LOS ANGELES -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 34-13 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17 on Sunday:
1. MOMENTUM INTO 2018
The 49ers opened the season with a franchise-worst nine-game losing streak. That seems like an eon ago.
Jimmy Garoppolo moved into the starting lineup on Dec. 3. The 49ers’ transformation was dramatic.
San Francisco finished the season with a five-game win streak with a remade offense and a defense that stopped the run and rallied aggressively to the ball.
Of course, the least-impressive of the 49ers’ win during their streak came against a playoff-bound Rams team that sat 17 of their starters. Still, a win is a win. And the 49ers head into the offseason feeling confident in the direction that has been charted under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.
It was not long ago that the 49ers looked as if they might have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Now, the club will have a coin toss with the Raiders to determine which teams draft in the Nos. 9 and 10 spots. Both the 49ers and Raiders finished with 6-10 records with identical strengths of schedule of .512.
2. GOOD NEWS FOR GOODWIN
There were a lot of 49ers players who were upset with the hit that injured wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and sent him to the hospital for precautionary evaluations.
Goodwin has experienced his most success as an NFL player, as he came so close to a 1,000-yard season.
But it has also been a season of anguish. He and his wife, Morgan, lost their child due to complications in pregnancy in November. Two weeks ago, Goodwin revealed his biological father passed away.
It was a scary moment on Sunday when Blake Countess made a dangerously high and illegal hit on Goodwin. He sustained a concussion. Goodwin came back to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to join his teammates for the flight home. He appeared to be in good spirits.
“Happy New Year,” an upbeat Goodwin said to a reporter before boarding the team bus to the airport.
3. UP-AND-DOWN GAROPPOLO
Garoppolo said he’s had a great time since coming to the 49ers in a late-October trade with the New England Patriots. He has clearly bonded with his new teammates.
The 26-year-old made more mistakes Sunday than in his previous four starts. But he also showed plenty flashes of the franchise quarterback the 49ers believe he can be.
He completed 20 of 33 passes for 292 yards with two touchdowns and a career-high two interceptions. His passer rating was 84.4.
Now, the hard work begins for the organization. The 49ers need to lock him up to a multi-year contract extension to erase any doubt about his future. The 49ers have the ability to retain him with the franchise tag, but the club needs to find a way to reach an agreement to make sure the union lasts for the foreseeable future.