The San Francisco 49ers couldn’t have started Monday Night Football much worse. Facing NFC West rival St. Louis on the road, the 49ers fell behind 14-0, allowing two first-quarter touchdowns for the first time since 2012.
San Francisco got a 54-yard field goal from Phil Dawson midway through the second quarter, but it seemed certain that the Niners would go into halftime trailing 14-3.
Colin Kaepernick, however, didn’t want to do that. No, Kaepernick threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd with 13 seconds left, thus igniting a string of 24 unanswered points that included touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.
“It just worked man,” San Francisco wide receiver Stevie Johnson said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I feel like whenever we get on the field with our offense – with the talent that we have – we shouldn’t punt the ball. It was tough. The Rams came out and they played well. They came out on fire. But we withstood it and we were built for it and we came out with the win.”
Kaepernick finished 22-of-36 for 343 yards and three touchdowns, as Boldin, Lloyd, Crabtree and Johnson combined for 16 catches for 276 yards and three touchdowns. That foursome is borderline unstoppable.
“We feel the same way,” said Johnson, who had five grabs for 53 yards. “We just got to keep putting in work and hopefully we can keep on blossoming throughout the season.”
The Rams actually pulled within 24-17 with just over two minutes to go in the fourth quarter but could not recover an onside kick. They wound up getting the ball back, but Austin Davis threw a pick-six to end the game.
Johnson celebrated the win – albeit in a bit of pain. He took a knee to the hip during the onside kick.
“It kind of shocked me because I was about to get up, but I couldn’t,” Johnson said. “But it was cool. Just a bruise.”
Johnson iced his hip after the game and will be ready to go next Sunday in Denver.
Johnson, 28, is in his first season with the 49ers – this after spending the first six seasons of his career in Buffalo, where he recorded 28 touchdowns in 76 games. Scott Ferrall, for one, thinks Buffalo was tripping for letting Johnson go.
“Yeah, they’re definitely tripping, but it’s cool,” Johnson said. “I’m happy to be where I am.”
That’s because he gets to catch passes from Kaepernick, who is emerging as one of the top young quarterbacks in football.
“He’s easy to work with,” Johnson said. “Considering the status of his players, he’s one of the best (and he works hard with us all the time). Thats why I feel like he’s one of the best that I’ve played with – because of the chemistry we’ve built.”
Johnson was not surprised by the Niners’ 24 unanswered points, but he felt that “we still left money on the field.” He said the team is going to watch the game film and see where it can improve before this weekend’s game against Denver (4-1).
“This is what we’re here for,” Johnson said. “This is what it’s about. The fans want to see a show and they’re going to have one Sunday night when we go up against the high-powered Denver Broncos.”