The Rams got down early and never recovered in a 28-25 season-opening loss to the 49ers in San Francisco, though a late comeback almost pulled them even.
Trailing 28-9 in the third quarter, St. Louis turned on the jets and made a game of it.
Jeff Wilkins hit a 41-yard field goal in the third, then Marc Bulger hit Isaac Bruce for a 29-yard touchdown strike and Brandon Manumaleuna for a 6-yard score. The extra point cut the 49ers lead to three points wit 2:13 to go in the game.
The Rams defense forced a three-and-out on San Francisco’s next possession and Sean McDonald returned the punt to the 49ers’ 38 yard line. An encroachment penalty allowed the Rams to move down to the 33-yard line. But on the next play Bulger was picked off by Mike Adams.
That was Bulger’s only interception of the game. He finished 34-for-56 with 362 yards passing and two touchdowns. He hit Torry Holt ten times for 125 yards.
The 49ers overcame an early 3-0 lead by scoring 21 points in the second quarter. Quarterback Tim Rattay tossed touchdowns to Brandon Loyd and Arnaz battle, while Fred Armey returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown.