SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers had momentum and field position on their side when Trent Taylor made a sprawling catch at the Los Angeles Rams' 39-yard line.
The 49ers, down by two points, were nearing field-goal range on the first play after the two-minute warning. But the momentum was quickly halted.
Taylor was called for offensive pass interference as he broke to the outside against the coverage of Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. TV replays were inconclusive whether Taylor extended his right arm to push off.
“I ran the route the way it was called, the way that I always run it,” Taylor told NBC Sports Bay Area afer the game. “Felt good about it, and it was a great play call. But the ref’s decision on that, that’s nothing I can comment on. So I’ll just leave it as it is.”
The penalty set back the 49ers 10 yards. Brian Hoyer’s third-and-20 pass was incomplete, and he was sacked on fourth down to end any hope of a 49ers comeback victory.
“In that time of the game I would think you would let people play,” said Hoyer, prefacing his remarks with his intention to not say anything would warrant a fine.
“But I haven’t seen it. I have to go and watch the film. You know what, you don’t want to leave it up to the refs anyways. You hope you make a few plays earlier in the game to change the outcome. If it comes down to that, then that’s what it is. That’s what the guys job is to do.”
Taylor caught three passes for 32 yards, including his first NFL touchdown. He was also involved in another key play just moments earlier as the 49ers sought to tie the game. Hoyer’s two-point conversion pass attempt was tipped by Los Angeles cornerback Troy Hill and intercepted by defensive tackle Michael Brockers.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said Taylor was the third option on the play. Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin were both well-covered on their inside-breaking routes. Taylor initially had separation against Hill, but that was a problem for the 49ers. The route called for Taylor to cut it back inside. Hoyer and Taylor teamed up for a touchdown on the exact same route on the other side earlier in the game against Hill.
“They got lucky and guessed the play,” Taylor said. “They were on it, so there was nothing we could do about it.”