Wow, what a close to that game. The San Francisco 49ers had a chance to move into the No. 1 spot in the 2017 NFL Draft, and instead, they won a wild one over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16. The 49ers won by a final score of 22-21 on a two-point conversion with 31 seconds left in the game. The win snapped the franchise-record losing streak and improved the 49ers to 2-13, while the Rams fell to 4-11.
The Cleveland Browns beat the San Diego Chargers earlier in the day, which meant if the 49ers lost, they would have moved into the No. 1 spot. Instead, they win and remain in the No. 2 spot. The Jacksonville Jaguars won earlier in the day as well, so the 49ers remain a game ahead of them for the No. 2 spot.
The game was god-awful to watch for the second and third quarter, before things got going in the fourth quarter. One big piece of news for 49ers purposes from the final quarter was that Carlos Hyde suffered a knee injury. He took a big hit low as he went to catch a pass. It looked like a catch and fumble but was ruled incomplete, and then overturned and ruled a fumble. He went to the ground as he dropped the ball. He was eventually able to put pressure on the leg, and walked back to the locker room, but it was not good.
The rest of the game was a huge mix of fun, awful, and downright boring. The first quarter saw 21 points scored. The 49ers picked off Jared Goff and put a touchdown on the board. The Rams responded with a touchdown, an interception of Colin Kaepernick, and then a second touchdown to take a 14-7 lead in the first quarter. However, the two sides then combined for 14 straight punts. It was another ugly middle of the game for the 49ers.
Things got interesting after the Hyde injury and fumble. The Rams scored, and looked ready to put things away, up 21-7. However, the 49ers offense once again showed some fourth quarter life. They cut the lead to 21-14 on a 13-yard scramble by Kaepernick. They then stopped the Rams and drove down the field in the closing two minutes. Kaepernick led them down the field and connected with Rod Streater for a 10-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left. The 49ers went for the two point conversion to spare us the agony of overtime. They converted on a Kaepernick scramble and that was that.
I would prefer the No. 1 pick, but hey, what are you gonna do? It was a wild fourth quarter, and thankfully Chip did not play for overtime. That’s something, I suppose.
Up next: vs. Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1)
Thank God this marks the final game of the season. The Seahawks have to win to have a shot at the No. 2 seed and a bye, so they will likely not be resting any of their starters. The 49ers need another Browns win, this time over the Pittsburgh Steelers, to give the 49ers another chance at the No. 1 pick. More than likely, however, the 49ers will finish the season with the No. 2 pick.