49ers @ Rams live blog

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CLARA — This is the live blog for the 49ers’ season finale against the LA Rams. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.

12:49 Here are the 49ers inactives:

  1. WR Marquise Goodwin
  2. NT Earl Mitchell
  3. DT Sheldon Day
  4. TE Garrett Celek
  5. OL Shon Coleman
  6. OL Erik Magnuson
  7. S Tyree Robinson

12:50 Here are the Rams inactives:

  1. RB Todd Gurley
  2. FS LaMarcus Joyner
  3. OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
  4. OLB Trevon Young
  5. OL Jamil Demby
  6. DT Sebastian Joseph-Day
  7. DT Tanzel Smart

1:25 The 49ers will receive the opening kickoff.

1:28 On third and 1, Nick Mullens hands the ball to Kyle Juszczyk, who takes a hit in the backfield, extends the ball for the first down and fumbles. The Rams recover and run the ball to the 49ers seven-yard line.

1:30 On third and and goal from the three, strong safety Marcell Harris gives up a touchdown catch to Brandin Cooks, and the Rams lead 7-0. Robert Saleh called zone coverage from the three-yard line. Not smart.

1:38 On third and 10, Dante Fowler beats Mike McGlinchey around the edge and hits Nick Mullens’ arm as Mullens throws the  ball. Rams linebacker Cory Littleton intercepts the pass and returns the ball to the 49ers 13.

1:40 Embarrassing start. The 49ers came out flat an unprepared on the road once again. Hallmark of a poorly-coached team. The 49ers OL can’t block anyone on the Rams.

1:42 On first and goal from the 1, C.J. Anderson scores from one yard out, and the Rams lead 14-0. This feels like a first-round knockout.

1:51 On third and 6 from the Rams 16, Mullens throws a jump ball in the end zone for George Kittle, but John Johnson out-jumps him and tips the ball to free safety Blake Countess for the interception.

1;56 Mullens can’t force the ball to Kittle. The Rams expect that. Shanahan has to give Mullens other outlets and primary receivers, like Kendrick Bourne. He is playing well.

1:59 The Rams go three and out. The 49ers take over at their 30 after the punt.

2:04 Alfred Morris runs for 51 yards on the first play of the drive. Two plays later, Aaron Donald beats Mike McGlinchey for a sack. The 49ers end up kicking a 30-yard field goal. They trail 14-3.

2:17 On second and 10 from the 49ers 49, Jared Goff commits an intentional-grounding penalty before Ronald Blair hits. The Rams punt two plays later. The 49ers will take over from their five-yard line.

2:23 On third and 5 from the 49ers 10, Mullens stares down Richie James and throws a pick six to Cory Littleton. The Rams lead 21-3.

2:32 Mullens gets sacked on first down, and hit as he throws on second down. On third down, he completes a nine-yard pass to Trent Taylor, and the 49ers punt.

2:42 On first and 10 from the 18, Goff throws a screen pass to Cooks, who runs through the 49ers defense and scores. Antone Exum missed a tackle. The Rams lead 28-3.

2:50 Laken Tomlinson just injured his right knee. Look serious.

2:57 On first and goal from the nine, Mullens throws a touchdown pass to Richie James. The 49ers trail 28-10.

3:09 The Rams kick a field goal on the final play of the first half. They lead 31-10, and will receive the kickoff to start the third quarter. Did the 49ers even practice this week? Doesn’t seem like it. The 49ers always are an undisciplined mess on the road — the hallmark of a poorly coached team.

3:27 On first and 10 from the 49ers 29, Greb Mabin gives up a touchdown catch to Josh Reynolds. The Rams lead 38-10. Mabin was playing for Richard Sherman. Don’t know why Sherman is out.

3:38 On third and six from the Rams 36, Mullens rolls to his right and completes a 25-yard pass to Kittle. Morris scores a one-yard touchdown run three plays later, and the 49ers trail 38-17.

3:51 On third and goal from the two, Josh Reynolds beats Marcell Harris for a touchdown catch. The Rams lead 45-17. The 49ers defense has allowed four straight touchdown drives of at least 75 yards. The defense quit.

