It took some late-game heroics and then overtime, but the 49ers earned a 27-24 comeback victory over the Rams on Sunday to send themselves to the NFL playoffs.
Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo got the start despite being listed as questionable with a torn ligament in his thumb. And coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t shy away from using him; Garoppolo threw the ball 32 times, completing 23, for 316 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. His throwing helped San Francisco overcome a 17-0 first-half deficit.
As impressive as the injured Garoppolo was, Deebo Samuel had the best all-around game of anyone on the field. The San Francisco wide receiver proved to be a triple threat as he threw a 24-yard touchdown pass, had eight carries for 45 yards and a touchdown and added four catches for 95 yards.
It was a big game for rookies too, as San Francisco wideout Jauan Jennings hauled in two touchdown passes and defensive back Ambry Thomas picked off Matt Stafford in overtime to end the game.
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Stafford started off hot, completing 15 of 16 first-half passes, but he cooled down in the second half. All told, he finished with 238 yards passing, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked five times.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp fell 29 yards short of breaking Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record, though he still had an impressive seven catches for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Even with the loss, the Rams (12-5) made the playoffs. They enter them the No. 4 seed in the NFC and will face division rival Arizona. The 49ers (10-7) enter as the No. 6 seed after beating the Rams for the sixth straight time. They will take on the Cowboys on the road.
Sporting News tracked the live score, updates and highlights from this pivotal NFC West showdown in the final week of the regular season. Read below for complete coverage.
49ers vs. Rams score
49ers vs. Rams live updates, highlights from Week 18
FINAL: 49ers 27, Rams 24
7:37 p.m.: INTERCEPTION 49ers. Rookie Ambry Thomas picks off Stafford to end the game and send the 49ers to the playoffs for the first time in two years. The 49ers came back from down 17-0.
7:35 p.m.: The two-minute warning has arrived. First-and-10 for the Rams from their 38. A field goal ends the game in a tie and sends both teams to the playoffs. A touchdown on this drive wins it for the Rams and eliminates the 49ers from playoff contention.
7:33 p.m.: On third-and-10, Stafford’s pass falls incomplete intended for Kupp. But the 49ers are called for defensive pass interference. Gives the Rams a new set of downs and moes them up to their own 25 with 2:27 left.
7:29 p.m.: FIELD GOAL 49ers. The 24-yarder from Gould is good and the 49ers take a late lead with 2:45 left. But, because it was a field goal, the Rams have a chance to answer. 49ers 27, Rams 24 as the Rams need some big things to happen.
7:27 p.m.: Garoppolo hits Kittle but it only gains a yard on third down. Now fourth-and-goal from the 6. Robbie Gould comes out to kick a 24 yard field goal for the Niners to give them the lead.
7:24 p.m.: It’s Juaun Jennings again as Garoppolo connects with him for the sixth time as they convert on third down for 9 yards. First-and-goal upcoming from the 8 for the Niners.
7:23 p.m.: The Rams now take a timeout as well without San Francisco even running a play.
7:22 p.m.: The 49ers take a timeout with 5:13 left. It’s third-and-3 from the LA 17 upcoming for San Francisco. A touchdown wins the game but a field goal gives the Rams a chance to score.
7:21 p.m.: Jauan Jennings’ big day continues as Garoppolo finds him for 34 yards on third down and the 49ers are now at the LA 22 with 6:28 left.
7:20 p.m.: On second-and-12, the 49ers pick up 6. Now third-and-6 from their own 42 for San Francisco.
7:16 p.m.: After Garoppolo’s first down pass falls incomplete, he hands it off to Samuel on second down who takes it for 13 yards. Now first-and-10 from their own 38 upcoming for the 49ers.
7:13 p.m.: The 49ers get the ball first in overtime after winning the coin toss. If they score a touchdown, they win and make the playoffs.
End fourth quarter: Rams 24, 49ers 24
7:11 p.m.: Stafford is sacked as the clock ticks away and overtime awaits.
7:09 p.m.: Stafford immediately hits Higbee for 12 yards to the LA 37 as the Rams call timeout with 18 seconds left. Their second timeout of the half.
7:07 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN 49ers. Garoppolo finds Jauan Jennings wide open for Jennings’ second score of the game, this one from 14 yards out. 49ers 24, Rams 24 with 26 seconds left after going 88 yards in five plays.
7:05 p.m.: Garoppolo with two impressive throws on that drive of 21 and 55 yards. Let’s see if the 49ers can punch it in here. First-and-5 from the LA 14 upcoming following an offsides call against the Rams.
