Here is the opening to my column about the 49ers-Rams disappointment — from the 49ers’ point of view.

SAN FRANCISCO — Don’t let all the smoke and noise confuse you. Don’t think just because Alex Smith suffered a concussion and had to leave the game early in the second quarter and Colin Kaepernick came in, don’t think that’s why the 49ers settled for a 24-24 tie with the rebuilding Rams, the inferior Rams, the not-so-hot Rams.

And please don’t think the quarterback shuffle is why the Niners suffered an embarrassment. Be clear about this, they most definitely got embarrassed in their own stadium.

To read the full column, click here.

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  1. Brandon Conway

    Endless paragraphs about the QBs when the defense was CLEARLY the main culprit of the game? Sheesh.

    November 11th, 2012 11:48 pm

  2. Terry

    As a 49er fan I will take this tie with a smile of gratitude.
    My team was out coached, outplayed, outsmarted and got a couple of HUGE breaks
    from the Rams ineptness. We should have lost this game, period. A tie is a gift to us! i hope this results in a needed wakeup call.

    November 12th, 2012 7:35 am

  3. Dennis

    A little harsh, don’t you think? I put this “loss” on the defense. The offense scored 24 points and did not turn the ball over. The defense gave up 24 points and were really lucky that the 80 yard pass to Amendola was called back do to a penalty. I do agree that the Rams out played us, but “lost” the game do to their own mistakes. But our offense put in a performance that should have gotten the win.

    November 12th, 2012 8:24 am

  4. PhD

    Let’s not forget Jerry Rice being in the game but changing his name to Amandola. Everybody knows Bradford wants to throw to him, but apparently he’s unstoppable. HOF! HOF!

    November 12th, 2012 8:27 am

  5. Gopal

    For the entire fourth quarter, I kept fixating on Amendola and how he was being covered. You have to give the Rams credit for their passing game. They made a pretty good secondary look ordinary on Sunday.

    I think Kaepernick is most effective when he’s passing from outside the pocket. Maybe they need to figure out how to run variations on that option play he likes so much. It’s clear that when Kap is on the field, they’re pretty much a running team. I did see him miss a couple of downfield targets who appeared to be open in overtime.

    November 12th, 2012 8:52 am

  6. Steve

    Granted, the team didn’t play well and the coaching staff didn’t have a good game plan. But this was the worst officiated game I’ve ever witnessed – by the ballyhooed “regular” refs no less. They left the clock running during a measurement and then compounded their mistake by failing to reset the 1:12 that had run off; they didn’t call a blatant (visually and aurally) helmet to helmet hit on the play that Alex suffered a concussion; they did call a phantom helmet to helmet on Ray McDonald; with less than a minute to go in overtime they misspotted the ball by, oh, 3-4 yards and then left the clock running while they corrected the spot thus costing the Rams about 15 seconds; they negated (very late flag) the Almendola 80 pass play because the tackle was what, an inch off the line. I’m not a Chris Myers fan, but to his credit he hammered the refs throughout the game beginning with the uncorrected 1:12 clock run-off. This was an unsatisfying game to watch, made much worse because of the ineptitude of the refs. If this was a crew of replacement refs, there would be universal outrage, the lead story ln Sports Center. I, for one, think every member of the crew that officiated yesterday’s game should be fired today.

    November 12th, 2012 9:34 am

  7. Giants Fan

    Agreed that this was a bad game, for example two fake punts for first downs by the Rams? But to harp on Smith is ridiculous. So what if he came out of the gate slow, so did Kap? He looked horrible when he first came out and pulled it together. Smith has proven himself and will continue to do so. To say Smith can only dink and dunk is ridiculous, did Vernon Davis throw all those passes he caught for TD’s to himself? It wasn’t Shaun Hill or JT O’Sullivan…gee who could it be? Will Kap someday be the Niners QB, I think so. But today, this is Alex Smith’s team and he is the only QB on the roster at this time who’s capable of leading them to the Super Bowl. Kap took some sacks, missed open receivers and the like. But to his credit he found a way to come back, but how hard is it going to be to game plan Kap right now? I’m no Bill Walsh, but I’d stack the box, play the run and make Kap beat me throwing the ball if I were the opposing team. You write like there’s no way Alex would have come back, but that’s what he did all year last year. The defense and in part, coaching lost this game. Two perceived strengths, cost them a win.