3:57 On second and 13, Kendrick Bourne catches a 17-yard pass, but gets flagged for grabbing Aqib Talib’s face mask. Two plays later, Mark Barron blitzes and sacks Mullens on third and 12.

4:05 Greg Zuerlein makes a 51-yard field goal, and the Rams lead 48-17.

4:18 On third and goal from the 2, Bourne makes a leaping touchdown catch while drawing a pass-interference penalty. The 49ers trail 48-24. Bourne has played well today. He seems to be improving.

4:29 The Rams go for it on fourth and four from the 49ers 42, and Antone Exum tackles John Kelly for a four-yard loss.

4:31 On second and four, Mullens throws a 43-yard touchdown pass to Kittle. The 49ers trailed 48-30 with 2:20 left. And Kittle just set the record for most receiving yards in a season for a tight end. He gained 1,377.

4:32 On the two-point conversion attempt, Mullens completes a pass to Trent Taylor in the end zone. The 49ers now trail 48-32.

4:34 The Rams recover the onside kick.

4:40 The Rams win 48-32. Stay tuned for my postgame Periscope and grades.

This article has 259 Comments

  1. FWIW – 49ers just wrapped up the tiebreaker with the Jets for #2. It would still be great to deprive the Rams of a first round bye.

  2. Sheeeeew! What a stressful two games in TB and NY. Now a little miracle up north and SF is riding high with the number 1.

    Speaking of the draft anyone see Ferrel play and dominate last night vs the Irish?
    He’s good. Real good!

        1. Yep, that’s the reason he’s struggling today. Has nothing to do with the OL getting their butts handed to them and Mullens getting hit on almost every throw.

          1. He’s had plenty of time. Holding the ball too long and not adjusting his feet to the right angle to throw through the window.

              1. Just like on that sack there by Donald hey Prime? If only he’d set his feet and changed his arm angle that would have been a big gain, right?

              2. Well Donald is a freak but look at Mullen’s entire body of work. He throws off his back foot, never truly sets his feet, and waits too long to throw a guy open.

              3. He’s had issues with that this year, but if you think that’s the reason for the struggles today you aren’t watching what’s happening up front.

              4. I don’t judge players on one day or one game. Leads to too much emotional analysis.

                I look at the entire season and the oline has played well this year.
                Considering all the things the offense has had to deal with this year, the unit getting better each week has been the oline.

              5. Your first post was blaming the “batted” passes today on Mullens height. They had nothing to do with his height. They were entirely on the OL getting their butts handed to them. Now you are back tracking and saying you meant this season. Your term for this I believe is “waffling”.

              6. The batted passes are on Mullen’s. His height, his ability to process and poor footwork.

                I’ve said all along the oline has been good all year.

    1. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to blame Saleh and the D for this start. Clearly their fault for being 14-0 down… lol!

  3. McGlinchey’s strong abilities as a run blocker, and need for improvement as a pass blocker, makes me think he needs to stay at Right Tackle if he doesn’t improve, even after Staley’s retirement.

  4. Does turning the ball over at the rate the 49ers have this year, lead to complacency and expectation? I have a feeling this team will not improve significantly until every turnover made by the offense is taken personally and every turnover opportunity missed by the defense is taken personally.

  5. inevitable result of bad decisions by the York family. inexperienced coaching/management at the high level. poor family decisions at the low level the santa clara 49ers are a shadow of a once proud franchise.

  6. That Rams secondary that has “major issues” as Grant put it has 2 INTs and a FF. I’ll take some of those major issues in the Niners secondary lol….

  7. Today Mullens has unequivocally looked like a backup. Forcing so many passes. Could be that there is enough of a book on him that the Rams are totally prepared for him.

      1. That pass rush is fierce. It would kill anyone at QB.

        Glad we have guys who can run Shanahan’s plays (except on 3rd and Red Zone and pass block)!

  8. I like Nick. I hope he stays on the team. He should make a good back up qb as we move forward. I really hope that Grant resists the easy temptation to blame Nick’s horrid play on Kyle. The whole team is over-matched.

  9. Can’t wait for the conclusion of the Alabama/Clemson game. Many of us will see a dozen or more players we must draft in the first three rounds.

  10. Good to see James getting a few catches today. Kudos to Mullens for bouncing back. Perhaps Kyle having CJ warm up lit a fire under Nick.

