49ers 23, Rams 13: Colin Kaepernick passed for 275 yards and a touchdown and the San Francisco defense continued its strong play of late in a crisp victory over visiting St. Louis.
Kaepernick finished 19-of-28 and chipped in 21 rushing yards, while Frank Gore carried the bulk of the load on the ground for the 49ers (8-4), taking 15 carries for 42 yards with a score. Anquan Boldin had nine receptions for 98 yards, Vernon Davis added 82 yards and a touchdown and Michael Crabtree, making his season debut after tearing his Achilles' tendon in May, chipped in two catches for 68 yards.
The Rams (5-7), who had won back-to-back games against Indianapolis and Chicago by the combined margin of 80-29, took a step backwards in this one, particularly on offense. Kellen Clemens went 19-of-37 for 218 yards, including a meaningless touchdown pass in the game's final minute, while rookie Zac Stacy rushed for 72 yards but only averaged 3.8 yards per carry against a 49ers defense that has held four of its last five opponents to 13 points or fewer.
A pair of field goals by Phil Dawson staked San Francisco to a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter before Gore's 3-yard TD plunge made it 13-0. St. Louis finally got on the board in the final minute of the first half on Greg Zuerlein's 43-yard field goal.
Zuerlein added another field goal midway through the third quarter, but Dawson responded with one of his own to create a 16-6 score heading into the fourth. In the first minute of the final period, Kaepernick's 17-yard scoring strike to Davis essentially ended any chance of a comeback, although the Rams did make the final score more respectable with Clemmens' short TD pass to Brian Quick with 18 seconds to play.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The 49ers lost All-Pro LT Joe Staley to a knee injury in the first quarter. … The game was loaded with penalties, as the St. Louis had 11 for 105 yards and San Francisco was whistled for nine penalties for 85 yards. … Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin, who scored four touchdowns of 50-plus yards in the last two weeks, was limited to 25 receiving yards and 10 rushing yards in this one.