49ers @ Rams live blog

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

This is the live blog for the 49ers’ Week 17 road game against the LA Rams. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.

12:59 Here are the 49ers inactives:

  • DL Aaron Lynch
  • DL Leger Douzable
  • DL D.J. Jones
  • LB Pita Taumoepenu
  • DB Antone Exum Jr.
  • WR Max McCaffrey
  • RB Jeremy McNichols

1:00 Poor Aaron Lynch. What a waste of talent.

1:16 In my preview column, I mentioned wide receiver Kendrick Bourne as a player with a lot to prove in this game. Check out which receiver he compares to.

Bourne: 6’1″, 203 lbs., 4.55 40-yard dash, 1.56 10-yard split, 6.73 3-cone drill, 4.21 20-yard shuttle, 36″ vertical jump, 10’04” broad jump.

Atlanta Hawks WR Mohamed Sanu: 6’1″, 211 lbs., 4.54 40-yard dash, 1.59 10-yard split, 6.88 3-cone drill, 4.22 20-yard shuttle, 36″ vertical jump, 10’06” broad jump.

1:25 The 49ers will receive the kickoff.

1:31 On third-and-goal from the 49ers 41, Rams linebacker Cory Littleton falls while covering George Kittle, who catches a short pass over the middle and runs for 44 yards. Glad I wrote about that guy today.

1:32 On second-and-10 from the Rams 15, Jimmy Garoppolo throws left to Matt Breida, who looks back for the ball and has stare into the sun and drops it. Bad play call by Kyle Shanahan. He has to know the LA coliseum runs East to West, and not call passes that forces receivers to battle the sun.

1:37 On third-and-10, Eric Reid decks tight end Gerald Everett and knocks the pass incomplete. Great play by Reid. The Rams go three-and-out.

1:45 On second-and-3 from the Rams eight-yard line, Marquise Goodwin runs a fake reverse, turns around in the backfield, catches in a pass in the flat and sprints into the end zone. Touchdown. Great play design. The 49ers lead 10-0 after an easy 82-yard drive consisting of eight plays and no third downs. Impressive.

1:50 Eric Reid jumps a route and almost intercepts a pass on second-and-8, and the Rams go three-and-out. Reid has played well the first two defensive series of the game. Rams quarterback Sean Mannion looks awful.

1:54 On first-and-10 from the 49ers 41, Jimmy Garoppolo forces a pass over the middle to Marquise Goodwin and gets intercepted. Bad decision. Garoppolo makes at least one of those every game.

1:59 On third-and-goal from the five, free safety Adrian Colbert breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Josh Reynolds. Great play by Colbert. The Rams kick a 23-yard field goal and trail 10-3.

2:02 The 49ers will face third-and-5 from their 30 when the second quarter starts.

2:06 On third-and-five, Garoppolo throws an incomplete pass to Carlos Hyde, who slipped during his route. The 49ers punt.

2:20 The Rams punt from their 45-yard line and pin the 49ers at their 4-yard line.

2:26 On third-and-3 from the Rams 29, Rams cornerback Kevin Peterson breaks up a pass intended for Aldrick Robinson.

2:27 Robbie Gould makes a 48-yard field goal, and the 49ers lead 13-3.

2:34 On third-and-9 from the Rams 38, Sheldon Day lines up at one-technique, beats the center and sacks Sean Mannion. Great pass rush. Take notes, Solomon Thomas.

2:39 On second-and-goal from the Rams 16, Jimmy Garoppolo throws over the middle to Marquise Goodwin, who gets hit in the head by Blake Countess. Goodwin has a mini seizure on the field. Horrifying. He’s still down.

2:43 Goodwin rides off the field in the back of a cart while a trainer holds his neck. I hope Goodwin is OK.

2:45 On first-and-goal from the eight, Carlos Hyde runs up the middle and pushes a pile of tacklers into the end zone for the touchdown. Great run. The 49ers lead 20-3 with 1:13 left in the half.

2:52 On second-and-10 from the 49ers 25, Cassius Marsh strips Mannion and Solomon Thomas recovers.