      1. Maybe if he didn’t stare down his first read (that was the book on him during the preseason), he might have been able to hit a different receiver quicker. Or if he didn’t try to keep forcing it to Kittle despite double and triple coverage. Not saying Kyle is without fault, but Mullens has been absolutely awful today.

        1. He’s been hit how many times? He did stare down the receiver on that INT and that was on him, but no one would do well with that pressure either.

        2. Just wait till you see garop behind this line with arguably the best pass rush in the league hitting him. Not to mention the Safeway stockers catching passes…

  11. Arizona is killing Wilson. Boneheaded play to end the half and squandered a fg for the lead.
    But they are murdering Wilson with sacks right now

  12. Early this off season I’d like to see Grant score that one-on-one interview with Denise, getting at why the Yorks have allowed the 9er franchise to thoroughly rot.

    Next, I’d expect Shanahan to be kicked to the curb within the week, given that Grant has determined Kyle is on the hot seat. Grant doesn’t exaggerate. Kyle is toast. Done.

    Hope some of our long time commenters return to the blog.

  13. ‘Poorly coached team.’ Yup. Bunched sets. Putting a man in motion, then having him stop. Way too predictable, so they jump routes. Keep trying to deliver from the pocket, so the pass rushers can tee off and rush to a spot. McGlinchey becoming a turnstile. Poor preparations, Horrendous ball security. Wasted another time out. Walking up to the line while behind 3 scores. No huddle? A foreign concept like gap integrity. Quick snaps? Naw rather false start.
    Sean McVay is schooling Saleh, and Phillips is bludgeoning KS.

      1. Unlike others, I am not happy the Niners are losing.
        However, they did go bold and converted that 4th down. I saw a counter, that let the defense over run the play for a big gain. They actually threw a bubble screen. Kittle was very deceptive, falling down, then getting up to catch a pass.
        Goff has rolled out to great effect. I warned about Josh Reynolds, but they were oblivious. Rams are steam rolling the Niners, and the coaching is so apparent.

      1. Oh Grant… If he is to be believed then Goff is very pedestrian, the Rams D with 4 TOs has major issues and the 49ers will win today… Sounds about right.

  14. How about them Rams baby? Hey Who Dey, hello Nurse. It’s a great day as the 49ers lose again, below .500, no talent anywhere on the team.

  15. Does Grant Cohn know how to run this site? He runs it worse then the yahoos running 49ers Webzone. you 49ers fans got no class or respect to your fellow fan. That’s why I hope your 49ers lose just to see you fans so unhappy and my buddy Darren is happy as a clam. All you had to do was treat Darren with a little respect, not whine to the moderator that he bothers you.
    BTW, Bears/Vikings has been a great game in my region, so I hope it answers the question in who you think I am, losers.

    1. So Darren… You’ve declared the 9ers should draft a QB next year. Who do you have in mind?

      whodey3200, you can answer for Nurse, I mean Darren…

        1. Hi Red, my Cowboys won their game today. It was a close one though. Too bad your team can’t play a close game. I’m going to watch the Orville tonight. I hope you are enjoying losing to the Rams. How does it make you feel? You see red, or blue?

  16. Pay no attention to the 49ers fans. They’re going to whine that the refs are out to get the 49ers rather then admit that the team sucks in general.

  17. Are you all going to be around next year, or is losing the game, season going to turn you all off and you find another site?

  18. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah Rams baby! Whooooooooooooo! SPank city 49ers. How does it feel Jeddy baby? Ah yeah, another loss for Jed York. Man, I am going to be so happy going to work tomorrow that I’m riding home on my bike taking the new bike path that I’m not going to tell you YAHOOS about. Waaaaahooooooo! Get 52, Rams, get 52 points baby! Ah Yeah! Put Mullens on the bench, put in that boy CJ.

    1. “Man, I am going to be so happy going to work tomorrow that I’m riding home on my bike taking the new bike path”

      Don’t forget the seat.

