There was a fourth-quarter comeback and a missed field goal in overtime that resulted in the first NFL tie since 2008 as the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers drew to a 24-24 stalemate in a thrilling Sunday night football game.
The 24-24 tie is the NFL’s first since 2008 and the first since the league instituted new overtime rules in the offseason that ended the sudden death format.
"I have to say, I've been doing this a while. I don't think I've ever been in a game like this," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said, according to ESPN.com. "As I told our guys, we had a number of chances to put the game away. And, unfortunately, we didn't."
The Rams had an opportunity to put the 49ers away late in overtime when kicker Greg Zuerlein successfully attempted a 53-yard field goal. But the kick was nullified on a delay of game penalty that set St. Louis back five yards. Zuerlein then attempted a 58-yarder that missed wide right.
Before Sunday night’s thriller, the last NFL tie was a 13-13 stalemate between the Phildelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 16, 2008.
San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh said he didn’t know what to make of the result.
"I don't know exactly how it feels yet," Harbaugh said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "I asked several people, most of our players, and I think they feel like I do right now. So I don't know how to feel."
49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks wasn’t as unsure. Brooks was disappointed by the tie – a game that San Francisco was heavily favored to win at home.
"It actually feels like a loss, to tell you the truth," he told the Chronicle.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford also said the tie left him with a bad taste in his mouth since St. Louis squandered a first half lead.
"It's a weird feeling. I've never been a part of a game like that before," Bradford said. "I think the mood in this locker room is disappointment,” he told ESPN.com.
St. Louis got off to an early start, ending the first quarter up 14-0 against San Francisco thanks to a 36-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Brian Quick and a 7-yard touchdown run from Steven Jackson.
Alex Smith and the 49ers cut the lead in half when the quarterback connected with wide receiver Michael Crabtree on a 14-yard touchdown.
Smith was knocked out of the game with a concussion and rookie Colin Kaepernick replaced him in the second half.
In a low scoring third quarter, Zuerlein hit a 27-yard field goal to extend the Rams’ lead to 17-7.
The fourth quarter belonged to the 49ers as San Francisco added two touchdowns – runs from Kaepernick and Frank Fore – to go up 21-17.
The Rams responded with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Bradford to Austin Pettis with a little more than a minute remaining.
Kaepernick and the 49ers then drove up the field and kicker David Akers sent the game into overtime with a 33-yard field goal to tie the game at 24.