49ers clobber Rams, ride five-game winning streak into 2018 offseason


49ers clobber Rams, ride five-game winning streak into 2018 offseason


LOS ANGELES – There were far-more important NFL games taking place Sunday afternoon in other locations.

Heck, the playoff-bound Los Angeles Rams essentially mailed it in with backups taking over prominent roles while star players rested for next week’s wild-card round of the NFC playoffs.

But the 49ers have been playing to their own tune this season. For virtually the entire year, the 49ers’ every move was made with an eye toward 2018.

And on the final day of the 2017 calendar year, the 49ers saw it as an opportunity to continue to build momentum heading into an offseason that will not feature a new head coach, a new general manager or both.

The 49ers finished the season on a five-game win streak with a 34-13 victory over the Rams. The team’s winning ways coincided with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s promotion into the starting lineup at the beginning of December.

But the day fell far short of perfect, as popular wide receiver Marquise Goodwin sustained a concussion late in the first half and was carted off the field. He was taken to a local hospital for precautionary evaluation, the club announced.

Rams safety Blake Countess delivered an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit on Goodwin, who was running a slant route. Countess was also evaluated for a concussion after the play.

Countess was one of 17 non-starters who took over in the lineup as coach Sean McVay wanted to ensure that his team entered the playoffs with as many healthy starters as possible.

The injury concluded an incredibly trying season for Goodwin, who was ruled out of a game early in the season with a concussion.

On Nov. 12, Goodwin caught an 83-yard touchdown catch in the 49ers’ first win of the season just hours after he and his wife, Morgan, lost their child due to complications in pregnancy.

Two weeks ago, Goodwin caught 10 passes for 114 yards against the Tennessee Titans and revealed afterward his biological father had passed away just days earlier.

Goodwin caught 58 passes for 962 yards – the second-most receiving yards from a player in his first season with the 49ers. In 2013, Anquan Boldin had 1,179 yards after coming to the 49ers in a trade.

On the play after Goodwin’s injury, running back Carlos Hyde – and the offensive line – was clearly motivated to get into the end zone. Hyde scored on an 8-yard run with the final 5 yards coming as the pile pushed past the goal line.

Goodwin scored the 49ers’ first touchdown on Sunday when he caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo in the first quarter. Goodwin lined up in the slot, ran back toward Garoppolo at the snap of the ball. Then, Goodwin reversed field and was uncovered on the right side, where he caught the short pass and cruised into the end zone.

Garoppolo had his first multi-interception game in his seven NFL starts. He completed 20 of 33 passes for 292 yards with two touchdown and two interceptions.

Garoppolo missed more throws than he did in his previous four starts, but he dropped in a beautiful pass to tight end Garrett Celek for 28 yards in the middle of the third quarter. On the next play, Hyde scored on a 5-yard run for a 27-6 lead.

Hyde finished with 90 yards and two touchdowns on 15 rushing attempts. He is scheduled to be a free agent in March.

--Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner left the game in the second quarter with a chest injury. He was originally listed as questionable, but appeared to aggravate the injury when he returned to action. He was ruled out at halftime.

--Cornerback Dontae Johnson sustained a neck “stinger” in the third quarter. He returned to action later in the second half.

--Linebacker Reuben Foster and nickel back K’Waun Williams were shaken up but left the field under their own power after colliding while making a tackle in the fourth quarter.

--Rookie tight end George Kittle caught four passes for his career-high 100 yards, including a 44-yard reception on the first drive of the game.

--Kicker Robbie Gould made field goals of 33 and 48 yards in the first half to help supply the 49ers with a 13-3 lead. Gould entered the game with 37 made kicks on 39 attempts. With a fourth-quarter extra point, Gould set a single-season career-high with 144 points scored on the season.

--Among the Rams standouts who did not play were quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, left tackle Andrew Whitworth, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and linebackers Mark Barron and Alec Olgletree.

Sean Mannion made the first start of his three-year NFL career. He completed 20 of 34 passes for 169 yards with zero touchdowns and no interceptions.

Among the Rams standouts who did not play were quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, left tackle Andrew Whitworth, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and linebackers Mark Barron and Alec Olgletree.

--The Rams got their first first down of the game with 2:01 remaining in the first quarter when Buckner was called for roughing the passer on a third-down incompletion. It appeared as if referee Terry McAulay called Buckner for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Mannion.

--Defensive lineman Aaron Lynch, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent in March, was inactive for the ninth time this season. Lynch missed four games with a calf injury but was a healthy inactive for four of the 49ers’ final six games.

--Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon forced a third-quarter fumble after a short pass to rookie tight end Gerald Everett. K’Waun Williams recovered the fumble, which set up Garoppolo’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson.

49ers 2018 scheduled released: Analysis and predictions

49ers 2018 scheduled released: Analysis and predictions

The 49ers released their full 2018 schedule on Thursday evening. Here's the slate:

Sunday, Sept. 9, at Minnesota, 10 a.m. (FOX)
There was a time when we thought the Vikings’ quarterback would be suiting up for the road team in this matchup. But, thanks to Bill Belichick’s generosity, Jimmy Garoppolo will be wearing the road whites while Kirk Cousins and his talented supporting cast will be decked out in purple. Garoppolo’s undefeated run as a starting quarterback is put to the test in the opening week. And San Francisco newcomer Jerick McKinnon gets an early chance to prove to his former team that he should have been an every-down running back. Prediction: L.

Sunday, Sept. 16, vs. Detroit, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
First-year Lions head coach Matt Patricia – and the pencil behind his ear – travel to the Bay Area for the organization’s first visit to Levi’s Stadium. Prediction: W.

