The Niners' 31-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football was impressive because of the 49ers' in-game response. The Rams threw everything they had into building a 14-0 first-quarter lead. And then the 49ers summarily dismissed the Rams in the second half like a college football powerhouse facing a small school on homecoming weekend. During one stretch, the 49ers outgained the Rams 324-18 in yardage while scoring 24 consecutive points.
They overcame three return touchdowns and a 21-10 deficit in a defining Week 4 win over Philadelphia. That game marked the return of power football, with 42 rushing attempts and 218 rushing yards. The 49ers also trailed 17-13 in the second half against Kansas City before San Francisco's offense played keepaway down the stretch. The Chiefs gave San Francisco their best shot in a well-played game, but the 49ers held up.
Monday night's victory had a different flair. St. Louis stacked the box to stop the run, and limited Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde to less than two yards per carry. Colin Kaepernick made sure it didn't matter by coming through with his best performance since Week 1. He mixed in his usual jaw-dropping highlights without the usual head-scratching decisions. The 49ers have five dangerous receiving weapons in Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, Stevie Johnson, Brandon Lloyd and Michael Crabtree. They figured out how to use them all, at least for one week.
We haven't yet seen all the parts of this 49ers team click at once yet. But one unit usually picks up the other, which is the sign of a playoff squad. Now 4-2 after their three-game winning streak, the 49ers are half a game ahead of Seattle in the NFC West standings with NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith set to return in the second half of the season.