49ers burned by fakes, Akers slumping, knowing OT rules, etc.

November 12, 2012, 9:42 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers fell victims to two passes thrown by St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker, including a fake punt to keep a late drive alive. The Rams went on to score a touchdown in the eventual 24-24 tie on Sunday.
Faced with a fourth-and-8 from the St. Louis 33, the Rams ran a fake in which Danny Amendola, the gunner on the left side, drew the 49ers the other way when he motioned behind Hekker.Hekker then hit Lance Kendricks with the misdirection pass that picked up 18 yards before Perrish Cox came up to make the tackle."It was an alert all week," Harbaugh said. "The Rams are a fake team. They like to run fakes, they run them very well. (I) wish, in hindsight, we'd been in a better position to defend the fake. We didn't anticipate they'd run a fake at that point."That play kept alive a drive that turned into a 14-play, 81-yard march that culminated with a touchdown that gave the Rams a 24-21 lead with 1:03 remaining in regulation. The 49ers tied the game with a field goal in the closing seconds.Just prior to the end of the first half, Hekker hit rookie safety Rodney McLeod for a 21-yard pass out of his own end zone. Hekker threw to McLeod when he saw Chris Culliver abandon McLeod to attempt to block a punt."When we run the rush we run, you understand that they could do exactly what they did and you roll the dice that they won't do it, as far backed up as they are," Harbaugh said."I wouldn't say we were daring them into it. We felt we were playing the percentages to rush and block the punt. And they executed as well as you can and made a great play."The play did not figure into the scoring, as the Rams ran three more plays before the first half expired.AKERS' STRUGGLES: Kicker David Akers, who set an NFL record with 44 field goals last season and began this season strong, has fallen into a slump. Akers has missed six of his last 15 field-goal attempts.Akers' 33-yard field goal with :03 remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime. But Akers missed a 41-yard attempt in overtime that would've provided the 49ers with a victory over the Rams.Akers, a 14-year professional, did not stick around to answer questions from the media after Sunday's game. When asked if he believes Akers has an issue with his confidence, Harbaugh said, "No, not that I'm aware of."Harbaugh added, "I've not pin-pointed any reason there. I have indications that he's not confident."Akers made his first six field-goal attempts of the season, including a NFL-record-tying 63-yarder in the 49ers' opening victory over the Green Bay Packers. He is 15 of 21 for the season. Last season he made 44 of 52 tries.WILLIAMS THE BACKUP PLAN: The 49ers suited up two quarterbacks as part of their 46-man game day roster. So after starter Alex Smith exited with his concussion, Colin Kaepernick was the only quarterback in uniform.Scott Tolzien was not eligible to play at any point. He was named as one of the team's seven inactive players.So who was the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback? Wide receiver Kyle Williams, Harbaugh said. When asked how much time the 49ers have prepared for the event that Williams was needed in an emergency role, Harbaugh answered, "Minimal."KNOWING THE RULES: Safety Dashon Goldson said afterward he was surprised that the game ended in a tie. When asked if it's important for everyone to know the rules, Harbaugh answered, "Yeah, I think that's important for everyone to know, especially the situation we're in. That's why we called the prevent defense at the very end, for that purpose."