2:53 First play of the 49ers drive, Garoppolo throws into double coverage and gets intercepted by Kevin Peterson for the second time today.

2:54 First play of the Rams drive, Michael Thomas burns Ahkello Witherspoon deep for a 50-yard completion. The officials are reviewing the play.

2:56 They confirm their ruling. First-and-goal from the three-yard line with one second left in the half.

2:57 The Rams make a 21-yard field goal. They trail 20-6 at halftime.

2:59 The Rams targeted Ahkello Witherspoon four times during the final 1:13 of the first half. He gave up three catches for 95 yards.

3:00 George Kittle caught four passes for 100 yards in the first half.

3:01 Jimmy Garoppolo’s passer rating is 67.9.

3:13 On third-and-10, Brock Coyle tackles running back Malcolm Brown after a four-yard catch, and the Rams go three-and-out. They look like the pre-Garoppolo 49ers.

3:19 On third-and-5 from the 49ers 45, the Rams break up a pass intended for Kittle over the middle. The 49ers punt.

3:25 On first-and-10, Sheldon Day tackles Malcolm Brown for a three-yard loss. Day is having a good game. He’s better right now than Solomon Thomas.

3:25 On third-and-12, Dontae Johnson tackles tight end Gerald Everett after a gain of six. Johnson is injured. He’s walking off the field.

3:28 DeForest Buckner is out with a chest injury.

3:33 On third-and-10 from the Rams 49, Kendrick Bourne makes a 16-yard catch over the middle. That’s big time.

3:34 On first-and-goal from the 5, Hyde bounces to the outside and scores his second touchdown of the game. The 49ers lead 27-6 over the Rams B team.

3:42 On third-and-20, Witherspoon strips Gerald Everett and Solomon Thomas recovers.

3:47 The 49ers will face third-and-8 from the Rams 12 when the fourth quarter starts.

3:50 On third-and-8, Garoppolo throws a 12-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, and the 49ers lead 34-6. I hear the fat lady singing.

4:07 On first-and-goal from the eight, Lance Dunbar runs for a touchdown. The Rams trail 34-13.

4:13 Garoppolo throws incomplete passes on first-and-10 and third-and-5, and the 49ers go three-and-out.

4:14 The Rams are flagged for running into punter Bradley Pinion. Automatic first down.

4:18 Matt Breida catches a 32-yard pass on third-and-2.

4:19 Next play, Hyde fumbles after an eight-yard gain, and the Rams recover.

4:19 On third-and-4, Elvis Dumervil sacks Mannion. Marsh was right there, too.

4:24 The 49ers win 34-13. Stay tuned for my post-game Periscope report and team grades.

This article has 349 Comments

  1. Lynch is out. I thought he was in the doghouse last year as well. Lost his motivation I guess. I am very interested in how Pita does in OTS’s and camp. Good guy.

  2. Any insight as to why Marsh has been active the last couple of weeks over Douzable? I know Marsh has been there to perhaps get after the QB more, and maybe Douzable is a mirror of Carradine, but Marsh certainly hasn’t shown much- at least in my opinion. I hope we get up 24-0 at Half so I can go golfing……….. looking forward to the off-season.

    1. He has talent, but no technique. And is position switching from DE to OLB. He’s a project but the 49ers were worried if they put him on the practice squad, he’d get poached. It hasn’t helped that he’s been banged-up with nagging injuries.

    2. Saleh said Pita needs to add weight so other teams would have to block him with someone other than a RB. I’d pull the exact quote, but the game is on. I expect Pita to push for Eli’s job next year.

  3. The Giants beat Washington. How embarrassing.

    The Browns are 0-16. Had a chance in one final drive. On 4th down the WR, open and in position to make a first down, dropped the drive sustaining pass.

    The Colts won, that gave the Giants the #2 pick, despite their win over the Redskins.

      1. Should he account for the bugs that could fly into the eyes of his players as well?
        Brieda needs to catch that pass. End of story.

  4. I think Reid’s had a pretty good season and he’s got versatility, which given inevitable injuries is important. I’d like the team to make an attempt to keep him.

