49ers secure last NFC playoff berth against Saints with overtime win over Rams

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INGLEWOOD, Calif .– When the Los Angeles took a 17-0 lead over the San Francisco 49ers, George Kittle had several Rams chirp in their ears about a change in the one-sided rivalry.

“I was like, ‘Lots of time on this clock, guys,’ said the 49ers star tight end.

No matter how hard the Niners have been this season, they’ve been resourceful enough to get their season back on track for the playoffs. And once again, their winning run came right over the Rams.

The 49ers clinched a playoff berth with a 27-24 overtime win over the NFC West champion Rams on Sunday thanks to Robbie Gould’s 24-yard field goal with 2:45 left in overtime and an interception. end of the game by rookie Ambry Thomas.

“Start slow and then come back like we did, he took it all,” said quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who had 316 yards. “We say that for a lot of weeks, but this one really did. I felt it after the game. I know a lot of the guys in that dressing room did. It was worth it, though. It was one of those games you’ll win ‘soon forget.’

Jauan Jennings caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo with 26 seconds left in regulation for the 49ers (10-7), who are only tied in the playoffs for the second time in eight years after beating the Rams for the sixth time in a row.

San Francisco finished the regular season 7-2 with two wins over the Rams (12-5). LA won a disappointing division title anyway, thanks to Seattle’s simultaneous victory over Arizona.

Sixth-seeded San Francisco will play in Dallas next week, while the fourth-seeded Rams host the Cardinals in the first playoff game in SoFi Stadium history.

“Our guys are so tough,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I’m very proud of them, and I’m just happy that we get to be in and be a part of the tournament.”

Deebo Samuel rushed for a touchdown and threw a netting pass to Jennings in regulation for the Niners, who made a deliberate 69-yard rush to open overtime. The Rams got the ball back, but Thomas made his first career interception on Matthew Stafford’s long throw from the Rams sideline.

San Francisco celebrated wildly on the pitch after extending their longest winning streak in the California rivalry since the 1990s. The Niners also won after falling 17 points behind for the first time since the 2012 NFC Championship game. .

Cooper Kupp caught an assist from Stafford with 2:26 left for the Rams, whose five-game winning streak ended. The loss cost Los Angeles the No.2 seed in the NFC and the strong chance to host at least two playoff games.

“It’s a tough feeling,” said coach Sean McVay. “Our guys have done a good job being able to navigate through the season. To be able to win the division again is a good accomplishment, but I don’t know if this is the time to celebrate that.”

Stafford had 238 yards and three touchdowns while winning the Premier League title in his 13-year NFL career, but Los Angeles is heading into the playoffs on a negative note.

“There are games I want to get back,” said Stafford. “I guess (a division title) is good. It means you get a home playoff game. But we would have preferred to win the game, for sure.”

The Rams took a 24-17 lead on Kupp’s 4-yard touchdown, and the teams traded punts before Garoppolo led the Niners on an 88-yard run in 61 seconds, capped by the score. of Jennings in the middle. San Francisco won the toss and capitalized.

Garoppolo played solid with an injured right thumb and improved to 6-0 in his career against Los Angeles, but Samuel made the most impressive pitch of the day when he hit Jennings with a 24-yard pass. over the Rams’ baffled defense for the tied at the end of the third quarter.

Jalen Ramsey kept the Rams in the game with a plunging interception of a spilled ball into the end zone with 7:42 left as San Francisco was in range for a field goal.

Kupp became the fourth player in NFL history to lead the league in receptions, receptions and touchdowns this season after finishing with seven catches for 118 yards. He made two huge catches in Rams practice, but didn’t get another throw-in.

CAM LA RAM

Cam Akers ran the ball five times and caught three assists in his season debut for Los Angeles. The sophomore pro tore his Achilles tendon shortly before training camp, but has recovered exceptionally quickly.

END OF SERIES

McVay won his Third Division crown, but also lost leading at halftime for the first time after a 45-0 career start with the Rams. Los Angeles’ winning streak with a halftime lead was the second longest in NFL history, behind just 49 games led by Green Bay in the 1930s.

INJURIES

The 49ers have played without star left tackle Trent Williams, who was unable to recover from an elbow injury suffered last week. Substitute Colton McKivitz has been replaced.

Niners kicker Mitch Wishnowsky was sidelined in the first half with a concussion, forcing Gould to kick and fullback Kyle Juszczyk to hold on for kicks. Safety Talanoa Hufanga came out in the first half with a knee injury.

Safety Jordan Fuller, the Rams’ leading tackle, injured his right foot early in the fourth quarter.

FOLLOWING

49ers: Visit Dallas.

Rams: host Arizona.

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