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49ers vs. Rams recap: Winners and losers

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The 49ers closed out the 2017 season in Los Angeles with their fifth straight win

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Ram Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers finished out 2017 with five wins in a row with the introduction of the Jimmy Garoppolo era. The Rams played without most of their star players having already locked up a playoff berth but the 49ers approached it like every other week of the season, playing to win. Here are your winners and losers.

Losers

The home crowd

The Rams fans who had paid for tickets not only didn’t get to see their first string players on the field, they were out-yelled by their NFC rival’s fans. The 49er Faithful came out in droves, and the LA Coliseum sounded like a home game for the team from Santa Clara.

The inactive one

Aaron Lynch was inactive again in what was his last chance to make a play during his contract year. What started out as a hopeful season, full of promise, ended up being marred by a calf injury that held him out for too long for him to make a push to stay. Lynch has a ton of potential which he can hopefully turn into a job on another team.

The run stoppers

The defense didn’t meet their goal of under 100 yards rushing today, but only barely, allowing 102 total yards on the ground. Normally that would put them in the winners category, and it would have, if the Rams running back Todd Gurley had been active. If the defense held Gurley to 102 yards, it would definitely be a win.

Winners

The new kid

With 1,542 passing yards in his first five starts, Jimmy Garoppolo hold the record for the most yards for any quarterback in franchise history in their first five starts with the team. Garoppolo is also the third quarterback in 49ers history to win each of his first three road starts. Garoppolo finished the day 20/33 for 292 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions proving he’s human after all.

The rookies

This is a common occurrence in the winners category because the team is so young, but what’s remarkable is the production of these young players. TE George Kittle ended the day with four catches for 100 yards which is the first 100 yard game for any tight end since Vernon Davis in 2013. Reuben Foster, Adrian Colbert and Ahkello Witherspoon were all very productive on the defensive side of the ball.

The one in white

While Marquise Goodwin didn’t hit 1,000 yards for the season (962), what he DID accomplish this season, through personal tragedy, is very notable. Goodwin is also a winner because after a nasty hit, he went to be evaluated in the hospital, with brain scans, and he was allowed to return to the Coliseum to fly back to San Jose with the team.

The play caller

There was never doubt that Kyle Shanahan was an offensive master mind but there was just little evidence of it as the season began to unfold. As Garoppolo has gotten more of a grasp on how the system works, the interesting the plays he has drawn up become. So much to look forward to in 2018!