49ers not sure how to feel after 24-24 tie

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49ers not sure how to feel after 24-24 tie

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The final seconds of overtime ticked off the clock at Candlestick Park on Sunday, and not many people knew what came next.Most realized the game had ended in the NFL's first tie since 2008. But then what?The fans fell silent at the conclusion of the 49ers' 24-24 tie against the St. Louis Rams. Many delayed their trip toward the exits. Players wandered aimlessly onto the field.INSTANT REPLAY: 49ers 24, Rams 24
"I don't know exactly how if feels, yet," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "I don't know quite how to feel right how. I've asked several people, some of our players. And I think they feel like I do. Don't know quite how to feel right now. But the way I feel is that it was a good football game. A hard-fought football game, and we came out even."The 49ers came out with a 6-2-1 record. It's a record that still leads the NFC West, but the Seattle Seahawks (6-4) gained a half-game in the standings with a 28-7 victory over the New York Jets.The 49ers own a one-game lead in the division over the Seahawks, who enter their bye week.
The 49ers trailed 14-0 after one quarter early. But on the same drive in which they cut the Rams' lead in half, they also absorbed a blow that stopped their momentum.Quarterback Alex Smith sustained a concussion on a quarterback sneak. He finished the drive, and even threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree. But Smith was removed from the game after reporting blurred vision. He was diagnosed with a concussion.RELATED: Smith sustained concussion on sneak
His status for the 49ers' next game, Monday, Nov. 19, against the Chicago Bears is not known. He must be cleared by an independent neurologist in order to play, per league protocol. Smith sustained a concussion last season and did not miss any action.
Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick entered the game and initially struggled. But then he made plays with his throwing and running. The 49ers made a big play on special teams to set up Frank Gore's go-ahead 20-yard touchdown with 8:23 remaining.Kaepernick completed 11 of 17 pass attempts for 117 yards. He also gained 66 yards rushing on eight attempts."He was pretty solid," Harbaugh said. "We felt that everything that was in the game play he was good with, comfortable with and could execute. And he did a very good job. There was no sense of uptightness or tenseness. He was very good."Said Kaepernick, "I thought I did pretty well. Obviously, there is a lot of room for improvement and a lot of things I would like to do differently. I just went out there and tried to do what I could do to help this team."The 49ers finally gained the lead, but then special teams and defense could not close the deal in regulation -- or overtime.The Rams converted a fake punt when Johnny Hekker, a former scout-team quarterback at Oregon State, completed his second pass of the game to keep a drive alive."It's tough," 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. "Any time you think you are getting off the field after third down, you are thinking you are going to over there, look at the plays they just ran, get some Gatorade and get off your feet. Next thing you know, you have that sudden change and have to go right back out there on defense again."The Rams completed a 14-play, 81-yard touchdown drive to re-take the lead on Sam Bradford's 2-yard scoring pass to Austin Pettis with 1:03 remaining. Bradford finished with 26-of-39 passing for 275 yards and two touchdowns."We saw an opportunity there, and we didn't seize it," 49ers safety Dashon Goldson said.The 49ers forced overtime when Kaepernick led the 49ers down the field. Receiver Kyle Williams dropped a pass around the Rams' 5-yard line in the closing seconds, the 49ers settled for David Akers' 33-yard field goal.And in overtime, things got even more strange.Receiver Danny Amendola torched 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers for an 80-yard pass play on the first play of the extra session. But referee Clete Blakeman ruled the Rams in an illegal formation. The 49ers used the gift to get the ball back.Akers had a chance to send the crowd home, but his 41-yard field goal attempt was wide left. Akers has made just 15 of 21 field-goal attempts this season. He did not stick around to speak with reporters afterward.The Rams had their own chance to win with a field goal in overtime. And rookie Greg Zeurlein appeared to do just that when he nailed a 53-yard attempt. But the Rams inexplicably let the play clock run out and were called for delay of game before the snap. His 58-yard attempt was wide right."I've been doing this a while and I don't think I've ever been in a game like this," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "We had a number of chances to put this one away and unfortunately we didn't."We just didn't win it. But we didn't lose it, either."All in all, it might have been a game that the 49ers were lucky to achieve a tie."It feels like we didn't even play, mentally not physically," 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said.Goldson admitted that he did not know the rules, and was surprised when the game ended without a declared winner. He did not know the game was over until he saw players on both sides walking onto the field at the conclusion."I've never heard of a tie in football," Goldson said. "Where's everybody going? Did somebody quit? Forfeit?"The 49ers came out slowly on Sunday, prompting many to wonder if the team was affected by the layoff. The Rams were also coming off their bye week."I think we had the same exact schedule last year after the bye," 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin said. "They played better than us in the first quarter, but I don't think it had anything to do with the bye."Gore, who finished with 97 rushing yards on 21 carries, sensed that the Rams beat the 49ers to the punch early in the game."We came out sluggish," Gore said. "You could tell we had some time off. But the Rams came in and played hard. We didn't get the job done. We got to get better and get back to what we do and how we play."

