3 reasons why 49ers defeated Rams in crucial Week 18 game

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

51. Final/OT. 27. 51. 24

In a must-win game, the 49ers overcame a 17-0 deficit to defeat their NFC West rivals, Rams, by leaning on the run game and brutalizing defensive play.

The San Francisco 49ers came out of the tunnel in Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams seemingly out of sorts.

From poor quarterback play from Jimmy Garoppolo to a stalled running game, the team was simply not keeping up with the high-powered, offensive play by the Rams. Early on, it looked like the Niners’ season was going to end short of making the playoffs and end in a blowout fashion, as LA got off to a 17-0 lead and had all the momentum on both sides of the ball.

Not exactly the kind of outcome San Francisco wanted, considering it would take a victory over Los Angeles to ensure a playoff berth as a Wild Card team.

There were a lot of question marks heading into the game, but the biggest question mark was going to be who was going to start at quarterback. Garoppolo entered the game with a badly injured thumb, suffered back in Week 16 and one that forced him to miss Week 17’s win over the Houston Texans, and that left many fans wishing that rookie sensation Trey Lance would start in place of Garoppolo.

With a Rams team playing their best ball as of late, it seemed the team had too much to overcome. Thankfully, all of those questions were answered, and it started with a critical drive led by Garoppolo late in the second quarter to end the half with a field goal, closing the lead to 17-3 and then staging an epic comeback to eventually win 27-24 in overtime.

What made the biggest turnaround? Garoppolo. He’s one of the key reasons why the Niners won in Week 18, and let’s break his efforts and the other reasons down here.