Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — Frank Gore ran San Francisco right into the playoffs, becoming the 49ers' career rushing leader in a 26-0 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday that wrapped up the franchise's first NFC West crown and postseason berth since 2002.
Alex Smith threw second-half touchdowns of 52 and 56 yards to Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams and David Akers kicked four field goals for San Francisco (10-2) as coach Jim Harbaugh joined George Seifert (1989) and Steve Mariucci (1997) as the only rookie coaches in 49ers history to win the division.
The only downer came when star linebacker Patrick Willis left the game in the first half with a right hamstring injury.
Rams quarterback A.J. Feeley struggled in place of injured starter Sam Bradford for the reeling Rams (2-10).
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