7:04 p.m.: Garoppolo spikes the ball with 34 seconds left after hitting Deebo Samuel for 55 yards. Now first-and-5 from the LA 14 for the 49ers and the Rams call a timeout.
7:01 p.m.: On third-and-7, the 49ers defense holds for a stop. Now fourth-and-5 from their 45 and they’ll punt it away. The 49ers take over from their own 12 with 1:27 and 1 timeout remaining.
6:59 p.m.: The Niners do indeed punt it away and the Rams take over at their own 40 with 1:50 left in the game.
6:55 p.m.: On third-and-10 with 1:57 left, Garoppolo is sacked. The clock stops and the Niners will likely punt it away from their own 17.
6:51 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN RAMS. Cooper Kupp’s big game continues. He hauls in the 4-yard pass on third-and-goal as the Rams retake the lead with 2:29 left in the game. Rams 24, 49ers 17 as the 49ers are looking to get back in this game late.
6:49 p.m.: The Rams are continuing to impose their will on this drive. Los Angeles now at the 9 yard line following a 14 yard run by Sony Michel.
6:47 p.m.: On third-and-6, Stafford backpedals and hits Kupp for 30 yards. The Rams now at the San Francisco 40 but Stafford comes up limping.
6:45 p.m.: Cooper Kupp carries the ball for 19 yards following the interception. Gives the Rams some room to breathe. Now first-and-10 from their 26.
6:42 p.m.: INTERCEPTION RAMS. Garoppolo’s pass is bobbled by a few defenders before Jalen Ramsey picks it in the end zone and the Rams take back over at their own 8.
6:39 p.m.: On third-and-4, Garoppolo hits Aiyuk for a gain of 10 and the 49ers are officially inside the red zone. First-and-10 from the LA 18 upcoming.
6:37 p.m.: After Mitchell runs for no gain on first down, Deebo Samuel hauls it in for 32 yards on second-and-10 as the 49ers are now all the way down at the Rams’ 33.
6:33 p.m.: The 49ers get a big first play following the punt as Elijah Mitchell takes it 12 yards. Now first-and-10 for the Niners from their own 35.
6:29 p.m.: This time on third-and-10 from their own 42, the Rams go three-and-out as he’s sacked for a loss of 10. The Rams punt it away and the Niners return it to their own 23.
6:26 p.m.: On third-and-10, Stafford hits Van Jefferson for 24 yards. Snaps a streak of five straight incompletions in the second half. Now first-and-10 for the Rams from their 42.
6:23 p.m.: Robbie Gould’s first punt In 14 years goes 47 yards and takes a good bounce. The Rams take over at their own 18 to start the fourth quarter.
End third quarter: 49ers 17, Rams 17
6:20 p.m.: The interception by Stafford turns out not to hurt him as the 49ers go three-and-out to end the third quarter. They’ll begin the final 15 minutes by punting it away.
6:15 p.m.: INTERCEPTION 49ers. The Rams’ woes continue. It’s the second interception of the day for Stafford and the 49ers take back over at their own 32 looking to score again and take the lead for the first time tonight.
6:15 p.m.: It’s quickly third-and-17 for the Rams with 1:00 left in the third quarter following a sack and incompletion.
6:14 p.m.: The Rams try to dial it up on play-action following the touchdown and Stafford is immediately sacked for a loss of 7.
6:09 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN 49ers. The 49ers bust out some trickery as Garoppolo tosses it to Deebo Samuel who then heaves up a pass to Jauan Jennings for 15 yards and the score. The Niners have officially tied it back up. 49ers 17, Rams 17 with 1:46 left in the third. 11 plays on that drive and 10 of them were runs.
6:08 p.m.: The 49ers stay committed to the run but this time it’s Garoppolo on third-and-inches who keeps it for the QB sneak. Now first-and-10 for the Niners from the LA 37 upcoming.
6:06 p.m.: Now six straight runs for the 49ers as they officially cross midfield. No huge runs, just nice 6 or 7 yard chunks being peeled off.
6:04 p.m.: The 49ers conver on third-and-1 as they continue to lean on the run game.
6:03 p.m.: Elijah Mitchell gains 7 on first down for the 49ers as he gets to their 33.
5:59 p.m.: It’s a three-and-out for Los Angeles as the Rams will punt it away from their own 29. A good chance upcoming for the Niners to tie it up.
5:58 p.m.: The Rams try to lean on the run here following the touchdown but it seems fruitless so far. Third-and-7 now from their own 29 upcoming for the Rams.
