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49ers @ Rams Week 18 Live Blog

Live analysis of the San Francisco 49ers' Week 18 season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.

INGLEWOOD -- This is the live blog for the San Francisco 49ers' Week 18 season finale against the Los Angeles Rams. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from the press box.

10:49 The 49ers reportedly have decided to start Jimmy Garoppolo for this game, a highly questionable decision considering he has a torn ligament in his thumb on his throwing hand and hasn't practiced fully in more than two weeks. But the alternative is to let Trey Lance make his fourth career start, which isn't ideal, either. Most likely it won't matter which quarterback the 49ers play, because almost their entire seconary got Covid and missed practice this week, so they probably will have a difficult time covering Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. As long as Matthew Stafford doesn't just throw deep balls up for grabs like he did the first time he faced the 49ers when he got intercepted, the Rams offense will be tough to stop. 

And the 49ers offense should struggle, considering Garoppolo is injured and rusty. His primary goal will be to protect the football and not turn it over, which could be difficult with his thumb injury. One Garoppolo turnover could cost the 49ers the game, and in turn their season.

I expect Garoppolo to commit at least one turnover, the 49ers secondary to give up at least one big play through the air and the Rams to win a tight, low-scoring game that goes down the wire.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: 49ers 20, Rams 24.

11:57 Here are the 49ers' inactives:

Trent Williams

K'Waun Williams

Azeez Al-Shaair

Maurice Hurst

Jarrod Wilson

Marcell Harris

11:58 The two Williamses being inactive is a major blow to the 49ers. I stick by my prediction of the Rams winning.

12:52 Colton McKivitz is the 49ers' starting left tackle in warmups.

1:23 The 49ers win the toss and defer their choice to the second half. The Rams will receive the opening kickoff


1:36 On 3rd and 6 from the 49ers 15, Arik Armstead and Arden Key sack Matthew Stafford for a 10-yard loss. Next play, the Rams make a 43-yard field goal. That drive was made possible by a 46-yard completion on 3rd and 9 to Cooper Kupp, who burned Dontae Johnson.

49ers 0, Rams 3.

1:45 On 3rd and 5 from the 49ers 31, Garoppolo throws a deep pass up the right sideline to running back JaMycal Hasty, and the pass gets broken up by Rams linebacker Traven Howard, so the 49ers punt on the next play. The Rams take over at their 39 after a 42-yard punt and a 9-yard return.


2:00 On 4th and goal from the 2, Matthew Stafford carries out a beautiful run fake and throws a play-action touchdown pass to a wide open Tyler Higbee. Stafford has completed 11 of his first 12 pass attempts and his quarterback rating is 137.2.

49ers 0, Rams 10.

2:07 Jimmy Garoppolo fumbles on the first play of the drive and George Kittle recovers after a loss of 14. The 49ers then go three and out. Then the Rams return a 43-yard punt to the 49ers 19-yard line. Garoppolo looks healthy but unprepared, almost like he hasn't practiced fully in two and a half weeks.

2:10 On 3rd and 7 from the 49ers 16, Stafford throws another touchdown pass to Higbee, who beats Ambry Thomas this time. The 49ers are completely unprepared, and that's Kyle Shanahan's fault.

49ers 0, Rams 17.

2:17 Garoppolo takes a hit as he throws the ball into triple coverage and gets intercepted by Taylor Rapp at the Rams 21. The 49ers need to bench Garoppolo right now. It's probably already to late. What a shame.

2:26 On 3rd and 1 from the Rams 42, Armstead and Nick Bosa sack Stafford for an 8-yard loss. After the punt, the 49ers get the ball at their 15 with 38 seconds left. Garoppolo is still in the game.

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2:34 Garoppolo completes all four of his pass attempts and drives the offense down the field for a field goal as time expires. The 49ers will get the ball when the second half starts.

49ers 3, Rams 17.


2:53 On 3rd and 2 from the Rams 16, Garoppolo hands off to Deebo Samuel who runs around the right end and scores a touchdown. And the 49ers are back in the game.

49ers 10, Rams 17.

2:55 Punter Mitch Wishnowsky is out with a concussion, and Talanoa Hufanga is out with a knee injury.

2:59 The Rams go run-run-incomplete pass and go 3 and out. The 49ers have all the momentum. Wow.

3:10 On 1st and 10 from the Rams 24, Deebo Samuel throws a touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings, who's wide open in the end zone. Garoppolo threw exactly zero passes on that drive.

49ers 17, Rams 17.

3:15 On 3rd and 17 from the Rams 18, Stafford throws a deep pass into double coverage and gets intercepted by Emmanuel Moseley. The 49ers take over at the 49ers 32.

3:20 The 49ers go 3 and out as the third quarter ends.


3:29 On 3rd and 10 from the Rams 42, Fred Warner and Arden Key sack Stafford for a 10-yard loss. The 49ers defense has allowed just one first down in the second half. After the punt, the 49ers take over at their 23.

3:41 On 2nd and 14 from the Rams 22, Garoppolo forces a pass to George Kittle who's triple covered and gets intercepted by Jalen Ramsey in the end zone. He returns the ball to the Rams 8.

3:51 On 3rd and goal from the 4, Jimmie Ward gives up a touchdown catch to Kupp. Earlier in the drive on 3rd and 6 from the Rams 30, Ward gave up a 30-yard deep pass to Kupp. Now the 49ers need a touchdown. They have 2:29 left.

49ers 17, Rams 24.

3:55 On 3rd and 9 from the 49ers 26, Garoppolo gets sacked by Von Miller for a loss of 8. After the punt, the Rams take over at their 40 with 1:50 left.

4:01 The Rams run three straight times, go 3 and out and force the 49ers to use all their timeouts. After the punt, the 49ers get the ball at their 12 with 1:27 left.

4:07 On 2nd and 5 from the Rams 15, Garoppolo throws a touchdown pass to Jennings, and the 49ers tie the game with 26 seconds left.

49ers 24, Rams 24.

4:11 On 1st and 10 from the Rams 37, Armstead sacks Stafford and the fourth quarter ends.


4:13 The 49ers win the toss and choose to receive the kickoff.

4:27 On 3rd and goal from 7, Garoppolo throws a quick pass to George Kittle who gets tackled after a mere 1-yard gain.

4:28 Robbie Gould makes a 24-yard field goal with 2:45 left in the game.

49ers 27, Rams 24.

4:38 Ambry Thomas intercepts Stafford to end the game. The 49ers just rose from the dead and won. Unreal. Stay tuned for their grades.