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Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers: What we learned in the season finale

We’re going to the playoffs! We can worry about the improving San Francisco 49ers later. We have the Falcons this week. Priorities!

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 17, we’re okay with losing and Dickerson’s prediction was a bit off

No one wants to get destroyed by the San Francisco 49ers, but considering that everything–division title and playoff spot–was locked up for the Los Angeles Rams, the game didn’t matter. However, it did show that perhaps QB Sean Mannion’s stock was not as good as a certain Hall of Famer promised it would be.

In all honesty, Mannion’s start was not surprising. He hasn’t seen action all season and had to go out there with receivers in which he shared no chemistry or timing with. Things seemed to get better later in the game, but his overall performance should be digested with some context.

Rams will play Atlanta on Saturday

With a win on Sunday night, the Atlanta Falcons finished the season with a playoff spot after facing arguably one of the toughest divisions in the league.

In the last six games, the Falcons have played every opponent close–win or lose. They finished the final six games with an average margin of six points. Despite the Falcons not having as prolific an offense as they had last season, the improved defense has definitely been a contributing factor. The defense (No. 8 overall) has not allowed a 100-yard rushing performance from a team in five of their last six games.

Jimmy Garoppolo is pretty good and the 49ers will be, too

QB Jimmy Garoppolo was definitely one of the most underrated quarterbacks coming out of the 2014 draft. It was easy to look past him, seeing how he came out of Eastern Illinois. But the New England Patriots knew he would be something special considering they took him in the second round.

His presence alone has changed the 49ers in such a short amount of time. The scary part is the 49ers are going to get better as Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch build their team.

For years, the Rams were considered “a quarterback away” from being a good team. The 49ers may actually be that team. Once Garoppolo came, they became a different team entirely, even before they demolished the LA back-ups. Now they have their quarterback. Once the team comes together, they will be fighting the Rams for the NFC West for years to come.

Depth at corner really needs to hold

First it was CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, now it’s CB Kevin Peterson who is showing that he can contribute in a big way. Peterson was one of the lone bright spots in the game on Sunday, reeling in two interceptions. According to the LA Times, he’s the first defensive player to have a 2-interception game since CB Trumaine Johnson did it back in 2014.

Peterson was released following the Washington Redskins loss, but was re-signed to the team later. With the Rams’ other corners dropping like flies (Troy Hill and Blake Countess in concussion protocol), the Rams will need their remaining depth players like Peterson to keep showing up and stay healthy.