    November 12th, 2012 10:00 am

  8. Steve

    Now that I’ve got my ref rant off my chest, I wasn’t impressed with Kapernick. He overthrew wide open receivers numerous times and telegraphed his intentions on many other pass plays. He’s a great athlete, a formidable runner and possesses a big arm, but when defensive coordinators have a chance to watch some film they’ll pick him apart. Maybe it’s too early to pass judgement, but I don’t see him taking the Niners to the Super Bowl.

    November 12th, 2012 10:07 am

  9. Mark M

    Thanks for not pulling any punches in this one Lowell. Spot on. This one feels like a loss and opens the door for the Seahawks.

    Who the heck is Amendola? I had never heard of the dude but we obviously can’t cover him.

    Agree with some of the other comments here that the defense is the main culprit in this one. I know everyone will want to talk Alex vs. Kaep in the coming week(s). But for OUR great defense to give up 458 yards to THAT chump team, even with that long pass called back in OT, is completely shocking. I did not see this one coming. Guess the Niners didn’t either, but Fred Soft sure saw it.

    November 12th, 2012 10:16 am

  10. Dr. Feelgood

    Well, the tie somewhat answers the question, “How do you beat the 49ers”.
    1. Have as your head coach a BRILLIANT, PROVEN guy, like Fischer.
    2. Gouge the defense with ROBUST GAINS ON FIRST DOWN, setting up…
    3. HIGH PERCENTAGE OF CONVERSIONS on second or third down, setting up…
    4. Extended, TIME CONSUMING DRIVES to wear down the defense…
    5. CONCUSS THE QB, forcing him out.
    6. Employ a TRICK PLAY, and when that works, DO IT AGAIN.
    7. PRAY TO THE GODS that the kicker misses a makeable try, and, HE DOES!
    8. And so forth
    9. That’s a lot of “go wrong” for one game, no?

    Giants down 3-1 to the Cardinals- they’re toast, right?
    Trying to predict the success or failure of the team based on yesterday is a fools game, Perhaps it is better for the team to see it’s weaknesses exposed and get them corrected and over with?

    November 12th, 2012 10:19 am

  11. Stan

    This was + tie for the 49ers and a – tie for the Rams. The 49ers WERE outplayed,outcoached. Yet, 6-2-1 sounds pretty good today.

    Also-the new thing in sports broadcasting,ask the ref? Boring. Even when they try to be funny it’s like hearing “Why did the chicken cross the road?” in a monotone.

    November 12th, 2012 10:39 am

  12. Dave T

    @Terry….how many wake-up calls do you need? Vikings? Giants? Now Rams? When will people admit that the NFL is adjusting to what the Niners are doing and starting to figure it out? The question is now, what adjustments do Harbaugh and his staff make? So far I have seen very very few. And that is not the mark of an elite team.

    November 12th, 2012 10:47 am

  13. glenellen

    Can you ask Greg Roman what is going on?

    Why not Brandon Jacobs ?


    November 12th, 2012 10:58 am

  14. glenellen

    This is why I do not gamble on sports.

    They were favored by 12 points ?

    November 12th, 2012 10:59 am

  15. Bob In Portland

    A couple of things. I didn’t like the way the Niners started out, offense and defense. I wonder how much is Smith and how much is Roman, but the defense definitely did not dominate. Someone’s got to figure out what to do with Amendola short of breaking his shoulder again.

    Kaepernick started out inaccurate and maybe was too hyped up because it seemed like no one could catch his passes. He settled down later, but he seemed to take too long making his reads. That’s a part of his game that’ll get better over time.

    But the Niners’ biggest problems were on defense. They couldn’t stop that old guy with the dreads, and they couldn’t stop Amendola.

    I think Alex Smith must have keyed Lowell’s car once because there seems to be a lot of hostility there.

