Verdict: Extremely questionable coaching
"The second came on a play call that was so bizarrely out-of-place that it appeared Jim Harbaugh was possessed by Tony Sparano...Gimmicky plays like that are a fixture of the San Francisco offense, but why did they spend the entire game playing conservative football, get what appeared to be an insurmountable lead, and then try a high-variance call? A first down there robs the Rams of their remaining timeouts at worst. It was just the wrong call at the wrong time, and the Rams managed to make the two-point conversion from the 7 (after a dubious false start) to tie the game.
...I'm going to single out the conservative Harbaugh approach on San Francisco's drive to a field-goal attempt in overtime...There are enough reasons to hate long field-goal attempts in regulation, but in overtime, it becomes even harder for the calculus to work correctly. Normally if you miss a long field goal, the punishment is that the opposing team gets the ball in good field position. In overtime, you give your opponent good field position ... in sudden death. I'm not arguing that Harbaugh should have gone for it on fourth-and-6, though the numbers could possibly back that up. Just don't seal up the playbook the second your team hits long-field-goal range. Even if the 49ers throw an interception on an intermediate pass after the first down, that would likely be a better field-position result than attempting a 52-yard field goal. And that's before we even get into the fact that David Akers has had a miserable year (and has been hampered by injury)."