ST. LOUIS — Knees bent and arms moving in rhythm, defensive end Chris Long shimmied around the St. Louis Rams locker room, imitating John Travolta’s dance moves from “Pulp Fiction” as owner Stan Kroenke made the rounds shaking hands.
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.”
The Rams (5-6-1) scored twice in the final 3:04 of regulation, getting their lone touchdown when rookie Janoris Jenkins returned an errant pitchout by Colin Kaepernick 2 yards for his third defensive score in two weeks. They’ve won two straight after an 0-4-1 skid.
Kaepernick also gave up a safety in the third quarter that cut the 49ers’ lead to 10-2 when he was penalized for intentional grounding passing out of the end zone while under duress. Referee Carl Cheffers said it was intentional grounding because the pass did not cross the line of scrimmage.
“Our defense played a great game,” said Kaepernick after his third start since replacing Alex Smith. “I gave up those points that were on the scoreboard for the Rams so that’s 100 percent my fault.”