    1. Nah. Wendell Tyler without the fumbles maybe. But Craig punished people with his high-stepping run.

      EDIT: Delvin Williams. He reminds me of Delvin Williams.

  5. I know I’m in the minority but I like Hyde. Always have. They have a nice one two punch with these guys. Focus elsewhere in the draft.

  6. I just can’t believe Jimmy G. won’t sign a long-term contract. Sure he’s been great on his own, but matched with KS, these two have the potential to be one of the most productive HC/QB combinations ever. Where else is he going to have that opportunity?

    1. JG is not stupid. He has to know that his best future perspectives are in SF. Add Shanahans system to the talent they will add this off season and you have a contending team for a long time.

  7. What I have been saying for some time. Hyde had plenty of space to run through his last two carries. That’s how this offense works. Either not space or a a big lane to run through. It sort of evens itself out in the end.

  8. Grant: “The offensive play caller has to account for the position of the sun”

    Lol! Your digging there Grant. Jeesh. Breida wasn’t the primary target on that play. You can’t have them all running away from the sun. Nice try though.

  9. McVay is not just not playing his starters to give them a rest, but also because he knows a Niner win will hurt their draft position. He knows who will challenge him next season and their drop in the draft order will hinder them from getting better talent. Resting his starters is the perfect excuse to tank this game.

  10. Shanny to Jimmy in sealing the deal in final contract negotiations, “Go our separate ways and be good, or together rewrite NFL history in greatness”.

  11. Was that interception more on Jimmy or Goodwin? I think Goodwin. That ball is thrown as Goodwin is making the break. He allowed the defender to slow him down and undercut him.

      1. I’ll rewatch it later. I hope and suspect you guys are right. I like Goodwin, but he’s not a #1 or #2 WR. With the injury to Garcon, Goodwin has become the main target. Kind of like a volume shooter in basketball.

    1. Don’t agree. To me it was more on Goodwin. Consider that the ball has to be thrown as Goodwin is in his break. Jimmy has to throw it to a point assuming that Goodwin won’t be slowed down and undercut by the defender.

      But compared to the QBs we’ve had in the past, Jimmy is aggressive and confident in his ability to throw into small windows.

      1. It was bad by both. Goodwin’s route was sloppy, but the CB played it perfectly – ball shouldn’t have been thrown there.

      1. Well, Brady Quinn agreed with us. Regardless of whether you think he’s a good broadcaster or not, he was an NFL QB. He probably has some idea of what he is talking about. OTOH, he might have a tendency to judge other QBs less harshly.

      1. They picked up his option. I think that’s guaranteed. They may move Ward to CB like he was in 2016. He couldn’t be worse than Johnson.

        1. Yeah, my only issue with Ward is his inability to stay healthy. I’ve said a number of times that I think he’s a very good player.

  12. In looking at Shannys system, I don’t think a work horse RB works as well as a one two punch with a power back and speed back.

  13. Bears and Jets lost. They both finished 5-11. We win, we drop to 9th.

    Also, Robinson sucks. You may as well drill the ficken ball into the ground and not risk a tip-INT.

      1. Ahh, my bad! Seems like some people can’t accept the franchise saviour can’t be both a good player and make mistakes.

    1. Scooter, it probably wasn’t a good throw. But are you always going to blame the QB when he throws with anticipation and the WR slips and falls!

        1. Hence my saying it was probably not a good throw. But, I seem to remember a time when the whole blog was up in arms that we had QBs that were afraid to throw past the 3rd down markers (where the secondary was defending). Jimmy G is a bit of gunslinger, but I’ll take that over what we had before. During the offseason, KS will either support that mindset or have him dial it back a bit.

          1. God yes, me too. I am a huge JG fan. But he isn’t infallible.

            If this is what bad Jimmy looks like the 49ers are in great shape.

    1. Beautiful. who the heck cares about passer rating today? I sure don’t! I was hoping Jimmy would make a couple mistakes, although, in his defense, the 2nd INT was just one of those things as his receiver fell and didn’t complete the route. When you throw guys open, those kinds of INT’s happen on occasion.