5:54 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN 49ers. Deebo Samuel takes it 16 yards on the ground to the house for San Francisco’s first touchdown of the game. Quickly a one-score game now. Rams 17, 49ers 10 with 10:32 left in third.
5:51 p.m.: Another big pass play as Garoppolo continues to find Brandon Aiyuk. This one goes for 31 yards to the LA 24 and the 49ers seem primed to open the quarter with points.
5:50 p.m.: San Francisco’s first two plays of the third quarter are on the ground. Now third-and-3 upcoming for the 49ers and Garoppolo completes it to JaMichael Hasty for 13 yards. Now nearing midfield at their own 45.
5:49 p.m.: The second half kickoff goes for a touchback. The 49ers take start the second half at their own 20.
Halftime: Rams 17, 49ers 3
5:34 p.m.: FIELD GOAL 49ers. Gould easily nails the field goal to put the 49ers on the board heading into halftime. It’s Rams 17, 49ers 3 entering halftime and the 49ers will receive to start the second half.
5:33 p.m.: The 49ers get all the way down to the LA 25 as Garoppolo hits Aiyuk for 25 yards. Robbie Gould comes out for a 42 yard field goal attempt to end the half.
5:30 p.m.: Garoppolo fires and finds Brandon Aiyuk for 19 quick yards and immediately call a timeout. First-and-10 for the 49ers from their 34 with 33 seconds left.
5:27 p.m.: The 49ers finally get a stop on third down. Bosa gets a sack on third-and-1 and drops Stafford for a loss of 8. The Rams punt it away and the 49ers have it at their own 15 with 38 seconds and two timeouts left.
5:21 p.m.: On second-and-11, Stafford hits Kupp for 8 yards to bring up third-and-3 from the LA 28 and the Rams convert as Stafford hits Odell Beckham Jr. for 5 yards with the two minute warning upcoming
5:17 p.m.: INTERCEPTION RAMS. The 49ers’ momentum comes to a screeching halt as Garoppolo is hit as he throws and heaves it up only for it to be interecepted. The Rams take back over at their own 21.
5:16 p.m.: San Francisco seems to have found a little bit of a rhythm here in the second quarter. Two straight completions gives the 49ers a first down and an Elijah Mitchell run for 13 yards puts the 49ers exactly at midfield.
5:09 p.m: TOUCHDOWN RAMS. The Rams capitalize on excellent field position as Stafford finds Higbee in the end zone again, this time on third-and-6 from 15 yards out. Rams 17, 49ers 0 with 6:44 left on a three play, 19-yard drive that took just 1:30 off the clock.
5:07 p.m.: Three straight tackles for loss for the Rams’ defense. On fourth-and-28 from their own 7, the 49ers punt it away. The Rams will take over in excellent field position at the San Francisco 19.
5:05 p.m.: Garoppolo is sacked on first-and-10 following the touchdown and the ball comes out as San Francisco recovers. Second-and-24 on their own 11 now for the 49ers and he’s sacked again for a loss of 3.
5:01 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN RAMS. Stafford hits a wide open Higbee running through the back of the end zone as he leaps and brings it down. Decision to go for it on fourth down pays off. Rams 10, 49ers 0 with 10:26 left in the first half.
4:59 p.m.: On third-and-8, Stafford hits Kupp for 7 yards to make it fourth-and-1 from the San Francisco 2 as Sean McVay keeps the offense on the field but not before he calls a timeout.
4:56 p.m.: Stafford hits Van Jefferson for 7 yards but the Rams move all the way up to the 11 on an unnecessary roughness call against San Francisco.
4:56 p.m.: Stafford hits tight end Tyler Higbee for 9 yards to bring up third-and-2 but Higbee comes up limping.
4:54 p.m.: After a 5-yard loss to open the second quarter, Cooper Kupp negates that as he picks up 16 on second down. Now first-and-10 from the San Francisco 37 for the Rams.
End first quarter: Rams 3, 49ers 0
4:51 p.m.: It’ll be first-and-10 from the San Francisco 48 when the second quarter starts.
4:50 p.m.: LA’s success on third down continues. The Rams are 4-for-5 now on third down as Kupp hauls in a pass for 7 yards on third-and-4 as the first quarter draws to a close.
4:48 p.m.: Stafford under pressure but gets the ball away to Sony Michel for 6 yards out of the backfield. Now second-and-4 from the LA 45 for the Rams as they near midfield.
4:43 p.m.: On third-and-8 from their own 28, Garoppolo tries to find the receiver, but underthrows it. The Niners will now punt it away. The Rams return it to their own 39, where they’ll take over.
