ST. LOUIS -- San Francisco's offense needed less than six minutes of the second quarter to do what it couldn't accomplish in its last two games: Score two touchdowns.
Getting the balance they haven't had since a season-opening win over Green Bay, the 49ers evened their record at 2-2 Thursday night with a 35-11 win over floundering NFC West rival St. Louis at Edward Jones Dome.
Running back Frank Gore rushed 20 times for 153 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Colin Kaepernick hit 15 of 23 passes for 167 yards and a pair of scores. In its last two games, San Francisco managed just 10 total points in blowout losses to Seattle and Indianapolis.
Kaepernick's 12-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 8:49 left in the third quarter capped an 88-yard scoring drive -- San Francisco's third touchdown drive of 80 yards or more -- and basically put the game away with more than a quarter and a half remaining.
That's because the 49ers' defense dominated the one-dimensional Rams. Limiting them to 19 yards on 19 rushes, San Francisco was free to tee off on quarterback Sam Bradford, who endured a long, miserable evening.
Bradford completed just 19 of 41 passes for 202 yards and was sacked five times, twice by NaVorro Bowman. The second sack led to a 49ers fumble recovery at the St. Louis 3, setting up Anthony Dixon's 1-yard scoring run with 10:15 remaining.
It was the third straight loss for the Rams (1-3), who didn't get into the end zone until Bradford hit Lance Kendricks with a 6-yard touchdown pass at the 5:44 mark of the fourth quarter.
Kendall Hunter tacked on a 29-yard scoring run for San Francisco with 4:25 left.
St. Louis scored first for the first time this season when Greg Zuerlein drilled a 40-yard field goal with 7:09 left in the first quarter. Zuerlein banked the kick off the right upright.
After failing to convert good field position into points on two of its first three possessions, San Francisco got its offense going midway through the second period. Kaepernick hooked up with Anquan Boldin on a 42-yard pass-and-run play to the Rams' 11 as Boldin beat veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan.
Three plays later, Boldin beat Finnegan again for a 20-yard score with 6:22 left in the half, giving the 49ers a 7-3 lead.
Following Donte Whitner's diving interception in the end zone, San Francisco peeled off another 80-yard touchdown drive. Overcoming two replay reversals, the 49ers cashed in when Gore ripped off a 34-yard run on a 4th-and-1 play with 44 seconds remaining before halftime for a 14-3 lead.
NOTES: Pro Bowl LB Patrick Willis (groin) was among the inactives for San Francisco, as was backup CB Nnamdi Asomugha. St. Louis' inactives included starting RT Rodger Safford for a second straight week, as well as backup RB Isaiah Pead. ... WR Quinton Patton of the 49ers left the game in the first half with a foot injury and didn't return. ... Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin entered the game tied with Houston's DeAndre Hopkins for the most catches among NFL rookies with 18. Austin had six grabs in each of his first three games.