After 10 hard quarters proving Jeff Fisher's rebuilding project belonged against the class of the NFC West, and more, heck, they deserved a little celebration.
"It's gratifying," Long said after Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in overtime to give the Rams a 16-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, avoiding a second tie in three weeks between the teams. "I feel for everybody who's come here and really put in the work and bought into what coach Fisher's doing."
The rookie's winning kick on fourth and inches from the 36 came after he sent the game into overtime with a 53-yard field goal as time expired in regulation. The kick was right down the middle with plenty of distance to spare.
"I was just trying to make the kick and not think about anything," Zuerlein said. "I was pretty relieved, you know."
"I probably missed it by 3-4 inches to the right," Akers said. "I just feel horrible for letting my teammates, the organization and the fans down."
"I'll let you know if there's a change, but right now I think it'll be the same as it was this week," Harbaugh said. "I'm proud of Kap, proud of the way he played."
Zuerlein is 7-for-11 kicking from the 50 and beyond. Before the 53-yarder at the end of regulation, he had missed four of his previous seven attempts including a 58-yarder near the end of the half.
"I think the perception was well, we might have caught them on a bad day," Fisher said. "It's a good feeling in the locker room."
Most of the game was a defensive struggle, nothing like the 24-all tie in San Francisco. Michel Crabtree was a rare offensive standout with seven catches for 101 yards, while rookie Chris Givens had 11 receptions for 92 yards for St. Louis.
"I'll tell you, they put their whole team in the box," Gore said.
The Rams were suddenly in the game when Kaepernick was well off the mark on a pitch to Ted Ginn Jr. from the 17 and Jenkins fell on it at the 2 before flopping into the end zone. Kendricks beat coverage from Patrick Willis on a 2-point conversion catch that tied it at 10 as the Rams succeeded even after a false start penalty on tackle Rodger Saffold.
Zuerlein had the distance on a 58-yard attempt with 25 seconds to go in the first half, but was well wide to the right.
The Rams wore retro jerseys from their 1999 championship season, featuring yellow numbers and striping, and marked the franchise's 75th anniversary. Several former players were introduced at halftime with fan favorites who played in St. Louis such as Isaac Bruce and Todd Lyght getting the strongest ovations.
NOTES:49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham (shoulder) did not return after getting hurt in the fourth quarter. Harbaugh said the team "won't know right away" about the severity of the injury. ... Aldon Smith's sack late in the first half gave him an NFL-best 31Â½ his first two seasons, a half-sack better than Reggie White in 1985-96. ... The Rams sacked Kaepernick twice at the end of the half, including Bill Hayes' second of the game.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press