ST. LOUIS – Anquan Boldin sparked a dormant San Francisco offense with two big receptions, including a 20-yarder for a touchdown, and Frank Gore tacked on a 34-yard scoring run to help the 49ers take a 14-3 halftime lead over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.
Boldin, who had a monster debut with the 49ers after beating them in the Super Bowl, twisted past Cortland Finnegan — even though Finnegan was flagged for holding — and caught a 42-yard pass from Colin Kaepernick for San Francisco's second-biggest gain of the season.
The duo hooked up again three plays later as the 49ers converted a third-and-19 to get into the end zone. Boldin was able to power through Finnegan's grasp and extend the ball over the goal line with his right hand, giving the 49ers some needed offense after they managed only 10 points in losses the past two weeks.
Acquired by San Francisco for only a sixth-round pick in the offseason, Boldin had 208 yards on 13 catches in a season-opening win over Green Bay. But he had just one catch the following week in a loss to division rival Seattle and a mediocre 67-yard outing against Indianapolis on Sunday. Boldin already had 69 yards on three first-half catches Thursday night.
He came into the game with 83 career receptions against the Rams, the most of any opponent he has faced.
Donte Whitner dove into the end zone for an interception off a deflected jump ball, and the 49ers marched right back down the field to score again on Gore's run through a gaping hole created by pulling guard Mike Iupati.
Gore, who had 142 yards rushing through the first three games, already had 107 by halftime. It was the second straight week St. Louis' defense allowed an opposing rusher to hit the century mark in the first half. DeMarco Murray did it for Dallas on Sunday.
St. Louis moved into scoring range after Bradford connected with Brian Quick for a 14-yard gain and the 49ers' Justin Smith was flagged for a 15-yard facemask penalty. The Rams' drive stalled when Bradford overshot an open Austin Pettis after he had beaten rookie safety Eric Reid. Pettis made a diving attempt at the catch near the goal line but couldn't come up with it. Greg Zuerlein then connected from 40 yards to move to 6 for 6 on field goals this season.