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The Lookaround: 49ers reach the playoffs at Rams’ expense

Plus the Seahawks shred the Cardinals in possibly the last game of the Carroll-Wilson era

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams left something to be desired after losing 27-24 in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers. If we want to look at the positives, at least the Rams were able to clinch the NFC West during the extra period. That was due to the Seattle Seahawks beating the Arizona Cardinals in the desert.

Let’s just rip off the band-aid now and get the game we’d love to forget out of the way first.

49ers are playoff-bound after taking down Rams in overtime

(Deep breaths)

(Screaming and cussing into pillow with Kurt Warner pillowcase)

Alrighty, we all know what happened in this game so I’ll be brief. I will say I’m glad this wasn’t a playoff game but that still won’t dry my ever so macho tears. Jimmy Garoppolo playing through a painful thumb boo-boo led the comeback from a first-half 17-0 deficit. Garoppolo finished 23-of-32 for 316 yards with a touchdown and two picks.

Jimmy wasn’t the best quarterback on the team this afternoon. No, I’m not talking to you Trey Lance so beat it. Deebo Samuel better hope he has the room to add yet another position to his resume. With the 49ers driving down the field in hopes of tying the game at 17, the offense called 10 consecutive rushing plays until Samuel took a handoff from Garoppolo 24 yards and did this:

Maybe Samuel should’ve been the one starting at QB for this game instead of Jimmy. Why not when Deebo was the one carrying the Niners on his back at various points throughout the second half. Samuel caught four passes for 95 yards and rushed eight times for 45 yards and yet another touchdown, leaving his mark in the record books.

Deebo’s 16-yard scamper also tied the NFL’s leading rusher in a significant category:

Brandon Aiyuk was the team’s leading pass catcher snagging six passes for 107 yards. Wide receiver Jauan Jennings came up clutch multiple times all afternoon, having six receptions himself and two touchdowns, including the game-tying score which I don’t have the heart to put in here. LA fans have been through enough today (and yes I know they won the division but still).

Next Week: San Francisco will travel to Dallas to take on the third-seeded Cowboys in the Wild Card round. The only thing that could make this matchup perfect is for Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys to blow it badly. Both have a significant history of doing just that so this should be a treat.

Seahawks win possible last game of the Carroll-Wilson era against Cardinals

The Cardinals-Seahawks started in the oddest fashion imaginable courtesy of the big man Zach Allen scooping and scoring his way in for a touchdown on the second play of the game.

This lead clearly wouldn’t last for the Redbirds as they fell 38-30 at home in the season finale to Seattle. The trio of Wilson, Lockett and Penny delivered the victory for the Seahawks. Russell ended the game 15-of-26 for 238 yards and three touchdowns, finishing with a 110.7 passer rating. Wilson’s leading receiver Lockett caught five passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, including this one which tied the game in the opening minutes:

Rashaad Penny continued his strong stretch of play by gaining 190 yards off 23 carries and scored on this 62-yard touchdown which put the Cardinals away for good.

Penny’s recent tear suggests he’s deserving of a second contract in the Emerald City. Given that he’s shown next to nothing prior to the second half of the season will make the Seahawks hesitant in doing so. Not sure what his future will bring but Seattle should enjoy what he’s doing currently rather than worry about his future.

Before switching to the Cardinals, I would like to pause and wish Hawks safety Quandre Diggs a speedy recovery after he dislocated his ankle and fractured his fibula in the fourth quarter. Diggs will stay in Arizona overnight as several teammates including Tyler Lockett won’t fly back with the team back to Seattle to support their brother on the field. Again I wish Diggs a speedy recovery because it’s a shame a great player and an even better person has to suffer such a brutal injury but he won’t be going through it alone with teammates as incredible as his.

It’s not about how you start but how you finish, and the Cardinals ended their season as poorly as it could get. After starting 2021 10-2, Arizona finished their campaign by losing four of their last five to end at 11-6. Kyler Murray went 28-of-39 for 240 yards and a touchdown. Murray’s year won’t end with him winning the MVP but he finished by making a little history.

Zach Ertz was the Card’s leading pass catcher with seven receptions for 84 yards. James Conner caught Murray’s lone touchdown pass as he added six catches for 41 yards. His touchdown reception not only walked the tightrope but tied the game in the third quarter.

Next Week: The Cardinals will travel to SoFi and play the Rams for the third time this season in which Los Angeles better win the trilogy. As for the Seahawks, their year is over and quite possibly the combo of Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll as I’ve mentioned before. Carroll will learn his fate later this week and Seattle might throw a lengthy rebuild on top of that depending on what direction they plan on taking. May they always have 2013 as that’s the last they’ll be near the Big Game for a while.