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Rams win as late Kaepernick fumble seals 49ers’ fate


The Rams’ defense was all over 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick today. And in the end, the Rams ripped the ball -- and the game -- from Kaepernick’s hands.

With just seconds remaining and the Rams leading 13-10, the 49ers had the ball at the 1-yard line on third down. Kaepernick took the snap and attempted to plunge into the end zone on a quarterback sneak, but he fumbled and Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis recovered. The Rams celebrated a hard-fought win, and Kaepernick walked off the field shaking his head.

The Rams had been brutalizing Kaepernick and his offensive linemen all day, recording eight sacks. (The Rams had only six sacks all season heading into today.) It was an amazing performance by the St. Louis pass rush, and a terrible performance by the San Francisco offensive line.

For the 49ers, linebacker Chris Borland had a huge game, with 15 solo tackles. And the 49ers’ defense held the Rams to just 13 first downs and 193 total yards while intercepting Rams quarterback Austin Davis twice.

But it was the Rams’ defense that made the biggest play when it mattered, and St. Louis pulled an upset to improve its record to 3-5. The 49ers fall to 4-4 and are looking like a long shot to make the playoffs. That Kaepernick fumble may be the play the 49ers look back on at the end of this season, when they think about how things went so very wrong.