Plays that shaped the Rams' season: No. 3

ST. LOUIS -- Coming off consecutive road losses to Atlanta and Dallas, the St. Louis Rams had a primetime opportunity to right the ship against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night football.

For the better part of the first half, the Rams found themselves entrenched in what looked like was going to be another hard-fought battle with the Niners. A win against San Francisco would have done a lot to erase the blowout the Rams suffered against the Cowboys in Week 3.

With the score holding steady at 7-3 San Francisco, the Niners decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 at the Rams' 34. Expecting a handoff to running back Frank Gore, the Rams loaded the box to stop him. The Rams got what they wanted as Gore took the handoff, burst through the line and went the rest of the way untouched for a 34-yard touchdown to make it 14-3.

San Francisco would go on to drop a 35-11 beating on the Rams in a game that caused the Rams to hit the reset button on everything they'd done in the first quarter of the season. Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis would later point to Gore's run as the play that took the air out of the Rams and led to the blowout loss. As the Rams prepared to play San Francisco again later in the year, Laurinaitis would point to that play as motivation for the team's improved run defense as the year went on.

Still, the first loss to San Francisco was so dreadful that it would stick in the minds of many Rams fans throughout the year and paved the way for the team to lose five consecutive games against NFC West division foes.