Predicting 49ers final 4 regular-season games, playoff results

Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Emmanuel Moseley, Cooper Kupp, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (41) stops Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Week 18: 49ers @ Rams — Sunday, Jan. 9

It’s so tempting to predict San Francisco finishing off the regular season with yet another win over its NFC West rivals, the Los Angeles Rams. After all, head coach Kyle Shanahan has dominated his former assistant, Rams head coach Sean McVay, and the 49ers have won five games in a row over LA, too. Including a decisive Week 10 showdown in which the Niners soundly pulled off the 31-10 victory.

Things have changed since then, though.

The Rams, largely relying on quarterback Matthew Stafford and the pass game, then infusing wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., have once again refocused on a run-first offense in recent weeks. That’s opened the passing game back up again, and wide receiver Cooper Kupp has to be in consideration for the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award.

Particularly with him leading the league in receptions (113), receiving yards (1,489) and touchdowns (12).

Now, Los Angeles might have clinched everything it possibly can by the time Week 18 rolls around, and it wouldn’t be out of the question for McVay to rest his starters in the final regular-season game of the year, much like he did back in 2017 when San Francisco won that particular bout against the Rams’ B-team.

But considering the NFC West crown remains open, namely with LA’s Week 14 win over the Arizona Cardinals, and the No. 1 seed in the conference is still a five-team race, McVay sitting starters doesn’t seem likely at all.

All streaks have to come to an end. Shanahan’s win streak versus McVay will here, too.

21. 42. 31. 51. Prediction