49ers Beat Rams 34-13, End Season on Five Game Winning StreakJanuary 1, 2018 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory
The San Francisco 49ers ended their 2017 season on a high note after starting 1-10, winning five games in a row with a new quarterback that gives the team hope for the future. The team capped off their season with a 34-13 win in Los Angeles against the playoff-bound Rams. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made some mistakes, finishing with two interceptions, but he also had a couple touchdowns which showcased his skill set. Garoppolo ultimately led the charge that has turned this team around.
The Los Angeles Rams already clinched a playoff spot heading into Sunday’s game, so they were resting several starters. QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley, and DT Aaron Donald were among several Rams star players that weren’t playing in the game. This made things a bit easier for the 49ers, but the Rams were still playing hard. That fact was very evident in the second quarter when Rams safety Blake Countess laid a brutal hit on wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. Goodwin scored a touchdown earlier in the half, but his breakout season was over on this hit as he was carted off the field. Niners fans were hopeful that he would be okay when he raised his arms and waved to the crowd as he was being carted off.
Terrifying hit by Blake Countess on Marquise Goodwin. He had to be carted off. pic.twitter.com/ASGbkvCXh1
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) December 31, 2017
Garoppolo had a solid first half, throwing the touchdown to Goodwin and making some good midrange throws to different targets. He struggled a bit more throwing the deep ball, as he had two first half interceptions that both went to Rams cornerback Kevin Perterson. Still, Garoppolo and the offense controlled the game in the first half, racking up almost 3oo yards in total offense and 15 first downs. Running back Carlos Hyde added an 8-yard touchdown before the half, and the 49ers were up 20-6 going into the locker room.
The second half of the game was more of a slog for both teams. The 49ers stuck to their running game as much as they could. Garoppolo struggled a bit more with deeper throws in the second half as well. This is part of the growing pains for a young quarterback learning a new offense on the fly. However, Garoppolo made consecutive throws of 16 and 28 yards midway through the 3rd quarter that set up another Hyde touchdown, this time for five yards. Although Garoppolo sometimes struggled, he showed resilience and didn’t get down on himself when he made mistakes. Garoppolo bounced back early in the fourth quarter hitting wide receiver Aldrick Robinson for a 12-yard touchdown to make the score 34-6.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 31, 2017
Both teams played conservatively in the fourth quarter with the game pretty much decided. The Rams stuck to running the ball with backup running back Malcolm Brown. Backup quarterback Sean Mannion made a few throws, but it was clear the Rams weren’t taking any risks at this point. After a long Rams drive, running back Lance Dunbar punched in an 8-yard touchdown run for the touchdown to make the score 34-13. The 49ers kept it conservative and mostly ran the ball when they got it back. The game ended with the same score, and the 49ers finishing the season 6-10 on a five-game winning streak.
There was truly an incredible turnaround in San Francisco after they traded a 2018 second round pick to the New England Patriots to acquire Garoppolo. The team was 1-10, and looked directionless when they made the trade. Now there are rumors that San Francisco will be a hot destination for free agents next season. The issue of Garoppolo’s future with the team will be something to follow as well. Garoppolo’s contract is up after this season, but the team has the option to franchise tag the quarterback if needed. 49ers GM Jon Lynch said the team is going to make an effort to sign Garoppolo to a long-term deal rather than use the franchise tag. The future looks bright for Garoppolo and his team, even if his future is up in the air. It feels like San Francisco has found their franchise quarterback, and it’s Jimmy Garoppolo. Keep following jimmygaroppolo.net for offseason updates and info on Garoppolo’s future with the 49ers.