RAM NOTEBOOK : Rice Still Sticking It to Defenders
San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice caught eight passes for 166 yards Sunday, none more spectacular than his one-handed grab on the sideline for a 48-yard gain in the third quarter.
How did you do it, Jerry?
“I had stickum on my glove,” he said. “That’s a joke--stickum is illegal.”
So is pass interference, which Rice and quarterback Steve Young argued on the play. Rice said cornerback Wymon Henderson pulled on Rice’s left arm on the play before Henderson fell down. Rice kept running down the sideline, stuck out his right hand and made the grab before stepping out of bounds at the Ram seven-yard line.
“I didn’t want (Henderson) reacting to my reaction,” Rice said. “I wanted for it to come over my shoulder and it just fell into my arm. At times, the ball feels like part of your arm, anyway.”
Rice surpassed 1,000 yards receiving for a league record eighth consecutive year Sunday. Rice also is tied with Steve Largent for the most career 1,000-yard seasons with eight.
Rice’s two touchdown catches give him 122 for his career, third in league history and four shy of Jim Brown’s record. Walter Payton is second with 125.
Rice and John Taylor became the first duo of 49er receivers to have more than 100 yards receiving in the same game since last season, when Taylor and Mike Sherrard accomplished the feat against Buffalo. Taylor had 150 yards in six catches.
Add records: Young set all kinds of records Sunday, but one streak of note came to an end.
Young’s streak of attempts without an interception ended in the second quarter when a pass deflected off the hands of tailback Ricky Watters and was intercepted by Ram linebacker Henry Rolling. Young attempted a club-record 183 consecutive passes without an interception, a span of five-plus games.
“It was a disaster,” Young said of the interception. “I was having fun with it. I didn’t want it to end. I guess that was a little humility today.”
Said Watters: “It was unfortunate that it happened. I only got one hand on the ball. My momentum took me one way, and I couldn’t get around and get both hands on it.”
Young’s 462 passing yards Sunday ranks as the highest total in the league this season, surpassing Raider Jeff Hostetler’s 424-yard game against San Diego on Oct. 31. Young’s passing yardage was a career high as well as his 26 completions.
Bettis watch: Ram tailback Jerome Bettis rushed for a career-high 133 yards, which impressed Watters, his former teammate at Notre Dame.
“Jerome’s a great player,” Watters said. “He reminds me of Earl Campbell the way he breaks tackles and catches the ball.”
Tortoise replaces hare: The Rams weren’t supposed to win, but why make it easy for the opposition?
The Rams had a third and goal from the eight-yard line in the first quarter and pulled Flipper Anderson, their most potent offensive weapon, and replaced him with Sean LaChapelle, a certified slow-poke who was still looking for his first NFL catch.
Quarterback T.J. Rubley--per instructions--attempted to loft a pass to LaChapelle in the end zone, but failed to make connections, thereby forcing the team to settle for Tony Zendejas’ 25-yard field goal.
Standing ovation: Offensive tackle Jackie Slater was awarded the game ball after the Rams’ first offensive play to honor him for appearing in his 246th game. The fans also gave Slater a standing ovation.
Slater has now played in more games than any other offensive lineman in NFL history, and is tied with Fran Tarkenton for sixth place on the all-time list for games played. Next up is kicker Pat Leahy at 250. George Blanda has the record at 340.
A short time after celebrating such a grand occasion, however, Slater was forced to remove himself from the game.
Slater had suffered a torn pectoral muscle four weeks ago and he said he was unable to play effectively.
“I knew going in it wasn’t 100%,” Slater said. “But I wanted to get this record behind me for my family and the fans in Anaheim before going on the road for three weeks. I’m glad I had the chance to do that here, and after being checked by the doctors they said I didn’t set myself back.”
Mr. Excitement: In the first quarter, Rubley gave the fans a thrill with a scrambling effort that resulted in a 17-yard pass to Bettis.
Rubley began the play at the 49ers’ 26-yard line, but retreated into Ram territory while being hounded by defensive ends Dennis Brown and Kevin Fagan. Tackle Irv Eatman peeled back and knocked down Brown, while Rubley continued to evade Fagan.
As Rubley made his way back to the line of scrimmage, he noticed Bettis standing alone, flipped him the ball and then watched as Bettis stormed forward to the nine-yard line.
“I would say that he is about as an elusive a quarterback as you are going to face in the league,” 49ers’ Coach George Seifert said. “And that ability allows Los Angeles to have an offensive weapon. That is something positive for the future.”
Piling it on? Linebacker Shane Conlan said he thought the 49ers were trying to “run up the score” in the fourth quarter.
“Their line was also coming out and trying to (cutblock) us,” Conlan said. “I had some words with those guys; I just don’t understand that. You have the game won, why try and hurt players? I don’t agree with that at all.”
San Francisco injury report: Defensive end Kevin Fagan sprained his knee in the second quarter and will undergo an MRI exam today. Fullback Marc Logan (knee) is questionable for next week, 49er Coach George Seifert said . . . San Francisco’s victory was its seventh in a row against the Rams, and the 49ers are 7-0 in Anaheim Stadium since 1987.
Times staff writer T.J. Simers contributed to this story.