The Los Angeles Rams dream of being the NFC champions back to back years is no longer possible after the San Francisco 49ers, Robbie Gould made a 33 yard field goal at the end of regulation to kick the Rams out of playoff contention. 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo who struggled most of the game and sacked brutally six times had a jolt of energy in the 4th quarter and lead the 49ers to scoring possessions multiple times. No play was bigger than Garoppolo’s 46 yard pass to WR, Emmanuel Sanders on 3rd & 16 with under a minute in the 4th quarter, the crowd went berserk! Jared Goff played a stellar game but committed a huge blunder at the end of the first half throwing a pick 6 to LB, Fred Warner on a screen pass intended for RB, Malcolm Brown.
On the first drive the game, Goff stormed down the field going 5 - 5 for 66 yards to connect to WR, Brandon Cooks for a 10 yard touchdown. Richie James Jr. would respond with authority with an 81 yard kick return that went to the Rams 18 yard line. Garoppolo and RB, Tevin Coleman was brushed off in the red zone settling for a 26 yard field goal by Gould, 7 - 3 Rams. Back and forth, the next three drives ended in punts as both defenses were playing stingy. The Rams continued playing stingy as Garoppolo was intercepted by CB, Jalen Ramsey who snatched his first career interception as a Ram. This led to a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter as Todd Gurley II ran in from 5-yards out. The 49ers finally got their running game going but not by one of their running backs, instead by their rookie WR, Deebo Samuel who ran in for a 19 yard touchdown to cut the Rams deficit to four. Goff threw to his number one TE, Tyler Higbee for 32 yards on the drive alone which led to a 1 yard touchdown by Gurley II putting the Rams back up by 11. Garoppolo would also utilized his Pro Bowl TE, George Kittle who had 28 yards on the 49ers next drive. Veteran RB, Raheem Mostert got a 16 yard rushing touchdown who has now scored in 5 straight games leaving the 49ers down by just one possession in hopes to put more points up before halftime. Throughout this game, the 49ers were playing catch up as the Rams were always a step ahead of them in all phases of the game. This was until Goff threw a much regrettable interception to Fred Warner who went 46 yards for the pick six. Goff threw a screen pass to Malcolm Brown when F. Warner read the play beautifully to outrun the Rams offense for the touchdown. The 49ers finally had the lead, 24 - 21 and would head into halftime with the momentum swing.
The second half would begin with a bang as Rams CB, Darious Williams caught a deflected pass for an interception, Garoppolo was livid as this was just the second play of the second half. After Goff would be called for a questionable intentional grounding penalty, it cost the Rams 10 extra yards resulting in a missed 52 yard field goal attempt by Greg Zuerlein as it went wide left. After an action-packed first few minutes in the third, the game was back to a punt fest with the Rams finally sacking Garoppolo multiple times. Goff was doing everything in his power to give the Rams the lead back and he would as he found WR, Cooper Kupp for a 10 yard touchdown, the score was now 28 - 24 Rams. The 49ers next two possessions will be three-and-outs and it felt as if many fans in Levi Stadium were left wondering could their team be stuck in a wild-card game? Midway through the fourth quarter, the 49ers had the ball once again starting the drive at their own 9, Garoppolo refused to quit as he threw a 45-yard pass to Kittle to set them up in the red zone. On third-and-goal, Garoppolo connected with Kittle for a 7 yard touchdown to give the 49ers the three point advantage but Goff returned with throws to Cooks, Higbee and Woods to set up Zuerlein to make a successful 52 yard kick for a 31 all game with 2:30 left. Despite the Rams pass-rushers, Aaron Darnold and Dante Fowler Jr combining on a sack, Garoppolo incredibly completed on 3rd & 16 a pass to Kendrick Bourne for 18 yards and the first down. The 49ers fell in another 3rd & 16 situation, still outside of field goal range when Garoppolo would find Sanders for 46 yards. The game would end with Gould drilling a 33 yard field goal to kick the Los Angeles Rams out of postseason contention with a 34-31 nail biting win.
Lets not forget the thrilling overtime loss back in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi Stadium, could the 49ers stay in first place in the NFC? This is a must win for the 49ers who will contend with the dynamic duo of Pete Carroll and Russel Wilson next week in Seattle for the NFC title. As for the Rams, a roller coaster-like season for Jared Goff who at times looked like the franchise quarterback but at other times many wondered why hasn’t Blake Bortles replaced him as a starter? We will have to wait and see how Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers (12 - 3) will do in the postseason and what adjustments Sean Mcvay's Rams (8 - 7) will make in the offseason.