49ers come back from 17 down, beat Rams to make playoffs
Robbie Gould kicked a 24-yard field goal with 2:48 remaining in overtime Sunday afternoon, allowing the San Francisco 49ers to earn a wild-card spot in the NFC playoffs with a come-from-behind 27-24 victory over the host Los Angeles Rams.
Rookie cornerback Ambry Thomas intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass six plays later, assuring the 49ers (10-7) the No. 6 seed in the West and a meeting with the third-seeded Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs.
After blowing a 17-0 lead and seeing a five-game winning streak come to an end, the Rams (12-5) fell to the No. 4 seed in the NFC and will host the fifth-seeded Arizona Cardinals next week.
Despite the loss, the Rams won the NFC West title over the Cardinals (11-6) after Arizona was beaten by the Seattle Seahawks.
Needing a win or a tie to keep their season alive, the 49ers won the overtime toss and Jimmy Garoppolo, playing 17 days after suffering a torn ligament in his right thumb, directed a 12-play, 69-yard drive that chewed up the first 7:15 of the 10-minute extra session.
Gould’s field goal was his second of the game.
The Rams got one final possession and advanced to their 38 at the 2:00 warning, But Stafford’s next pass deep down the right sideline was picked off by Thomas, ending the game.
Garoppolo threw for 316 yards and one touchdown, completing 23-for-32 passes, but he shared the offensive spotlight with Deebo Samuel, who ran for a 16-yard score, threw 24 yards to Jauan Jennings for another, and caught four passes for 95 yards.
Stafford finished 21-for-32 for 238 yards with three three touchdowns, two to tight end Tyler Higbee.
Both quarterbacks threw two interceptions.
The Rams appeared headed for a regulation win when Jalen Ramsey intercepted a pass in the end zone to preserve a fourth-quarter tie, and Stafford hit Cooper Kupp with a 4-yard, go-ahead score with 2:29 remaining.
But after an exchange of punts, Garoppolo drove the 49ers 88 yards in five plays, including a 43-yard, catch-and-run connection with Samuel.
Two plays later, Garoppolo found Jennings over the middle for the 14-yard score that tied the game at 24-all.
The Rams dominated the game’s first 29 minutes, going up 17-0 on Higbee’s scoring receptions of 2 and 15 yards in the second quarter, after an earlier Matt Gay 43-yard field goal.
Gould’s first field goal, a 42-yarder, sent the 49ers to the halftime break down 17-3.
Brandon Aiyuk caught six passes for 107 yards for the 49ers, while Elijah Mitchell was the game’s leading rusher with 85 yards on 21 carries.
Kupp hauled in seven balls for a game-high 118 receiving yards for the Rams, who were held to 64 yards rushing.
In beating Los Angeles for the sixth straight time, the 49ers outgained the Rams 449-265.
–Field Level Media