In a back-and-forth game where the San Francisco 49ers found themselves down by two scores, not once but twice, the team found a way to beat the Los Angeles Rams 34-31 and keep their dreams of home-field advantage twice.
The San Francisco 49ers had one job in Week 16 against the Los Angeles Rams: Just win. Nobody cared if it was pretty or ugly, the only thing that mattered was coming out of the game 12-3 and still a chance for home-field advantage in the playoffs.
It wasn’t pretty, but San Francisco did just that. In a game that had more twists and turns than a water slide designed by a 10 year old, the 49ers kicked the walk-off field goal (the second time in as many wins) to emerge victorious 34-31.
Like their first meeting, the Rams took the ball first and promptly marched down the field to start the game 7-0. Unlike the first meeting, however, the 49ers did not shut down the Rams right after.
Instead, the Rams had leads of 14-3 and 21-10 in the first half, comfortably extending leads due to screen and play-action passes the 49ers defense was unable to contain.
Things took a turn, however, when running back Raheem Mostert scored late in the first half to take the score to only a 21-17 deficit. Linebacker Fred Warner then promptly picked off quarterback Jared Goff in the flat and took it to the house and an unlikely 24-21 lead at halftime.
The second half was more a defensive battle, however the Rams were able to score a touchdown to make it 28-24 while the 49ers pass protection completely dropped off.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo came through in the clutch, however. He drove the 49ers down the field and took back the lead at 31-28 with a pass to tight end George Kittle before orchestrating a great escape for the final drive.
Garoppolo managed to dig the 49ers out of a 3rd-and-16 hole not once, but twice, as he would throw a dart to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne before taking advantage of busted coverage to find fellow receiver Emmanuel Sanders in field-goal range for what was essentially the winning throw.
Off the back of this win that brings the 49ers to 12-3, here are the grades from that game.