Ticket punched: 49ers clinch playoff berth, will face Cowboys

/ by Ali Thanawalla
Presented By Toyota

The 49ers officially are back in the NFL playoffs after they clinched a spot Sunday with their thrilling 27-24 comeback overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.

San Francisco (10-7) is the No. 6 seed and will play the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys (12-5) at 1:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan, 16 at AT&T Stadium in the NFC wild-card round next weekend.

Jimmy Garoppolo was the 49ers' starting quarterback against the Rams after missing Week 17 because of a torn ligament in his throwing hand. While Garoppolo struggled in the first half, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan stuck with the veteran in the second half and turned to the run game after halftime. That strategy allowed the 49ers to rally from a 17-3 halftime deficit to pull off the upset win.

The Rams took a 24-17 lead just before the two-minute warning, but the 49ers drove down the field and Garoppolo hit Jauan Jennings for a game-tying 14-yard touchdown pass.

The 49ers got the ball to start overtime and took the lead on a 24-yard Robbie Gould field goal.

Ambry Thomas' interception of a Matthew Stafford pass with two minutes left in OT sealed the win and punched the 49ers' playoff ticket.

This will be the 49ers' second playoff appearance in the five years under coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. In 2019, San Francisco reached the Super Bowl before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami Gardens.

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The 49ers were in danger of being eliminated from playoff contention Sunday had they lost to the Rams and the New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons. While the 49ers needed overtime to win their game, the Saints cruised to a 30-20 win in Atlanta.

But because the 49ers took care of business in Southern California, the result in Atlanta was irrelevant.

The Super Wild Card round is scheduled for Jan. 15-17, 2022.

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