Halftime Notes: Rams at 49ers (Week 17)

Posted Jan 3, 2016

Insider Myles Simmons provides some first-half notes from Sunday's contest between St. Louis and San Francisco.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- It’s been a back-and-forth first half, but a big turnover got St. Louis back in front to take a 16-10 lead into halftime at Levi's Stadium. Here are some notes from the first two quarters against San Francisco.


The quarterback-receiver connection between Case Keenum and Kenny Britt has been strong in recent weeks, and that continued in the first quarter on Sunday.

On the first play of the Rams’ second drive, Keenum dropped back for a play action pass and fired off a deep ball to the right side. Britt had a step on the San Francisco corner and went up to make the catch for a 54-yard gain to the home team’s 33-yard line. The long play set up a Greg Zuerlein 33-yard field goal for the Rams to take an early 3-0 lead.

With the catch, Britt’s yards per catch improved to 19.2 on the season, which is among the league’s best. He’s made a reception for at least 25 yards in each of the Rams’ last three games.


The Rams had trouble defending two big plays for the 49ers, both of which led to points.

On the first play of the second quarter, Niners quarterback Blaine Gabbert found Anquan Boldin in the middle of the field. The wide receiver then shed his defender and walked into the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown, putting the Niners up 7-3.

San Francisco then used a 47-yard run by DuJuan Harris on 3rd-and-3 to move all the way up to St. Louis’ nine-yard line. The defense held the home team to a field goal, but the explosive play set up the Niners to increase their lead to 10-3.


The Rams have excelled at converting turnovers into points this season, and capitalized on a golden opportunity inside two minutes in the second quarter.

On 1st-and-10, Gabbert dropped back to throw a screen, but defensive tackle Aaron Donald read the play and tipped the ball in the air. Defensive end Eugene Sims came down with the ball and then showed some strong athleticism, returning the ball all the way to the San Francisco 3-yard line.

From there, Tre Mason did the rest, running the ball in on a pitch play from 4 yards out on second down for a touchdown. Mason’s first touchdown of the season got the Rams back in front with a 13-10 lead.

After a quick San Francisco punt, the Rams got back on the board with the help of a 40-yard run by Benny Cunningham. The MTSU product put St. Louis at the San Francisco 26-yard line, and Zuerlein connected on a 44-yard field goal to increase the lead to 16-10.