Rams throwing monkey wrench in NFC West race

This is the backstory to one of the great moments of Week 9, the St. Louis Rams' goal-line stand to narrowly defeat the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams' last-second win, as well as the Philadelphia Eagles' win over the Houston Texans behind backup quarterback Mark Sanchez and the Minnesota Vikings' back-and-forth tussle to a triumph over the Washington Redskins are nominees for the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the week. Cast your vote for the GMC Never Say Never Moments of Week 9.

One look at the standings and playoff picture, and you'll notice that the Rams are on the outside looking in for NFC West division title race. However, the 3-5 Rams have done plenty to influence the NFC West race. Two of the team's three wins have come against the two combatants in last season's NFC Championship Game. After defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawksin shocking fashion in Week 7, the Rams went on the road and delivered a devastating setback to the 49ers, whose season now appears to be in disarray. The Rams did so with a last-minute goal-line stand that preserved a tight 13-10 victory.

Here are the key moments before the moment:

Learn how to slide, bro

The play:Rams quarterback Austin Davis scrambles up the middle for 10 yards, but on the play Davis gets a scare. He slid on his braced left knee and it caught awkwardly in the Levi's Stadium sod.

The aftermath: Davis was forced from the game and replaced by Shaun Hill, who promptly handed the ball off to running back Tre Mason for a 4-yard gain. Davis was back in after missing just one play, and directed the Rams into field-goal position after two completions to tight end Jared Cook. That field goal tied the game up at 3-3.

Rams tie it up before half

The play: Davis connected with a wide-open Kenny Britt, who scampered 21 yards for a game-tying score toward the end of the first half.

The aftermath: Britt's touchdown knotted up the game at 10-10. It was set up by a sack from Robert Quinn that forced 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to fumble for the first time in the game. In the game, the Rams collected a season-high eight sacks, including six in the first half alone (the most first-half sacks in team history). The St. Louis Sack Exchange had been on hiatus for much of the season (the Rams had just one sack entering Week 7), but has erupted lately for 13 sacks in three games.

Borland goes all WWE

The play:49ers rookie linebacker Chris Borland body slams Tre Mason for a loss of a yard.

The aftermath: With All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis out for the second consecutive game, Borland -- a third-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin --- is getting extended playing time. Borland finished the game with a career-high 18 total tackles. He is the first 49ers rookie with 18 or more tackles in a game since Patrick Willis had 20 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007.

The moment

The play: On third-and-1 from the Rams' 1-yard line with nine seconds remaining in regulation, Kaepernick attempts to sneak up the middle. He is stonewalled by the Rams defense and fumbles, with the loose ball recovered by Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis for a touchback to end the game.

The aftermath: Kaepernick started that final drive with 3:11 remaining at the 49ers' own 12-yard line. He completed long passes to Steve Johnson and Anquan Boldin. The Rams nearly shot themselves in the foot with back-to-back pass pass interference and holding penalties on defensive back Trumaine Johnson, who was attempting to cover Michael Crabtree. The 49ers then failed to score from five yards out on three plays, with the third being the game-deciding fumble.

The Rams came away victors after scoring the fewest points in a win since 2011, a 13-12 triumph in Cleveland. The Rams also gained just 193 total yards of offense, the fewest for a winning team in the NFL this season. It's also the lowest yardage total for a team against the 49ers since 1976, when the Los Angeles Rams -- behind quarterback Pat Haden -- defeated the 49ers, 23-3, despite gaining 146 yards of offense (the 49ers, meanwhile, gained a paltry 88 yards).

The 49ers have now lost two of four games in their new home stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The team had lost just four games total in the final three seasons at Candlestick Park. This defeat to the Rams could come to haunt the 49ers if they find themselves on the outside looking in for the NFC playoff field.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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