4:42 p.m.: Garoppolo fires and hits Trent Sherfield for 13 yards on third-and-5. The Niners convert early. Now first-and-10 from the San Francisco 26.
4:40 p.m.: San Francisco starts its opening drive at its own 18 following a penalty against them on the kickoff return.
4:37 p.m.: FIELD GOAL RAMS. Matt Gay splits the uprights from 43 yards out and LA’s first drive of the game results in points. Rams 3, 49ers 0 with 6:07 left in the first after a 13-play, 62-yard drive for Sean McVay’s squad.
4:36 p.m.: Whatever the Rams dialed up in the timeout doesn’t work as Stafford is quickly swallowed up for the sack and dropped for a big loss. Now fourth-and-16 with a 43-yard field goal upcoming.
4:35 p.m.: The Rams take a timeout on third-and-6 from the San Francisco 14 with 6:52 left in the first. LA is three-for-three on third down so far this first drive.
4:33 p.m.: Sony Michel has been the go-to back here early on despite Cam Akers being active. He gets the Rams to second-and-6 from the San Francisco 15 but only picks up 1. Third down upcoming.
4:30 p.m.: Could be another big game for Cooper Kupp as Stafford hits him for 46 yards on third-and-9 to put LA at the San Francisco 29 and nearing the red zone.
4:28 p.m.: Stafford finds Odell Beckham for 14 and the first down. Now first-and-10 from the 24 for the Rams.
4:27 p.m.: On second-and-8 from the 15, Matt Stafford gets hit for a false start. Now second-and-13 from the 10.
4:26 p.m.: The 49ers win the toss and defer. They’ll kick it away to start as Los Angeles takes over at its own 13 to begin the game.
49ers vs. Rams start time
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 9
- Kickoff: 4:25 EST, 1:25 PST
49ers vs. Rams is scheduled to start at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday. This is America’s Game of the Week, meaning anyone without a local late game on Fox will get this one.
What channel is 49ers vs. Rams on today?
- TV channel (national): Fox
- TV channel (San Francisco): KTVU
- TV channel (Los Angeles): KTTV
- Live Stream: Fox Sports Go, fuboTV
49ers vs. Rams will be broadcast regionally on local Fox affiliate channels in Week 18. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are on the call for Fox, while Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi handle sideline duties. Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino will pick up Fox’s rules analysis, with Fox’s other late games.
You can find the 49ers’ away broadcast on SiriusXM channel 380, while the Rams’ home broadcast airs on channel 227.
In Canada, viewers can watch 49ers vs. Rams with a subscription to DAZN, which includes every NFL game .
San Francisco 49ers schedule 2021
|1||Sept. 12||at Lions||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|2||Sept. 19||at Eagles||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|3||Sept. 26||vs. Packers||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|4||Oct. 3||vs. Seahawks||4:05 p.m. ET||Fox|
|5||Oct. 10||at Cardinals||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|
|7||Oct. 24||vs. Colts||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|8||Oct. 31||at Bears||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|9||Nov. 7||vs. Cardinals||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|
|10||Nov. 15 (Mon.)||vs. Rams||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|11||Nov. 21||at Jaguars||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|12||Nov. 28||vs. Vikings||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|
|13||Dec. 5||at Seahawks||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|14||Dec. 12||at Bengals||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|15||Dec. 19||vs. Falcons||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|16||Dec. 23 (Thu.)||at Titans||8:20 p.m. ET||NFL Network|
|17||Jan. 2||vs. Texans||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|18||Jan. 9||at Rams||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|
Los Angeles Rams schedule 2021
|1||Sept. 12||vs. Bears||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|2||Sept. 19||at Colts||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|3||Sept. 26||vs. Buccaneers||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|
|4||Oct. 3||vs. Cardinals||4:05 p.m. ET||Fox|
|5||Oct. 7 (Thu.)||at Seahawks||8:20 p.m. ET||Fox/NFLN/Amazon|
|6||Oct. 17||at Giants||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|7||Oct. 24||vs. Lions||4:05 p.m. ET||Fox|
|8||Oct. 31||at Texans||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|9||Nov. 7||vs. Titans||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|10||Nov. 15 (Mon.)||at 49ers||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|12||Nov. 28||at Packers||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|
|13||Dec. 5||vs. Jaguars||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|14||Dec. 13 (Mon.)||at Cardinals||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|15||Dec. 19||vs. Seahawks||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|
|16||Dec. 26||at Vikings||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|17||Jan. 2||at Ravens||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|
|18||Jan. 9||vs. 49ers||4:25 p.m. ET||Fox|