49ers Keep Playoff Hopes Alive With Win Over Rams

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017. Photo by Valerie Shoaps/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9301241h)

The season might not be over for the San Francisco 49ers. Despite opening 2021 with a 3-5 record, the 49ers kept their playoffs hopes alive by beating the heavily-favored Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.

The 49ers’ defense came up big to start the game, intercepting Rams star quarterback Matthew Stafford. Facing 2nd&8 on his own half, Stafford threw a bomb to newly-acquired wideout Odell Beckham Jr., but the pass was well off and allowed San Francisco’s safety Jimmie Ward to come up with a pick.

The interception set up an impressive drive by the 49ers offense that included 18 plays, and lasted more than 11 minutes, covered 93 yards, and culminated with QB Jimmy Garoppolo finding tight end George Kittle in the endzone.

Shortly after, Ward picked off Stafford once again, but this time he managed to go all the way to the end and make it 14-0 for San Francisco.

The Rams finally managed to put some points on the board early in the second quarter after Stafford connected with tight end Tyler Higbee on a 10-yard TD pass.

Everyone expected the Rams to pick themselves up after this, but the 49ers had other ideas and immediately responded with Deebo Samuel’s rushing touchdown before the end of the half.

The second half saw more of the same. The LA team struggled to get into the rhythm on both defense and offense while San Francisco continued to add to their lead with Robbie Gould’s 50-yarder and Samuel’s second TD of the game.

The Rams did manage to get on the board once more after Matt Gay made a 37-yarder late in the fourth to make it 10-31.

The win improved San Francisco to a 4-5 record, but they still have a long way to go if they want to make it to the postseason. The Rams, on the other hand, are 7-3 and sit one game behind the Arizona Cardinals (8-2) in NFC West.