          1. Sunday NIght Football. Hope the Colts get in. Then I can laugh at you and say you missed out on getting Andrew Luck when you could’ve. You already screwed up on Mahomes, Wentz, Goff, wow, they’re going places and the QB we got twists his knee and was going 6 and 10 anyway. There are no 10 wins, Cassie, now pay attention:

            When we take on the NFC South, 0 wins
            AFC North, maybe just beat Cin.
            Lost to the Packers
            Beat Washington, they got no QB
            Division: 2 wins.

            But out of the 4 and 12 in 2019, I’ll be kind and say maybe 6 wins right now, got to see who you get, who you F up in the draft in getting the marijuana, wife beater, hurt player.

  19. Eagles might be winning another SUperbowl, they’re in the SUperbowl, Minnesota out. Any possibility the 49ers could perhaps sign Nick Foles on the team?

    1. Allie, how are you feeling today? Happy? Sad? Mad? Frustrated? Want Jed to sell the team? Hope for 2019 despite the NFC South, AFC North, Packers/Washington? Want the 49ers on Prime Time or just skip them altogether?

          1. Well to be honest, I don’t think it’s fair that you are all picking on Darren for no reason at all. How come your team can’t simply be sold? Least with a new owner, that owner will get you the right people. Each year, you’re just going to lose over and over and over.

  20. 51 FG is GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD! Wahoo, Saleh gave up 48 points. Time to fire him, 49ers! So Cassie, you are asking about a QB. Well, who do we get for a DC that can’t call plays out of a paper sack? Saleh is garbage.

    1. Nurse, you’re the one who was screaming a few weeks ago that the 9ers had to draft a QB in ’19–their 1st pick as I recall. After all the theatrics, you can’t name one?

  21. Oh yeah, what a pathetic game. I hope we don’t see Bubba paris or Lorenzo Neal crying in public next to Mark Ibanez. Fire Saleh at very least, giving up 48 points! Kittle should NOT go to the pro bowl, give that spot up. 4 and 12 teams SHOULD NOT be allowed to have any pro bowl players. I wouldn’t watch it anyway, NFL> is a joke in the Pro Bowl.

  22. Wow, Raiders game ended so quickly, got the Browns and Ravens. I hope the Browns can win, but even if not, 7 wins is a good improvement. Too bad the 49ers can’t improve and get a real QB.

  23. Allie, we had great QBs, and Eddie D was a great owner. Moment York came in, everything in the 49er legacy, trashed, team moved, wrong stadium, constant losing, no effort, playoffs were a joke, Harbaugh taught the Krapper how to kneel more then to throw 300 yards. This team is pathetic. For you to be a fan of this, I feel for you, Allie. You’re better off not watching teh NFL.

    1. You stated several times this season that the 9ers must draft a QB. So, who should the 9ers draft at the QB position in ’19?

    2. I played flag football at my University High School on Pacific Heights and now at Bryn Mawr as a freshman. I tried to follow my dad in being a Niner fan!

    3. A-hhh.. you’ve been pegged ! … as a 12 year old .. immature .. schizoid !
      Ok … give yer Mom back her laptop .. it’s past your bedtime …

      oh yeah .. one more thing.. little boy ….
      you’re not welcome here … so…
      make like a hockey player … and get the ^^ck ….outta here

    1. D’oh on the Cards losing, but yay Kittle! Deserved it. Great season for him. He really should have had the record for most yards in a game too, but Shanny didn’t make it happen.

    1. a) Edge rusher, or concede third down, and watch top teams walk down the field in fourth quarter.
      b) Offensive line, or watch JG, CJB (just kidding), and NM, become jittery punching bags. No current OL can shove a top tier DL in the red zone. If you can’t block, nothing else matters.
      c) Cornerback, (see “a,” above).
      d) Receiver. “Scheme” gets you to the red zone, somebody has to win “ball fight” in the red zone. Boldin was slower than most at the end of his career, but could still win most fights. Nobody does that now.
      e) Another edge.
      f) Another OL; then another OL.

  24. Thanks, Darren old buddy. Glad people got to see it as I hear the Bay Area is being held hostage by crappy 49er and Raider games that Fox and CBS won’t take off the air. Glad some of you got to see other football.