      Hopefully, after today’s game, the 49ers will have a little leverage back in terms of contract negotiations. Jimmy’s going to be a top 5 QB in this league, but he’s not quite there yet. Which means the 49ers have some leverage, and both sides should be able to work out a contract accordingly.

      Now, let’s hope for no more injuries, and 5th straight win to set up what appears to be a glorious offseason ahead!

      Happy New Year 49ERS FAITHFUL! Go Niners!

  14. I’m thinking…Why not have Goodwin on a streacher? He could’nt hardly hold his head up….seemed a little foolish taking him off the feild like they did.

  15. I get it people love Garoppolo, but the guy has thrown 2 bad picks today. Passing the blame on other guys is a freaking joke.

    1. He’s a bit of a gunslinger, but do you want to go back to the times when we had QBs that were afraid to throw past the sticks. If KS wants him to dial it back a bit, I don’t think it will be hard for him to do that.

    2. I for one am not passing blame, nor judgement. However, they don’t bother me. Why? For the simple fact that we’ve got a quarterback with a phenomenally quick release, and compact throwing motion, and accuracy. The likes of which I haven’t seen since Dan Marino, or Aaron Rodgers. The dude can flick the ball with a guy a moment away from crushing him. He’s a rare breed. Not to mention we’re seeing his baseline performances. The team is incomplete, the offense is new, and his development is in the intermediate stages of his career. Arrow are up, up and away for Jimmy and his 49ers next year!

      1. Of course Razor. I like that he’s a 49er, but good god, blaming other players when he makes a mistake is horse poop.

        The second pick was almost a carbon copy of the one that he threw in Houston.

        1. I’m sure Jimmy is not deflecting blame, but accepting it. He’s still growing, and he can reach his potential under Shanny. In that I truly believe….

    3. Both picks were because the WR’s ran a poor route and or fell down. Not sure why Jimmy G gets the blame but if you want, go ahead blame the QB.

    4. Oh, quit your whining. The corner made a great play and Goodwin didn’t box him out like he was supposed to and allowed the CB to under-cut him. The second one came on a WR fall-down as Garoppolo was throwing him open.

      Last QB we had that would consistently throw WRs open was Steve Young. I’ll take that over a QB who is afraid of the middle and can’t make more the one read.

      1. Who is saying that Garoppolo isn’t good?

        Guess what, he makes mistakes and throws interceptions. Just like Montana did. Just like Young did. Just like every QB does.

        Shoot, the throw on the second pick was a ball that he airmailed.

        1. Some of these guys are just trying to justify their ripping on other QB when they made mistakes so they have to blame other players for JG’s mistakes, because they pushed the scenario that good QB don’t ever make mistakes.

  16. Luckily for JG, if they go by Grant’s standard, he still has 53 starts before they can decide whether he’s the “Franchise QB”, or is it “Franchise Cornerstone QB”, or is it “Franchise Cornerstone Platinum Sided, Gold Plated, Diamond Studded QB”, or is it “Franchise Cornerstone Platinum Sided, Gold Plated, Diamond Studded, Chocolate Covered, Whipped Cream with a Cherry on Top QB”? Or is it…………………………………………..

  17. jack
    First interception was Goodwin’s fault; second was Jimmy G’s fault.
    Jimmy needs to work on passes to the outside and deep passes this off season.

  18. JG is our future, but I must repeat what I’ve been saying for weeks…..he has struggles with the deep pass and I think it’s mostly attributed to his throwing motion. He has a infielder motion, but needs to open it up a bit when going long. Just my two sense…..saw him in person last week and that’s the only flaw I saw.
    Juan u come across as a petty lil beach with your weak af references about Kaep and what he couldn’t do….move on bruh, dude is etched in history, ur a nobody….simple as that.
    Go Niners!

    1. He didn’t struggle in NE with the deep ball… They’ll get their timing and ball placement down in TC. Some seem to forget he joined us mid season but the way he’s playing I can’t really blame them.

