Week 18: Saturday, Jan. 6 OR Sunday, Jan. 7 vs Los Angeles Rams, TBD
The season's final game may matter quite a bit for the 49ers, especially if the Eagles and/or Cowboys continue to keep pace with their NFC West counterpart.
The Rams could very well still be in the playoff race, too, as their run prior to this finale (home for Washington and New Orleans, away for the Giants) could have them on a win streak and sitting at 9-7 heading into the final weekend.
Los Angeles is a better team than their 6-7 record coming into Week 15 might indicate and health has been a major factor as key players like quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, and running back Kyren Williams have all missed time due to injury.
Still, this is a matchup that the 49ers have owned of late, winning nine straight regular season contests against their division rivals, including an all-important Week 18 victory at SoFi Stadium that closed out the 2021 season and propelled the Niners into the playoffs.
The final score of the Week 2 matchup between these two teams was closer than the game because the Rams kicked a ridiculous last-second field goal to cut the score to 30-23, but it was also one that Kupp missed while rookie wideout Puka Nacua pulled down 15 catches on 20 targets for 147 yards. Having both players will present a challenge for the 49ers.
But the Rams defense has been very up and down in 2023, which is likely where this matchup tilts in favor of the home team. It'll be a battle, as these games often are, but the 49ers should be able to pull this one out and secure the NFC's number one seed and a first round bye.