ST. LOUIS - While Mike Singletary and Troy Smith squabbled on the sideline, rookie Sam Bradford stayed veteran calm.
The No. 1 overall draft pick helped keep the St. Louis Rams’ playoff drive motoring along in a 25-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Helping the Rams (7-8) stay on track to end a five-year playoff drought in a winner-take-all game for the NFC West title at Seattle on Sunday night was a big deal to Bradford, who also broke Peyton Manning’s NFL record for completions by a rookie.
“I guess it’s pretty cool,” Bradford said of the record. “I’m all fired up about the win. If you don’t get excited for a game like this, you’re probably in the wrong business.”
St. Louis, which would win the NFC West with a win or tie against Seattle, snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Seahawks with a 20-3 victory in early October. “Here we are, going into our last regular-season game, and we control our own destiny,” Bradford said.
The Rams’ defense kept both of the Smiths on the run, sacking Troy Smith and Alex Smith two times apiece. Singletary gave Troy Smith one more series after a heated exchange late in the third quarter, then benched him after the 49ers (5-10) went three-and-out on their first possession of the fourth quarter.
The 49ers were eliminated from playoff consideration, and haven’t made it to the postseason since 2002.
“Troy’s a passionate guy and the way he responded, that’s fine,” said Singletary, who was fired later Sunday. “He’s frustrated, I’m frustrated.
“We’re both trying to get something to happen on the field. That’s all it was.”
The 49ers’ locker room was closed for about 20 minutes after the game before Singletary emerged, saying he had no regrets about his quarterback choice.