INGLEWOOD, Calif. – It was an appropriate way for the San Francisco 49ers to get their ticket to the postseason.
The Niners, led by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, were left for dead at halftime just as they were in the middle of their season, scratched and bounced back from a 17-point deficit for a dramatic 27-24 win. in overtime against Los Angeles. Angeles Rams on Sunday.
49ers kicker Robbie Gould scored a 24-yard field goal with 2:45 left in overtime and the San Francisco defense held off rookie Ambry Thomas’ first career interception for the win.
With the victory, the 10-7 Niners secured the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoffs and will face the Dallas Cowboys in the wild-card round next weekend. Along with the Arizona Cardinals’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Rams still clinched the NFC West and the fourth seed in the conference.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp finished the game with seven receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown, but failed to set NFL records for receiving yards and receptions in a season. It took Kupp 136 receiving yards to break Hall of Fame receiver Calvin Johnson’s record of 1,964 receiving yards set in 2012, and 12 receptions to break New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas’ 149-catch mark. in 2019.
After falling behind by 17 in the first half, history suggested the 49ers were about to finish the season and return home for the winter.
Sunday’s victory was the first for the Niners after facing a deficit of more than 17 points since the 2012 NFC Championship Game against the Atlanta Falcons. Over the past 20 seasons, the Niners went 3-91 in facing such deficits, including the postseason.
Likewise, the Rams had never lost a game in which they held the lead at halftime to coach Sean McVay, who was 45-0 in those stages since taking over in 2017. Los Angeles’ streak was the second-longest in NFL history, behind only 49 from Green Bay straight from 1926-33.
The 49ers’ comeback victory was the fourth-largest on the road in franchise history, and their sixth straight win against the Rams.
For this to happen, the Niners needed a lot of magic late in the game. They reached a tie at 17 in the third quarter and looked ready to take the lead before Garoppolo threw an interception at Jalen Ramsey deep into Los Angeles territory.
But Garoppolo, who entered the game with a right thumb injury, showed his determination, leading the Niners on an 88-yard touchdown at 1:01 to tie it with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings.
Garoppolo picked up where he left off in overtime, quickly leading the Niners down the field with a pair of great third-down completions to Jennings to set up the game-winning field goal.
“It took everything,” Garoppolo told FOX Sports on the field after the game. “We knew it was going to be a 60 minute game, a bit longer in this case. We will remember this one for a while. This one was special.”
When asked how his injured thumb was held, Garoppolo said: “It was definitely tested. It’s football,” before adding with a smile, “It hurts shit.”
“It is what it is,” he continued. “We got the win and that’s all that matters.”
Garoppolo finished 23 of 32 for 316 yards with a touchdown and an interception for a passer rating of 87.5.