But Harbaugh knew what he was talking about.
St. Louis pulled off a 13-10 shocker over the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium Sunday, with the game decided with two seconds remaining on a ruling that Colin Kaepernick fumbled the ball on a quarterback sneak from the Rams’ 1.
St. Louis recovered and secured the victory.
The Niners went into Sunday’s NFC West matchup with St. Louis as a decided favorite. San Francisco was walloped by Denver in its last game on Oct. 19, but had a bye week to recover and heal. Plus, the 49ers had whipped the Rams in St. Louis back on Oct. 13, 31-17, when quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for 343 yards, three touchdowns and was not sacked once.
Now the 49ers had the very injury-depleted Rams at their place.
No matter how “salty” the 2-5 Rams might be, it appeared they’d be no match for the 4-3 49ers.
This time, however, the 49ers offense could never establish any offensive consistency. Though the 49ers' defense lived up to its billing -- allowing just 193 total yards -- the offense didn't do its part.
Kaepernick completed 22-of-33 passes for 237 yards and a TD, but he was sacked a career-high eight times and constantly under pressure.
Throughout the game, the 49ers offense stalled. Penalties, sacks and mistakes doomed the Niners’ offense. They couldn't sustain drives. The 49ers scored on a TD pass to Anquan Boldin late in the first half and cashed in a field goal by Phil Dawson, but that was it.
After the Rams took a 13-10 lead with 5:25 remaining on a 39-yard field goal, the 49ers finally came to life with 3:11 remaining, driving from their own 12 to the Rams’ 1.
But on the decisive play, Kaepernick mishandled the snap from new center Marcus Martin – making his first start because of the season-ending injury to Daniel Kilgore. Though Kaepernick continued to drive through a hole in the Rams defensive line and at first appeared to cross the goal line, the ball was lost in the pile and recovered by St. Louis.
After a long review the replay officials upheld the ruling, and the 49ers lost the game and dropped to 4-4 this season – a crucial loss in their battle with the Seattle Seahawks (now 5-3) to remain in second place in the NFC West.
Now the 49ers have a tough assignment, going on the road next Sunday to face Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.