SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The 49ers dominated the Rams in St. Louis Thursday night, winning 35-11. Frank Gore ran for 153 yards, but John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew that performance obscures a bigger achievement.
“They won the battles at the line of scrimmage, both offensively and defensively, and you see the difference,” Madden said. “Both in Seattle and against the Colts, (the 49ers) were dominated at the line of scrimmage. They were dominated on both lines, the offense and the defense, and last night they dominated. I think that’s where it starts. Everyone was jumping on Frank Gore (after the last two games). ‘Is he finished, is he done?’ There was no place for him to run because they were getting whipped at the line of scrimmage.”
Madden said solid line play sets the stage for success.
“When that happens they get the running game going, the pass rush calms down. There’s a little play-action pass. (Quarterback Colin) Kaepernick can get to the outside. All those things happen when you win the battles at the line.”
Madden said Kaepernick had a better game despite the team’s lack of depth at receiver.
“They still have the problem not having much speed in the receiver corps, so they have to get other ways to do it,” Madden said. “Putting (receiver Anquan) Boldin in the slot and letting him run patterns from there kind of opened things up for them… Those are things that they have to do. Be able to control the line of scrimmage, be able to run the ball, get Kaepernick to the outside once in a while, have Kaepernick run three or four times for a first down.” (7:20)