    November 12th, 2012 11:33 am

  16. Steve

    glenellen brings up two good points. Double digit favorites in the NFL tend to be sucker bets. Gamblers like to bet the favorite. This week there are three double digit favorites: Patriots, Niners and Steelers. The Patriots and Niners didn’t cover, the Steelers play tonight. I do think the Steelers will cover (revenge game for OC Todd Haley – look what John Fox and Denver did to the Panthers in Carolina), but I wouldn’t bet the house. And what about Brandon Jacobs? This morning Larry Krueger (who was in the locker room after the game) said Gore could barely move from the pounding he took. Why aren’t Bay Area sports writers relentlessly pursuing this story? Another unsolved mystery a la Lincecum/Posey?

    November 12th, 2012 11:40 am

  17. Pablo


    I appreciate the tone of your column. I’m noticing a change, all for the better.

    November 12th, 2012 12:40 pm

  18. Tiburon Dave

    This was a loss…at home…after a bye…the 49ers needed to murder the Rams…they came out flat and demonstrated once again that their offense is not effective at coming from behind…

    Coach Harbaugh is all about intensity and it looks like his Defense just can’t crank it up to that high level every single week…I don’t know that any defense can…

    The problem is when the offense needs to bail them out they don’t have the horses…Frank is too old to be the everydown back…no one else has stepped up and the knock on Jacobs is he can’t/won’t block…that’s why Coughlin cut him in the first place…

    Next Monday becomes a HUGE game for both teams…if Colin starts for the 49ers, Bears win on turnovers…

    November 12th, 2012 1:03 pm

  19. htwaits

    Rams Lose to 49ers 24 – 24

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Rams special teams grade: F

    Rams coaching grade: D

    The glass is never half full no matter who we are or where we are.

    November 12th, 2012 1:35 pm

  20. mbabco

    The Rams came into this game with the 28th ranked offense in the league. 49er defense was absolutely pathetic. What a contrast with the two defenses in the Chicago/Houston game.

    How on earth when you’ve been fake punted once do you let yourself get snookered again?

    Lowell, I see to remember Alex Smith had a pretty good run himself in the New Orleans game last year.

    I was really put off by the 49er dancing before the kick-off. It seemed arrogant and out-of-place for a team that was doing so badly.

    And I don’t see this as a + tie for the 49ers. If Akers had done his job they would have won. Should have won.

    November 12th, 2012 1:54 pm

  21. mbabco

    A couple of other thoughts.

    I agree with Lowell on Greg Roman. I’ve seen him mentioned several times as the most likely 49er coach to get a head coaching job. I don’t get it. At times the offense just seems so pedestrian.

    Games like this point out the low margin of error the 49ers have they way they are constructed and coached right now. Everything needs to fall into place for them to win — although they do get to blow out really lousy teams. All too often they have to virtually mistake-free (including the field goal kicker) to win.

    November 12th, 2012 1:59 pm

  22. Loneraider78

    Why so harsh on the offense? It was the defense that did two things they didn’t do at all last year. 1)Allowed a 100 yd rusher 2) Allowed a rushing TD. And on top of that Bradford looked cool, calm and collected all day. That is not the Niners MO. They squash offenses like that. Not yesterday.

    Agree 100% with Steve. If those were replacement refs the sky would be falling. And for the record, I can see absolutely no difference in the games since the “real” guys came back, in fact they’re worse. They were incompetant from start to finish. How ironic that they cost the Rams a minute and a half letting the clock run while measuring, but then took away the game winning kick because of—wait for it—-delay of game!!!

    November 12th, 2012 4:29 pm

  23. CohnZohn

    Loneraider, My Tuesday column is all about the 49ers defense.

    November 12th, 2012 5:08 pm

  24. Loneraider78

    Correction. I said “no difference” when I meant no improvement.

    November 12th, 2012 5:43 pm

  25. Loneraider78

    I’ll check it out. Interested to hear your take on what was the impenetrable SF defense.

    November 12th, 2012 5:45 pm

  26. eatmycumulous

    Best column of the year. The offense is pedestrian with no guts Alex, and the defense couldn’t stop the Rams. The Viking exposed the 49ers and the Giants and Rams have exploited the same approach. The league has adjusted to the 49ers, and the 49ers haven’t adjusted in turn.

    November 13th, 2012 9:03 pm

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