The 49ers eliminate the Rams

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The 49ers eliminate the Rams from playoff contention with their 34-31 win

ESPN Radio
December 23, 2019 - 4:20 pm

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

Santa Clara – There is nothing like being in a stadium with over 70,000 people when the home team is about to attempt the game-winning field goal with just three seconds left on the clock which is what the 49ers did on Saturday night.

The crowd was so loud that the glass in the press box was vibrating. Then, the center snapped the ball to the holder – Mitch Wishnowsky. The crowd took a collective inhale and Levi’s Stadium went almost silent. Robbie Gould kicked the ball and the 33-yard field attempt went through the uprights with no time left on the clock. The crowd exhaled into an eruption of cheers as the Niners had defeated the Los Angeles Rams 34-31 in a thriller of a game.

This game was played in fast forward

There was no such thing as a sustained drive on offense on Saturday night. For the Rams, their longest possession of the night was a 5:19, 11 play, 64-yard drive that ended in a touchdown in the second quarter. Their fastest scoring drive of the game was in the third quarter when they went 73 yards on seven plays for a TD in just 2:43.

The 49ers longest drive came in the second quarter when marched 75 yards on nine plays in 4:26 to score their second TD of the game. Their shortest possession happened at the start of the third quarter. It lasted just two plays over 11-seconds and ended in an interception.

Everyone in the stadium was afraid to blink because you might miss a play.

The Rams came out of the gate quickly

Sean McVay had his Rams primed and ready to go on Saturday night. It took the Rams just three minutes and 52 seconds to score their first touchdown. The Rams used just seven plays to go 75 yards to take the ball into the end zone on a pass from Goff to Cooks that was good for 10 yards.

The Rams opened a 21-10 lead before the 49ers began their comeback. By halftime, the Niners had taken a 24-21 lead, but the Rams were not down and out.

The Rams would retake the lead 28-24 in the third quarter and tie the game at 31-31 in the fourth quarter before losing the game on the Gould field goal. McVey had his team prepped and ready to beat the 49ers which made for a very entertaining contest.

McVay on how this game was different from the first contest with the Niners: “I think each week is a different week and as the game unfolded guys made enough plays and kept it interesting. I think it was two good teams going at it and unfortunately, we came up on the short end tonight.”

The Niners defense came through exactly when needed

With just 56-seconds left in the first half, the Rams had the ball second and 10. Jared Goff threw a short pass intended for Malcolm Brown. Niners LB Fred Warner stepped in front of Brown, intercepted the pass and ran the ball back 46 yards for a San Francisco touchdown. That TD let the 49ers take a 24-21 lead to the locker room at halftime.

Warner describes the play: “Yeah, honestly, I just did my job. We were in man coverage and the back kind of, he checked in the protection and then ran a flat route. I hugged up on him and I think [Los Angeles Rams QB> Jared [Goff> probably would want to have that one back, but he just tossed it up and I took it. I took it home.”

@fred_warner just made Goff’s naughty list. -- @nflnetwork

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Deebo Samuel had a big game

Samuel surprised everyone – including the Rams defense – rushing the ball three times for 28 yards. One of those runs was good for a 19-yard TD in the second quarter. Samuel also made four pass catches good for 31 yards.

Samuel was very low key in describing his TD run: “It was just a sweep to the left. I got around the edge and beat the guy. All I saw was the end zone.”

Deebo delivers! Catch the action on @nflnetwork. #LARvsSF

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Garoppolo had a productive and rough night

Jimmy Garoppolo went 16-for-27 passing good for 248 yards and one TD versus the Rams. He did throw two interceptions. Garoppolo also endured six sacks for a total loss of 33 yards.

Garoppolo on his team can win in multiple ways: “It’s fun if you win it, yeah. We don’t intend for those situations, but just the way it happened and everything, guys battling, defense making huge plays, it was a real complementary football game today. I know I’ve said that before, but today we showed it more than ever. We can win in different ways. [LB> Fred [Warner> having a huge pick-six, defense playing great, special teams making big plays. It was all that tied together and it made for a fun night.”

49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan analyzes the victory

Shanahan on dealing with last-second wins: “You get used to it happening, but your body still feels the same. Not great. We’ll go rest after this, but it’s a lot of fun. I mean, as long as you win them, it’s a lot of fun. It’s good practice. That’s how most of these games get when you go against good teams and that’s how most games are in the playoffs. I think we’ve gotten battle-tested throughout this year and hopefully, that will pay off for us here in the long run.”

The coach on big this win was to him and the team: “It was very important. To me, just as important as last week. You try not to look ahead. I thought we had to win this game no matter what. I think possibly, based on how tomorrow goes, we’d still be playing for the West next week verse Seattle. So, if that would have happened we would have dealt with that. Now, winning this, you don’t have to worry about anything. Now we’ve got one game here left in our season before the playoffs. Got eight days to get ready for it and we’re pumped about that.”

The 49ers played this game with heavy hearts

Niners backup QB – C.J. Beathard – lost his brother on Saturday night in the tragic fight in Nashville. Clayton

 Beathard and his friend were stabbed to death outside a popular Nashville bar. The details on the incidents are still unfolding.

Kyle Shanahan on the tragedy: “Before we start, I just want to say how much we appreciate the Beathard family. What happened last night was very tough on [QB> C.J. [Beathard> and his family. It was a tragedy. Such a great family. We’ve been with C.J. here for three years. He’s as good as any person I’ve been around. Their family is unbelievable. I never got a chance to meet Clay, but knowing how his parents are, knowing how C.J. is, knowing the stuff they’ve told me about him, he was an unbelievably special person. Just our hearts and prayers are out with them. His dad reached out to us on text just about how great everyone has been on social media and just the respect everyone has given their family and stuff, he can’t appreciate it enough. I think everyone understands how horrible a thing that happened to their family last night. Our prayers are with them.”

The win was great but Sunday night is coming


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The 49ers versus the Seahawks game next Sunday has been flexed to the Sunday night game on NBC, so the nation can watch the game that will decide the NFC West champion. It is going to be a “Battle Royale”.


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