Colin Kaepernick threw two touchdown passes, Frank Gore had his first 100-yard game of the season and the San Francisco 49ers’ defense stepped up without some of their stars in a 35-11 rout over the Rams in St. Louis on Thursday night.
Anquan Boldin had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown, and Gore had 153 yards on 20 carries and a 34-yard score for San Francisco (2-2), which was outscored 46-10 the previous two games. Navarro Bowman had two of the 49ers’ five sacks with a strip leading to a fourth-quarter scoring run by Anthony Dixon.
The Rams (1-3) had an overtime win and tie against San Francisco last year, and took the early lead Thursday before falling flat. Greg Zuerlein banged in a 40-yard field goal off the right upright to end a nine-game scoring drought in the first quarter, but the 49ers answered with 28 straight points.
The 49ers came close to a Super Bowl title in February and regained their footing against the team that gave them the most trouble last season. Minus cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and linebackers Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith, they quieted a raucous, hopeful crowd, sending all but a few thousand home early.
Kaepernick had no touchdown passes and four interceptions the previous two weeks and completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes. He was 15 for 23 for 167 yards.
Gore more than doubled his output from the first three weeks and got a lot more work, too, after totaling just 11 carries last week. Four days earlier, DeMarco Murray burned them for 175 yards in Dallas’ 31-7 win.
After mustering just 25 yards in the first quarter, the 49ers took a noisy crowd out of it in the second, averaging more than 11 yards per snap while piling up 176 yards and two touchdowns. Kaepernick was 8 for 12 for 104 yards in the half, all but 11 of those yards in the second quarter.
The Rams went for a score on third-and-1 from the 49ers 34 and Donte Whitner’s diving interception in the end zone set up an eight-play, 80-yard drive capped by Gore’s 34-yard run on third-and-1 in the final minute that made it 14-3.
Making things worse, the Rams also lost rookie safety T.J. McDonald, who was carted off with a leg injury in the second half.
Twitter reaches deal to show video
The NFL struck a deal to show game highlights and other video content on Twitter ahead of the short messaging service’s initial public offering of stock.
The deal is part of Twitter’s “Amplify” program, which lets TV broadcasters show ad-supported video clips in users’ Twitter feeds as the users discuss what they are watching on TV in real time. Other partners include the Weather Channel, the National Basketball Association, Warner Music and CBS.
The NFL and Twitter said that the deal will let football fans interact with NFL video content created specifically for Twitter – on computers, tablets or mobile devices. Content will include highlights from in-game highlights from NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football and clips from other regular-season and postseason games, along with news, analysis and fantasy football advice
Pryor returns to observe practice
Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor returned to the practice field for the Raiders three days after sustaining a concussion but is not participating in team drills.
Pryor was in uniform and took part in stretching but did not have a helmet and mostly watched backup quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Matt McGloin run practice during the portion open to the media.
Pryor was knocked out of Monday night’s loss in Denver in the fourth quarter and did not practice Wednesday.
Broncos hold Ihenacho out
Denver Broncos safety Duke Ihenacho was held out of practice along with backup linebacker Paris Lenon.
Ihenacho sprained his right ankle two weeks ago and tweaked it Monday night against Oakland. Lenon has a sore thigh.