

Bruce became the fifth player to reach 1,000 catches on a 3-yard touchdown grab with 4:03 to go and passed Tim Brown for second on the career yards receiving list on the 49ers' go-ahead drive.

The Rams (2-13) squandered a 10-point halftime lead for the second straight week. They were ahead 16-3 with 11:36 to go, but failed to capitalize on four turnovers and four sacks. The losing streak is the franchise's longest since moving to St. Louis in 1995.

"I don't know if we're cursed," running back Steven Jackson said. "But you know, I mean, it hurts. It hurts when you feel like you've outplayed your opponent literally for almost eight quarters going back to last week."

Coach Jim Haslett was more succinct, saying "We gave the game away."

Josh Morgan got the go-ahead score on a 48-yard reception with 1:22 to go from Hill, who threw a season-worst three interceptions before putting it all together late. Hill was 10-for-15 for 127 yards in the fourth quarter, and 18-for-34 for 216 yards overall.

"The other guys are on scholarship, too, so they're going to make plays," Bruce said. "I'm real fortunate to have Shaun come back and bounce back."

After the game, coach Mike Singletary said he'd been on the verge of yanking Hill and giving backup J.T. O'Sullivan a shot.

"I don't know if I've ever played that badly, especially for that long," Hill said. "I can't explain it. It goes like sometimes, but everybody hung in there."

Morgan and Jason Hill both appeared to run the same pattern in the left corner of the end zone, and three Rams were also close by when Morgan caught a slightly underthrown ball for only his 18th catch of the season.

San Francisco 49ers St. Louis Rams

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the San Francisco 49ers' 17-16 win over the St. Louis Rams.

"I just thought 'Make the play,'" Morgan said. "It shows what Coach Singletary said, that we took another big step."

The 49ers (6-9) won without Frank Gore, sidelined for the second straight week by a sprained ankle. They forced only one turnover, but it was the clincher and gave them four victories in five games heading into next week's finale at home against the Redskins.

The Rams got to their 48 in the final minute before Tarell Brown intercepted an off-target pass from Marc Bulger with 16 seconds to go.

Bruce needed six catches for 1,000 and 60 yards to pass Brown and he hit the first milestone with five catches for 32 yards on the TD that cut the deficit to 16-10 with 4:12 to go.

After the Rams went three-and-out, he added an 8-yard grab to pass Brown two plays before Morgan's go-ahead TD.

The 15-year veteran played his first 14 seasons with the Rams, and fans crooned "BRUUCE!" in appreciation after he beat Fakhir Brown for the touchdown. Other players to reach 1,000 receptions are: Jerry Rice (1,549), Cris Carter (1,101), Marvin Harrison (1,095) and Brown (1,094).

He has 1,001 catches for 14,936 yards, trailing only Rice (1,549) in the latter category.

"Yeah, I could hear," Bruce said. "It's the diehard fans of St. Louis Rams, guys who show up no matter what. I'm pretty much speechless with everything that went on."

Ron Bartell had two interceptions and Oshiomoghe Atogwe added his team-leading fifth of the season along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery for the Rams.

Jackson had 108 yards on 32 carries, his first 100-yard effort since Game 6 despite spending time on the training table with a sore left hamstring. Rookie Keenan Burton's first career touchdown reception came in a 10-point flurry in the final 1:12 of the first half of the home finale.

The game was blacked out on local TV for the second straight week and played in a quiet stadium that appeared to be about two-thirds full for a matchup of teams that replaced coaches during the season.

The 49ers had three turnovers by halftime, matching their total from the previous three games. Hill, who was 8-for-21 for 89 yards, had entered the game with 10 TD passes and only four interceptions.

Game notes


Rams G Jacob Bell (hamstring) did not play in the second half. ... Gore had 106 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns at home in a 35-16 victory over the Rams last month. ... Torry Holt had four catches for 55 yards and has caught a pass in 152 consecutive games, 11th best in NFL history.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SF
STL
1st Downs1521
Passing 1st downs
1110
Rushing 1st downs
410
1st downs from penalties
01
3rd down efficiency
4-116-18
4th down efficiency
1-12-3
Total Plays5579
Total Yards273343
Yards per play5.04.3
Total Drives1314
Passing190214
Comp-Att
18-3420-37
Yards per pass
5.05.4
Interceptions thrown
31
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-263-19
Rushing83129
Rushing Attempts
1739
Yards per rush
4.93.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-10-1
Penalties5-327-45
Turnovers41
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
31
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession21:2238:38

Passing Leaders

SFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hill18/342166.4234-26
STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bulger19/362276.3113-19
Looker1/166.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

SFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Hill44511.3024
Foster12363.008
STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson321083.4012
Darby5153.006

Receiving Leaders

SFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bruce7618.7121
Johnson46015.0021
STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Darby55711.4025
Avery55611.2018

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSFSTL
sfFG2:05Joe Nedney 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 34 yds, 2:21
30
SECOND QUARTERSFSTL
stlFG13:12Josh Brown 43 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 47 yds, 3:53
33
stlTD1:19Keenan Burton 30 Yard Pass From Marc Bulger (Josh Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 3:34
310
stlFG0:10Josh Brown 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 48 yds, 0:31
313
FOURTH QUARTERSFSTL
stlFG11:40Josh Brown 22 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 15 plays, 60 yds, 8:05
316
sfTD4:08Isaac Bruce 3 Yard Pass From Shaun Hill (Joe Nedney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 2:57
1016
sfTD1:31Josh Morgan 48 Yard Pass From Shaun Hill (Joe Nedney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 67 yds, 1:05
1716