Waiting for Shanahan could be a good thing for 49ers

Waiting for Shanahan could be a good thing for 49ers

The 49ers were willing to be patient in securing their next head coach.

Depending on the outcome of the Atlanta Falcons’ game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, they could be required to wait another two weeks.

The other five organizations with vacancies after the regular season have filled their head-coach positions with four assistants from teams that did not qualify for the playoffs and former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, whom the Denver Broncos hired after his team was bounced in the AFC wild-card round.

Early in the 49ers’ search to replace Chip Kelly, the top targets appeared to be Josh McDaniels and Kyle Shanahan, the offensive coordinators for two of the top-three scoring teams in the NFL.

The coach-general manager team of McDaniels and New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio was the runaway favorite to be the package deal, according to sources close to the 49ers’ coaching search.

But when Caserio chose to remain as Bill Belichick’s top personnel lieutenant – just has he has in the past when other opportunities presented themselves – the job became less attractive to McDaniels, according to those sources. McDaniels announced on Monday he would remain with the Patriots for at least another year.

With McDaniels out of the picture, Shanahan became the clear favorite over Seattle assistant Tom Cable. And once Cable publicly stepped aside due to suspicions he was only being used to secure a commitment from Shanahan, only one candidate remained for the job.

Since the middle of this week, Shanahan has been the presumptive coach of the 49ers. Falcons coach Dan Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator two years ago when he was officially hired just hours after the Super Bowl. He knows he drill. And this week he announced to the Falcons staff that Shanahan would be the next coach of the 49ers, according to the NFL Network.

Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game, the 49ers will be allowed to interview Shanahan next week – most likely, Tuesday in Atlanta. Shanahan will be involved in the process to hire the next general manager. Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton appears to be the favorite. The 49ers expect the general manager position to be filled early in the week.

If the Falcons lose, the 49ers would be able to hire Shanahan on their own time frame. It would not be expected to take long.

But if the Falcons win, the 49ers would have to wait until after Feb. 5, when the Super Bowl will be played in Houston, to hire Shanahan.

There is an advantage to being forced to wait. In the long term, the 49ers could benefit from their next head coach gaining the experience of a Super Bowl week and calling a game on the biggest stage in all of sports.

Chargers plan to hire Bradley as defensive coordinator

Chargers plan to hire Bradley as defensive coordinator

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley has agreed to become defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers, the club announced Saturday.

The 49ers were reportedly in pursuit of Bradley to join the staff of presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan. Bradley spent four seasons as Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator prior to landing the Jacksonville job in 2013. The Jaguars were 14-48 during Bradley's tenure.

Bradley was also reportedly the top candidate for Washington’s defensive coordinator position. The Chargers announced their plan to hire Bradley to join Anthony Lynn’s staff.

Shanahan, the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, confirmed this week he intends to take part in a second interview with the 49ers early next week after the NFC Championship game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. He remains as the only candidate for the 49ers' opening, which became open when Chip Kelly was fired after the team's 2-14 season.

The 49ers are not allowed to officially hire Shanahan until the Falcons’ season is over. Shanahan is expected to be involved in the process to hire the 49ers’ general manager, who replaces fired Trent Baalke. Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton appears to be the front-runner. He is scheduled for a second interview, likely on Tuesday in Atlanta.

Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is the only other individual the 49ers interviewed who remains “in play” for the GM job, according to sources.