Sunday, Sept. 23, at Kansas City, 10 a.m. (FOX)
Alex Smith’s five-year run as Kansas City’s starting quarterback came to an end. Arrowhead Stadium is now Patrick Mahomes’ home, and it remains a difficult environment for road teams. Prediction: L.

Sunday, Sept. 30, at L.A. Chargers, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Fans of the 49ers travel well. The challenge is on to snap up as many of the 27,000 tickets in the Charges’ temporary home venue as possible. The 49ers will need a lot of help against a talented team that finished last season with a lot of momentum. Prediction: L.

Sunday, Oct. 7, vs. Arizona, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The Cardinals have undergone a facelift with the retirements of head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer. The new crew of coach Steve Wilks and Sam Bradford – or whoever ends up at QB – inherits a six-game head-to-head win streak against the 49ers. Prediction: W.

Monday, Oct. 15, at Green Bay, 5:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Aaron Rodgers did not get any say in Packers personnel matters this offseason, and we’re hearing the NFL schedule-maker did not consult him, either. But he certainly will not complain about this prime-time matchup against the team for which he rooted as a child growing up in Chico. Prediction: L.

Sunday, Oct. 21, vs. L.A. Rams, 5:20 p.m. (NBC)
This could be a pivotal mid-season matchup featuring two franchises that took different approaches during the offseason. The 49ers were measured in free agency, while the Rams played fantasy football. L.A. general manager Les Snead went all-in during the offseason with the additions of cornerback Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, along with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and receiver Brandin Cooks. Prediction: L.

Sunday, Oct. 28, at Arizona, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
After back-to-back three-point losses in the desert the past couple of seasons, the 49ers will need to take care of business against the Cardinals to be serious contenders for a playoff spot. Prediction: W.

Thursday, Nov. 1, vs. Oakland, 5:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN)
Levi’s Stadium was built as a two-team facility, just in case the Raiders were interested in moving to the South Bay. In the building’s fifth year, the Vegas-bound Silver and Black finally get a look inside. Facing the 49ers during a short week is ideal for the Raiders, as Jon Gruden and Co. do not have to step on a plane. Kyle Shanahan will match wits against the man who gave him his first NFL job. Shanahan was Gruden’s offensive quality control coach in 2004-’05 with Tampa Bay. Prediction: W.

Monday, Nov. 12, vs. N.Y. Giants, 5:15 p.m. (ESPN)
The 49ers have a short week, followed by a long week. A year ago, the Giants’ trip to Levi’s Stadium resulted in the end of the losing streak of 49ers’ franchise-worst start. C.J. Beathard was under center that day, and Marquise Goodwin provided one of the highlights of the season with an 83-yard touchdown catch just hours after he and his wife lost their baby boy due to complications from pregnancy. Prediction: W.

Bye week

Sunday, Nov. 25, at Tampa Bay, 10 a.m. (FOX)
The 49ers will have to go light on the tryptophan from their Thanksgiving feasts to be ready for the cross-country travel and their matchup against Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers. The 49ers will be making just their second trip to Tampa of the past 14 seasons. Prediction: W.

Sunday, Dec. 2, at Seattle, 5:20 p.m. (NBC)
Is there any doubt Richard Sherman will be a little bit hyped to go back to Seattle with something to prove to Pete Carroll and John Schneider? The “12s” will find out what it’s like when Sherman is not on their team. It’s a different Seattle team, but Russell Wilson is as elusive as ever. Prediction: L.

Sunday, Dec. 9, vs. Denver, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
These teams are skipping their annual exhibition game in lieu of the regular-season matchup. The Broncos’ last meaningful visit to Levi’s Stadium turned out pretty well – a victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Prediction: W.

Sunday, Dec. 16, vs. Seattle, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
It’s not a rivalry until the 49ers prove they can actually beat the Seahawks, who hold a nine-game head-to-head win streak. (It could be 10 at this point.) The Seahawks’ dominance began in the NFC Championship game in January 2014, when Sherman broke up Colin Kaepernick’s pass and Malcolm Smith got the interception. Now, both Sherman and Smith are wearing the other uniform. Prediction: W.

Sunday, Dec. 23, vs. Chicago, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
These teams should know each other pretty well. It will be the fifth consecutive season in which the 49ers have played against the NFC North team. The teams have split the previous four meetings, as the 49ers evened the score last season with a 15-14 victory in Garoppolo’s first start with the 49ers. There is no threat of a snow storm or freezing rain in this locale. Prediction: W.

Sunday, Dec. 30, at L.A. Rams, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers have not lost to the Rams in Southern California since 1986. The stakes could be higher this season than we’ve seen in a long, long time as the 49ers could offer the defending NFC West champs their stiffest competition. This could be a huge game – or it could be like a year ago when the Rams rested every significant starter to get ready for the playoffs. Prediction: L.

Report: 49ers will play at Packers on Monday Night Football


Report: 49ers will play at Packers on Monday Night Football

We won't know the full 49ers 2018 schedule until 5pm, but we are starting to learn some specifics.

The 49ers will play at the Packers on Oct. 15, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky.

That will be in prime time on Monday Night Football.

We already know of another prime time game for the 49ers: Thursday, Nov. 1 at home against the Raiders.

San Francisco and Green Bay did not play in 2017 or 2016.

The last meeting between the franchises was on Oct. 4, 2015 -- a 17-3 Packers win at Levi's Stadium.

Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers opened the 2012 season with a 30-22 win at Lambeau Field.

The 49ers then beat the Packers 45-31 in the divisional round of the playoffs.

In 2013, the 49ers beat the Packers in the season opener, 34-28.

Four months later, San Francisco prevailed in a wild card game, 23-20.

Check back at 5pm as 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco will provide analysis and a prediction for every 2018 regular season game...