  25. Well allie, I hope the 49ers draft a QB as I see only 6 wins with Garopolo next year. Baker Mayfield is going to get an easy win over the 49ers as Browns have constantly beat the 49ers next to Steelers and I’m sure Ravens are eager for that rematch. I see another below .500 and Kyle fired at teh end of 2019.

      1. Yeah, if only the York family would just sell the football team and get real coaching and then we get some real players. Right now, 2019 is very bad. I see us with the 7th round pick at least next year.

  26. McVay (the gold standard), left Donald in the game during a blowout. He risked his most important player on D. Where was Wade Phillips?

    1. WHat are you talking about? He took him out with like 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter. He tried to get that 2nd sack, he couldn’t. Boy, 49er fans like you are such SORE LOSERS! I’m glad you LOST! SEll the team, get a QB!

    2. 80,
      McVay was sending in player to relieve Donald but Donald waved him off the field.
      McVay lost control for a moment there, but hey, Donald gets what he wants – sans the sack record.

      Shanahan did it the right way. He put Kittle in for the record which Kittle broke with a bang.

      What seemed to be the theme of the 2018 season is that another player got hurt.
      Tomlinson joined the ranks of the injured.
      The year of the injury is now finally over.

      On to the draft and team defining off-season moves.
      Btw, Lynch and Shanahan will be here to continue the building process.
      Unless they’re still officially on the hot seat 😉

  27. Kittle is gonna be All-pro now. Nice comeback from Mullens as well.

    Same old turnover story though….don’t see much improving next season. :(

  28. MW, why are you insulting Allie for? Are you watching Married with Children and think of her as Marcie the guy? Shame on you, MW. By the way, you’re under .500. I got a right to CROW about it. I called your season, 6 and 10, you went 4 and 12, don’t use ‘injury’ , ‘ref’, ‘weather’, no, here is why you lose MW, get it through your head:

    Jed York has to sell the team
    Kyle thinks of his QB as the one from Atlanta and the WR as Julio Jones. We got NEITHER!
    The 49ers play like garbage. MW, get it through your head: No playoffs, no superbowl, NOTHING. You don’t have a coach. You got no QB. you got no DEFENSE.
    Fire Saleh speaking of no defense, to give up 48 points, and for you to think of this as a great season, you must live in FANTASY LAND, loser boy.

    In the words of Michael Savage MW the MOther F’er Niner:
    I won
    You lost
    I loved what the Rams did to you> i will root for your UTTER FAILURE NEXT YEAR until you:
    Sell the team
    Get a real QB
    Get real coaching

    1. First of all little boy … I … haven’t lost anything … (unlike you, of course) …
      and you too immature to even realize .. that you’ve lost any chance of
      acquiring any semblance of respect .. from anyone you come into contact with ..
      To gain respect … you first must give it … and you’re incapable of doing that ..

      You come to this blog… with the sole intention of making
      an a$$ outta yourself …. why ??

      The obvious answer to that is the fact your Mommy doesn’t give
      you any attention … and now we know why …

      A 12 year old Immature schizoid … probably doesn’t garner much
      attention from an embattled Mom … right ?

      I mean .. seriously .. little boy … you need some serious help …
      ( and maybe some heavy sedatives as well .. too ! )

      1. Like wow, Grant Cohn, it’s not OK for Darren to respond like he did to MWNiner, but it’s OK for him to leave veiled threats and question Darren’s stability like he’s what, Dr. Phil of the football format? Grant, I suggest you clean this forum and start banning individuals like MWNiner that can’t behave himself properly. Darren is his own individual and if he doesn’t like the direction of the 49ers, where in the rules here does it say he can’t say this or that?

  29. Hey Allie, yeah that’s really sad how some of these 49er fans are just rude and can’t stand to hear the reality of the 49ers. The ownership hasn’t made an effort to right the team. SF Giants sold, GS Warriors sold, both of them got championships. I can’t see why it’s hard for York to look at the situation, he’s drawing more rival fans then home fans, and just cut the loss. I still feel we need a QB, 136 million for Garopolo is too much, I don’t see how he’s going to the playoffs. QB combos we had were Montana to Rice, Young to Owens, Garopolo to…? I’m not comfortable using Kittle as the go to, he’s a TE that needs to block, not catch the ball. I want to see the 49ers with 6 hands on WRs and set up 4 to 5 WR sets out there to spread the defense. If we got the no. 2 pick, trade it, get more picks for it.

