The San Francisco 49ers have won their last five games over the Los Angeles Rams. Not only is their winning steak over LA on the line, but San Francisco can clinch entry into the 2021 playoffs with a victory.
The Rams have a streak of their own to defend, as they hope to win their sixth game in a row to close out the regular season. Los Angeles had quite the turnaround mid-season after starting 7-1 and then skidding to 7-4, and this is in part due to Von Miller and Odell Beckham, Jr. who were acquired around the league’s trade deadline.
This will be a battle between two teams that know each other extremely well and that share a lot of the same organizational principles, but there could be a big change this week that could impact the rivalry between the two teams for a long time - the switch from Jimmy Garoppolo to rookie Trey Lance.
Garoppolo injured his thumb in Week 16 and missed the team’s game against the Houston Texans last week. Lance threw an early interception in that game, but was able to right the ship and help the 49ers come away with a victory. The veteran is officially listed as “questionable” for the game after being a limited participant in practice all week. Is this gamesmanship between head coaches that know each other well, or could Garoppolo tough it out to make the start in Los Angeles?
Robert Finn and JB Scott breakdown everything you need to know 24 hours before showtime, including the quarterback they feel the matches up best against the Rams and which signal caller gives the 49ers their best shot heading into the playoffs. Listen to the Week 18 episode of Last Minute Thoughts here or in your favorite podcast app.
Los Angeles can lock up the number two seed in the NFC with either a victory over the 49ers or a loss by the Arizona Cardinals to the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco can make the playoffs by beating LA, or by the New Orleans Saints losing to the Atlanta Falcons. These three games will be running concurrently on Sunday afternoon 1:25pm PT, so the opening round of the NFC playoffs will be worked out shortly after their conclusion.
Who do you think the Rams match up with best in the wilcard round? Is there a team you want to see LA avoid next week? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow Turf Show Times on your favorite social media platforms.
Rob and JB will return next week with a PLAYOFFS edition of Last Minute Thoughts.