ST. LOUIS -- The 49ers wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs on Sunday with a 34-27 victory over the St. Louis Rams to close out the regular season.In the process, coach Jim Harbaugh became the fourth rookie head coach in NFL history to win 13 or more games. He is the first coach to accomplish the feat after inheriting a team coming off a losing record.The 49ers finish at 13-3 after going 6-10 last season. Mike Singletary was fired as 49ers coach after a late-season loss at St. Louis eliminated the 49ers from the playoff picture.Under Harbaugh, the 49ers are NFC West champions and will be heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.Gaining the No. 2 seed behind the top-seeded Green Bay Packers was of the utmost importance for the 49ers. The No. 2 seed gets a first-round playoff bye and a home game in the divisional playoffs. The No. 3 seed, the New Orleans Saints, must play next week in the wild-card round.Since 1990, a No. 2 seed has reached the Super Bowl 12 times, while the No. 3 seed has made it to the Super Bowl just twice.--The 49ers put the game out of reach late in the third quarter with some trickery that left the 2-14 Rams completely baffled.Kicker David Akers hit wide receiver Michael Crabtree on a 14-yard pass on a fake field goal. Crabtree remained on the field, near the sideline, after the third-down play. He did not re-enter the huddle before the fourth-down snap.
The Rams did not see Crabtree on the field, leaving him uncovered. When Akers added the extra point after the his first career TD pass, he broke the NFL record for most points in a season with no touchdowns. Gary Anderson previously held the record with 164 points. Akers' PAT gave him 165.Akers had field goals of 36 and 42 yards earlier in the game after missing his first attempt from 48 yards.--Quarterback Alex Smith accounted for both of the 49ers' first-half touchdowns with an 8-yard scoring run and a 28-yard pass to Crabtree, who did most of the work with a nifty run down the right sideline.--On Smith's touchdown, he slipped to the ground while avoiding Rams defensive end Chris Long. But Smith popped back up. Tight end Justin Peelle leveled linebacker James Laurinaitis with a block while running back Frank Gore blocked Chris Chamberlain. Smith then dove inside the right pylon for the touchdown.--Cornerback Tarell Brown intercepted an ill-advised halfback pass from Jerious Norwood to put the 49ers in position for Crabtree's touchdown catch. Crabtree has scored at least one touchdown in four straight games against the Rams.Brown added another interception in the fourth quarter against Kellen Clemens, who got the start in place of injured Sam Bradford. Anthony Dixon added a 1-yard TD run with 6:30 remaining.--Linebacker Patrick Willis returned to the lineup after missing three games with a right hamstring strain. Meanwhile, receivers Ted Ginn (ankle) and Kyle Williams (concussion) did not suit up.--Smith relied on Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis in the passing game. Davis caught eight passes for 118 yards, while Crabtree had nine receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Smith completed 21 of 31 passes for 219 yards and no turnovers.--The 49ers finished the regular season with 22 straight quarters without a turnover for the first time in team history.With just 10 giveaways for the season, the 49ers tied the NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season. The New England Patriots committed 10 turnovers last season.--The 49ers finished with a plus-28 turnover margin, tied for second-best margin in the NFL for a single season since 1970.--After taking a 20-7 lead at halftime, the 49ers used the opportunity to rest Gore and defensive lineman Justin Smith in the second half.--Rookie pass-rusher Aldon Smith was held without a sack. He finished the season a half-sack from the NFL rookie record. Jevon Kearse recorded 14.5 sacks for the Tennessee Titans in 1999.