49ers are Playoff Bound!

Jimmy G headliner

The 49ers kept Jimmy Garoppolo around for a couple of reasons. One, they knew that Trey Lance would not be ready to start. He was just too raw at that point. For a player as young as Lance, it is important to sit, watch, and learn how to be a professional football player. Two, the 49ers brass thought that they had a legitimate shot at the playoffs this year. They were not wrong.

This year has been a long tumultuous year for the 49ers. Dissatisfied with Jimmy G’s lack of availability, the 49ers traded a mint to draft Trey Lance. Yet, they drafted him for the future, hoping to keep most of the team together on bargain deals for a run at the playoffs. Their plan worked. There were parts of this season that had everyone questioning the plan, but those of us that stayed the course were not disappointed. The Niners are playoff bound and the sky is the limit on their capabilities.

Sunday afternoon’s game is a significant win for a number of reasons. One, the 9-7 49ers were facing the uber talented 11-5 Rams in their home stadium. What was interesting, is one might have thought that SOFI was the 49ers home stadium the way the crowd roared when the Ram’s offense was on the field. Prior to and during the season, the Rams traded many high round picks to acquire Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller. They signed Odell Beckham Junior. They have brought in a lot of high-level personalities and the question has always been, can they put it all together and make a championship run? Two, the 49ers were in a “win and you are in” situation. The Rams knew that. The Rams themselves wanted to secure a win to win the NFC West title as well as garner a favorable matchup in the playoffs next week. Three, Kyle Shanahan has beaten the Rams five times in a row. They knew the Rams would be coming for them because this has become a headline. Fourth, the 49ers played without Trent Williams, the best left tackle in football. He protects Jimmy G’s blind side and usually leads the way in run blocking. His absence was felt but the offensive line still paved the way for 135 yards rushing. The line also only allowed six quarterback hits and three sacks. Lastly, this win is significant because of Jimmy G’s injury to his thumb. This injury held him out and Trey Lance came in and lead the Niners to victory against Houston. Jimmy G gutted thru significant pain to lead the team to victory. He even said it in a post-game interview. “How is your thumb after the game?” “It f*cking hurts!” he said, quickly apologizing for the f-bomb on live TV. Jimmy G threw for 33 times, connecting on 24 for 316 yards and a touchdown. Yes, he threw two interceptions, but both of those throws were due to pressure and not misreads by him. He was also sacked three times. Despite the sacks and the interceptions, he kept his eye on the prize and led his team to victory.

The 49ers finally have their big three at the wide receiver position. Headlined by Deebo Samuel, the 49er wide receiver corps of the future includes Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings. All three receivers were drafted by John Lynch. All three have been coached and cultivated by Coach Shanahan. In a must win situation, all three receivers came up big when George Kittle was effectively shut down by the Rams. The 49ers have created a juggernaut of an offense and it is only in it’s infancy. This offense will be extremely difficult to defend against because the 49ers will always have somebody open at all three levels of the field. Shut one of the four main pass catchers down and one of the other three is going to pop open. All three aforementioned recievers also have the ability to run after catch. During overtime, Jauan Jennings ran for 34 yards on his sixth catch of the game. He collected 94 yards and two touchdowns for the evening. He caught touchdown pass from Deebo, as well as Jimmy G.


The 49ers defense came to play. They stuffed the Rams run, ultimately holding them to 64 yards on 27 carries for the game. It did not matter who played in the Niner front four or what alignment they were in, they provided consistent steady pressure on Matthew Stafford, sacking him five times and knocking him around the pocket another 13 times. Armstead led the way with 2.5 sacks and three additional quarterback hits. Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, and Arden Key all collected sacks while DJ Jones, Kentavius Street, Jordan Willis, and Dre Greenlaw also hit Matthew Stafford. The pressure coupled with sticky coverage on the back end forced two interceptions as well. Emmanuel Mosley was back in the lineup. He collected six tackles a pass deflection and a timely interception late in the third quarter. Rookie Ambry Thomas, ended the overtime session with an interception while covering OBJ. John Lynch said the Michigan man was growing by leaps and bounds every week. Well, this week Thomas sealed the deal to get the Niners into the playoffs.

Stafford made some throws. It was the strength of Stafford’s arm that put the Rams up 17 to nothing on the 49ers. Yet, the 49ers had something the Rams didn’t. They just would not quit. The 49ers comeback win is the 2nd largest comeback from a deficit this season. The Niners punted their first two possessions and threw an interception their third possession. During their third possession they were starting to get the offense rolling but pressure forced Jimmy G’s ball high and into a safety’s waiting hands. The Rams came in with a defined game plan. One, keep the ball away from the Niners. Two, shut down George Kittle. The Rams did that for the most part, and yet the 49ers found a way to overcome the Rams game plan, especially in the second half. Now the 49ers are headed to Dallas for the wild card round of the playoffs. Watching the 49ers in the late 80s and early 90s I am reminded by the many 49er versus Dallas Cowboy battles that occurred in the playoffs. I think another instant classic is on the horizon for the 49ers. For now, take heart and don’t lose faith! The 49ers are on to the playoffs!
Ambry Thomas

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