After the St. Louis Rams avoided a second tie with San Francisco with a 16-13 overtime victory on Sunday, coach Jim Harbaugh indicated he’d be sticking with Kaepernick next week at home against the Dolphins.
“I’ll let you know if there’s a change, but right now I think it’ll be the same as it was this week,” Harbaugh said. “I’m proud of Kap, proud of the way he played. He handled himself well, gave our team a chance to win.”
Harbaugh took the heat for Kaepernick’s errant pitch in the fourth quarter that led to a 2-yard fumble return for touchdown by Janoris Jenkins. Combined with a 2-point conversion, that tied it at 10 with 3:04 to play. Harbaugh said it was “the wrong play to call at the time.”
“I would have loved to have that one back, but don’t blame the players on that one,” Harbaugh added.
Kaepernick also gave up a safety when he was whistled for intentional grounding in the end zone. Though he rallied the 49ers to a go-ahead field goal late in regulation, he felt the sting of defeat.
“I gave up those points that were on the scoreboard for the Rams, so that’s 100 percent on me,” Kaepernick said.
“I’ve just got to keep working. There’s nothing more you can do than keep working and get ready for next week.”
Leading 10-2, Kaepernick was well off the mark on a pitch to Ted Ginn Jr. from the San Francisco 17 on third-and-3, and Jenkins fell on it at the 2 before flopping into the end zone.
Tight end Lance Kendricks beat coverage from Patrick Willis on the 2-point conversion as the Rams succeeded even after a false start penalty on tackle Rodger Saffold.
Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in overtime. The rookie’s winning kick came after he sent the game into overtime with a 53-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.
The Rams (5-6-1) have won two straight after an 0-4-1 skid.
The 49ers (8-3-1) failed to take advantage of a 14-yard punt by rookie Johnny Hekker to midfield when David Akers was barely wide right on a 51-yard attempt with 4:11 to go in overtime. Akers is just 7 for 15 from 40 yards and beyond.
Zuerlein is 7 for 11 from the 50 and beyond and had plenty of distance on the kick on fourth-and-inches. Before the 53-yarder at the end of regulation, he had missed four of his previous seven attempts including a 58-yarder near the end of the half.
The last time teams tied twice in a season was in 1963 in games between the Eagles and Steelers. The last time teams had two ties in a season was in 1973 when it happened to four teams.