49ers Move to 3-1 Behind Team Effort

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The 49ers didn't need to score any points on offense in order to beat the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, but they got some anyway in a 35-0 victory at Candlestick Park.

With the offense sputtering at various points of the game, the 49ers special teams and defense outscored the Rams and their own offense with three touchdowns of their own.

But the 49ers offense got in on the act too, courtesy of two second-half touchdown passes from quarterback Shaun Hill.

When it was all said and done, all three phases of the game for the 49ers scored in the same game for the first time since the team's 24-12 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 10, 1997.

"It was a total team win without a doubt," Hill said after he finished the game 14-of-24 for 152 yards and two touchdowns. "The defense stepped up and got points and so did our special teams. It's huge that every unit was pitching in."

Although it wasn't their preferred type of performance, the 49ers did just enough on offense to pick up their third win of the season.

"We're just a little bit out of sync right now," head coach Mike Singletary said. "In order for us to get to where we need to go, our offensive line is going to have to do a better job and they will."

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The 49ers (3-1) outgained the Rams (0-4), 228-177, but struggled for the second week in a row on third down converting just four of their 13 attempts.

"We really got off to a slow start and that had a lot to do with the Rams," Singletary explained. "I think they came out prepared to play, ready to play a physical football game and they did that."

In the first half, the 49ers were shutout offensively, but rookie linebacker Scott McKillop recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for the game's first points.

"I was in the right place at the right time," McKillop said of his first career touchdown. "It bounced off one of their gunners and I was able to jump on the ball."

The touchdown not only put points on the board, but it lifted the spirits of the entire 49ers team to close out the first half. From there, the team responded by outscoring their NFC West counterparts 28-0 in the final two quarters.

The 49ers offense scored its first points of the game on the second drive of the second quarter. Hill led a 7-play, 48-yard drive that culminated with Vernon Davis' third touchdown catch of the season.

Davis got in between two St. Louis defenders while catching a deep over-the-middle pass similar to his touchdown grab last week against Minnesota.

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"It was the same type of play as last week, run and look up," Davis said of the play. "That's something I'm trying to develop with Shaun. If you see the safety on the outside of me and there's nowhere in the middle – just throw the ball."

Three plays later, the defense got in on the scoring act when Joe Staley intercepted Kyle Boller's cross-field pass and returned it 23 yards for his second career interception returned for a touchdown.

Willis had a monster of a game, finishing with 8 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

"We know they like to run screens and coach put a play in later in the week," Willis said. "It's kind of like a spy. We know [Boller] likes to run and it was one of them where I looked at him."

Following Willis' impressive catch, the 49ers offense was just a fingertip away from making one of their own. On their next offensive possession, Hill launched a deep ball to a streaking Josh Morgan, who had gotten behind Rams free safety O.J. Atogwe. But Morgan was unable to haul in the would-be touchdown.

After hearing some encouragement from Hill on the sideline, Morgan made sure to make the catch on the next deep ball thrown in his direction.

On a second-and-five from St. Louis' 25-yard line, Morgan adjusted perfectly mid-air to comeback and catch Hill's pass in the front right corner of the end zone.

"That's what I should have done on the first one," Morgan said. "The wind took both of those passes, but on that last one I just had to go up and get it and use my body. It felt good to get that one, because it's always about moving on to the next play."

Upon seeing the offense score again, the 49ers defense must have felt compelled to score again.

Two plays after Morgan's touchdown catch, a member of the 49ers defense found himself in the end zone.

This time it was defensive tackle Ray McDonald who supplied the points.

Boller's handoff on a reverse to wideout Danny Amendola hit the ground and McDonald was able to scoop the ball and score from 11 yards out.

"It was like a dream," McDonald said. "I almost couldn't believe I scored a touchdown."

While the 49ers did all of the scoring, the Rams had one of their best chances to score on the game's opening kickoff.

Amendola returned Joe Nedney's kickoff for a touchdown, but a holding penalty brought the return back. Later, the Rams put themselves in scoring position but kicker Josh Brown was unable to covert from 51-yards out.

After that attempt, the Rams struggled to move the ball on offense. In the fourth quarter they drove inside 49ers territory but gave the ball back to the 49ers when the drive ended on downs.

With a stellar defensive performance, help from special teams and enough big plays on offense to produce, the 49ers were satisfied with their third win of the season.

"We're moving forward," Hill said. "By no means are we where we need to be. We have a lot of tough opponents ahead, but we'll just keep grinding and work our tails off."

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