The San Francisco 49ers started slow but finished fast on Monday night to defeat the St Louis Rams 31-17 and move to 4-2 on the season. The Rams built a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but from that point on it was all 49ers as they outscored St Louis 31-3 from the second quarter on.

The game turned on a sequence late in the second quarter with the Rams up 14-3. Facing a 3rd and 9, Austin Davis hit Jared Cook for a 21 yard gain which was wiped out by a very questionable offensive pass interference call. The 49ers then closed the half with an 80 yard touchdown from Colin Kaepernick to Brandon Lloyd to close the gap at the half to 14-10, and from there it was all 49ers.

With the victory the 49ers moved ahead of the Seattle Seahawks for second place and a game behind the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC West division lead.

Let's get to the answers for the 5 burning questions that I asked on Saturday.

1) Can Frank Gore keep it up? - No. The Rams came into the game with one of the worst run defenses in the NFL and sold out to stop the 49ers run game. As a result, Gore finished the night with only 38 yards on 16 carries. He also had a terrific catch overturned when his hand hit the sideline before his knee came down inbounds.

The 49ers offensive coaching staff is doing a terrific job so far this season of limiting Gore's snaps. For the second week in a row the running back snaps were split almost evenly with Carlos Hyde, 36 for Gore and 33 for Hyde. This should pay dividends for the 49ers offense when December and January come around.

2) Can the 49ers offensive line hold up in pass protection? - Yes. While the 49ers offensive line did give up pressure on 12 of 37 passing snaps, they gave up no sacks. Even more impressive, they gave up no hits on Kaepernick in the pocket throughout the game.

Kaepernick did his part to help his linemen out, getting the ball out quick and doing a very good job of moving within the pocket. If he can play at the same level throughout the rest of the season the 49ers will be tough to stop.

3) Will the 49ers secondary be able to contain Brian Quick? - Yes. The Rams leading receiver coming into the game was limited to a single catch for only 10 yards. With the wide receivers shut down, Rams quarterback Austin Davis was forced to look elsewhere, and he found success early on throwing to his tight ends with two big throws to Jared Cook and a touchdown throw to Lance Kendricks.

The 49ers defense started sending pressure up the middle on Davis in the second half and that move turned the tide. The 49ers had their best pass rushing game of the season, pressuring Davis on 20 of his 47 drop backs.

4) Will the 49ers get Bruce Ellington involved in the offense? - No. Ellington was on the field for a total of two offensive snaps.

5) How will the return of Tavon Austin impact the game? - Yes and No. The Rams were intent on getting Austin into the flow of the game early, lining him up in the backfield at tailback and handing the ball to him on back to back running plays that netted a first down, and a toss counter play. Although those plays were successful, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer never went back to it after the first quarter.

Prediction Time:

49ers 19 Rams 13


*Offensive Line Grades per ProFootballFocus

Staley, -2.0 overall, +1.3 pass, -2.6 run
Iupati, .0 overall, +.2 pass, -.3 run
Kilgore, +.4 overall, +.4 pass, -.1 run
Boone, -.5 overall, .0 pass, -.2 run
Martin, -2.0 overall, -2.7 pass, +.4 run

*Defensive Line Grades

McDonald, +2.6, +1.1 pass, +1.3 run
Williams, +3.4, -.2 pass, +3.5 run
Smith, +3.1, +.4 pass, +2.5 run
Skuta, +3.6, +3.9 pass, -.4 run
Borland, +3.7, +2.6 pass, +.2 run
Lynch, +.3, +.3 pass, -.2 run

* The 49ers best running plays came on the right side when running in the holes between the right guard/right tackle (4 hole), and right tackle/tight end (6 hole). Those run plays gained 37 yards on 7 carries.

* A lot of debate about Harbaugh's decision to go for it twice on 4th and short late. I like the decision. It was a situation where his defense was dominating and he was basically saying to the Rams, "even if we don't make it you can't beat us" while getting his offense extra work on short yardage situations.

A field goal in that situation also doesn't change the came much. They would still be up only 2 scores either way so the risk/reward definitely tilts towards going for it.