ST. LOUIS (AP) — Danny Amendola's first game in a month for the St. Louis Rams was a huge success. And that's without the 142 yards on a pair of big plays that were nullified by penalties.
A day after repeated mistakes cost the Rams an upset at San Francisco, the wide receiver said he'd try to take the positives out the NFL's first tie game in four years.
Easy to say, hard to swallow.
"It's frustrating," said Amendola, understating the obvious. "We made a lot of good plays. At the same time, we left a lot of plays out there."
Exaggerating just a bit, Amendola added: "It's just a long time to give it your everything. I mean, it's 5-6 hours long."
Well, maybe it seemed like that after leaving the field feeling curiously empty. The actual game time was 3 hours and 50 minutes.
Defensive end Chris Long said if fans kept their eyes on the field and disregarded the scoreboard, it would be easy to see the Rams took a major step forward against one of the NFL's top teams. They did it without a pair of rookie starters, too, with cornerback Janoris Jenkins and wide receiver Chris Givens suspended for the game for violating team rules.
Both players have been reinstated for this week's game against the New York Jets.
But with a wry chuckle, Long added that it's impossible to factor out the bottom line.
"Shoot, you know, we can be proud of the way we gave the effort, and like I said we went toe-to-toe with a team we have great respect for," Long said. "A tie, who knows what that means?"
What it leaves is a bad taste.
"I never had to think about it until now and I sure don't like it," Long said. "I think everybody on the field would have liked to have gone back out and just settled it."
Coming off a bye following a blowout loss to the Patriots in London, the Rams were much improved on offense with 458 yards and three touchdowns. But the defense failed to produce a turnover for the fourth straight game and faded late in regulation, allowing two touchdowns and a field goal on the 49ers' last three possessions in regulation with backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick in place of injured Alex Smith.
Trailing 17-7, the 49ers scored two touchdowns in a span of 17 seconds, capitalizing on a lost fumble by rookie kickoff returner Isaiah Pead to take the lead when Frank Gore was untouched on a 20-yard run.