  19. 3-14 on passes over 20 yards, that must be corrected in the off-season or defs are gonna key on that.
    Goodwin got blasted, and truth is JG led him rt into that…..small things he needs to work on. Can’t get your guys decapitated…..

    1. 4 of 5 in the 21-30 with the Pats. Guys he’d been working with for years. So what’s your point? That a QB with a suspect receiving corps and 15 live practices is struggling and people should give him a break and STFU about it… ? Oh, wait, that’s my point…

  20. McVay has got a ton of credit this year and he certainly deserves every bit. But look at his offense without his star QB. Look at our offense before we got our star QB.

      1. And?

        The Niners lead the league in injuries. The Rams are among the healthiest teams, if not THE healthiest.

        A blowout is a blowout. Not the way you want to head into the postseason, IMO. I’m not a fan of resting starters before the postseason, unless I am afraid I may beat even with all of my starters. It’s never a good feeling to get your ass handed to you prior to the postseason.

      2. “McVay is resting seven starters on offense.”

        Yeah, that’s my point. McVay’s offense is struggling without a star QB, HB, and missing pieces on the line. Our offense has struggled without a star QB, HB, and an incomplete OL.

  21. So back in September I bet $500 on the over on 49ers win total. Over/under was 5 wins. Does anyone know how I can post picture of my winning ticket on here? 😀$$$

  22. Chargers are whipping the Faiders.
    Bengals beating the Ravens.
    Miami is losing to the Bills.

    Unless the Rams put on the greatest show since Achilles slew Hector, I think we’re going to be #10 in the draft after starting at #7 this AM though we could finish #9. Everyone at 5-10 lost (or is losing) today except us. The Dolphins and Raiders are losing. We beat the Dolphins in the SoS tie-breaker, but I’m not sure about the Raiders as our SoS’ are so close its really going to depend on the final games to determine who wins the SoS tie-breaker.

    1. Juan –
      Thanks! It was a near miracle winning ticket. Wish I could post pic of the ticket.
      I will google for help and figure it out in the next few days.

  23. Crab, one of my best friends (still to this day) back before the ’81 season put 100 bucks on the Niners to win the SB at 49-1 up in Tahoe on a ski trip. We all laughed at him. He got the last laugh. Four of us, including him, went to Pontiac that year on a red eye for 600 bucks each (That was a lot of money back then). His trip was free plus much extra! I’ve never seen anyone so happy! Enjoy your winnings! Double down maybe???

  24. I’ll give my grades now.
    C all around. That’s it.
    Happy new year everyone. Stay safe and remember it’s amatuer night on the roads out there.

  25. Five loses by 3 points or less? Is that what it was? Ohhh what could have been! Have a great night tonight ALL and be good!! Happy New Years from the entire Juan family to you!

  26. Predicted 6 wins which up to 3 weeks ago I thought was hopelessly optimistic.
    Good month of December for the Niners. Jimmy G should be player of the month.
    Need a good off season to start a play off run in 2018.
    Happy New Year to all Niners fans!

    1. I predicted 4 wins before season began. Not sure if we would have gotten the 4 wins, but the team overall was slowing starting to gel.

  27. Rooting Interest – Bengals win, 49ers pick 9 or 10. Bengals lose, its 10 or 11. (Raiders SOS changing as I type…)

  28. With 6 wins, KS has passed Tomsula’s 5 wins and has three times as many wins as Walsh and Kelly had in their first year. Not bad for a “so called genius” and a “glorified offensive coordinator”.

  29. Niners beat their oldest rival.
    Seattle eliminated.
    Raiders finish at 6-10. 6-10 is good for us, bad for Oakland

    Pretty good day. Happy New Years everybody.

    1. #80 – Happy New year to you too. Bengals won, bump Niners draft pick up a slot. We could draft as high as 9. Good player will be there.

  30. Sigh*
    The moronic comments being made on Thomas are about as brilliant as flogging someone with a piece of cooked spaghetti in order to defend oneself. Thomas has helped to improve the run defense (which was abysmal last season), got a late start due to being required to complete his semester at Stanford, and is playing at more than one position on the DL. There is also the fact that Thomas is a rookie. Cut the man some slack.

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