  30. So I guess the Steelers are going to fire Tomlin for making the bed and lying in it, no playoffs for them, he’s joining McCarthy as unemployed.

  31. Well, the season is over for the Niners.
    Glad Kittle got his record.
    There was ineptitude, but the Niners fought hard. Now, if only they fought smarter.
    No player should feel secure with his position on the team. Nor the coaches.
    Ball security needs to be stressed more.
    Saleh is responsible for the lack of turnovers. Wonder if they hire a more experienced DC.
    Niner turnovers led directly to 20 points. That is a recipe for failure.
    Coaching failures were exposed big time. If KS does not hire an OC, he deserves to lose. The Niners are 4-12 without an OC. They need to get a clue.
    Wonder what Grant’s grades are. Bet he gives the coaching a D. Mullens fought hard, but he had too many rookie mistakes.
    Now, looking forward to the bowl games, Combine, Free Agency and the Draft.

    1. The Niners are 4-12 because they don’t have an OC😂😂😂. Only you Seb, only You!! You made my night. Thanks buddy.

      1. Steele, maybe the OC could have helped with the ball security.
        Glad you are happy with a 4-12 team. I am not. Sure do not see how hiring an OC would hurt the team.

        1. How in the hell did you read my comment as happy with 4-12? You say the dumbest $htt. I used to be on you’re side because everyone has an opinion, but yours stopped being opinion based and turned into wannabe fact based. Nobody is happy with 4-12. And what would a different oc have done to stop turnovers? Glue their hands together? These guys kept turning the ball over because they did, plain and simple. They were proven why they weren’t starters in the nfl. They were proving why they were backups with starting roles, only because of all the injuries. No oc could have changed that.

          1. Steele, no OC and the Niners are 4-12. Sure, that was not the sole reason they are 4-12, but hiring an OC would not affect the salary cap at all.
            Guess you do not see how better coaching would help this team. I do. Maybe an OC could help KS stop wasting time outs. Maybe an OC would help with ball security. I just saw how the lack of an OC resulted in this game.
            Also, some are very happy with this loss, because it secured the second pick in the draft.
            You can have your opinion, I hope you respect mine. I also think they should spend every penny of their salary cap. Hope you agree with that.

              1. et tu, Steele? So be it.
                I think the Niners need an OC, you deprecate my opinion. Quit being so thin skinned, and intolerant of other’s opinions.

        2. And it’s not the point of it hurting the team, it’s the point of a man seeing his offense so complicated that he wanted to be the one to teach it. He doesn’t want a different guy coming in running a different offense. Did it ever occur to you that the oc might already be on the team? Learning how to teach his offense? I’m not saying it is I’m just saying it might be a possibility. But according to you, they are 4-12 because Kyle doesn’t have a clue, because he won’t hire an oc!

          1. KS is spread too thin. He needs help.
            ANY 4-12 team needs help.
            KS can still make the calls. An OC can help in so many other ways. An OC can help with the preparations. An OC can help with the game management.
            I see KS being too stubborn, but maybe this 4-12 record will shock him into realizing that an OC will HELP, NOT HURT.

      1. Then I’ll Lol at you as well.. 😂😂😂 The offense actually produces. There are turnovers and they aren’t perfect but they are producing, especially for 3rd and 4th stringers. But hey you and den believe this team is 4-12 because they don’t have an OC. Lord Jesus

          1. I explained abouve. Again, I never said they didn’t need help, but you’re conclusion of them being 4-12 because there isint an oc on this team is just ridiculous.

            1. Avoid the vortex Steel! He has his own reality and bends facts and evidence to fit that fantasy world. Quixote is always the hero and genius of his own Distortion Reality Field!

              1. Hmmm, maybe you have finally learned your lesson. I notice you have refrained from haunting my posts, lately. Maybe your shrink daddy told you to cut your losses.

            2. Steele, I will reiterate, it may not be the SOLE reason, but when the result is a 4-12 season without an OC, will having an OC keep them from improving?

      2. TY, Allie. I look forward to your posts.
        I think you have more football acumen than many in the peanut gallery, and all of the trolls.

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