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Instant reaction to the 49ers 21-20 loss to the Rams

The 49ers lost in a meaningless game, setting up the playing field for the playoffs.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers finished their regular season with a 12-5 record, as they lost 21-20 to the Los Angeles Rams in a meaningless Week 18, setting up the playing field for the playoffs.

San Francisco played most of their starters to start the game but pulled Trent Williams after a series, while the remainder of the active players played nearly the entire first half.

The top unit got the 49ers out to a 20-7 lead at halftime, but the 49ers ultimately didn’t score the rest of the way in a close 21-20 loss.

Following the game, 49ers analyst Rohan Chakravarthi shared his instant reaction to the team’s 21-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, pointing out the major takeaways for the team moving forward.

Offense

When working with the top offense, Sam Darnold played very well in the first half, completing all five of his passes on the 49ers’ opening touchdown drive, and leading San Francisco to scoring opportunities on all four of their drives in the first 30 minutes.

The 49ers could’ve ended the first half with 24 points, but kicker Jake Moody missed an extra point, as well as a 38-yard field goal, limiting the scoring.

With the backups in during the second half, Sam Darnold and Co. struggled to move the ball, punting on three straight possessions before the quarterback had a costly fumble on the final drive of the game, sealing the deal for the Rams.

Apart from his fumble, Darnold played pretty well, given the circumstances, and was let down by drops from his pass-catchers on numerous instances.

Defense

With the starting defense out there for nearly the entire first half, the 49ers allowed just seven points, which came on a good throw from Carson Wentz to Puka Nacua for a touchdown with Charvarius Ward in coverage.

Apart from that, the 49ers forced an interception, as Tayler Hawkins caught a tipped pass, and forced a punt near midfield.

But, in the second half, with backups in for San Francisco, the Rams started moving the ball, going on a 17-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, before turning it over on downs in 49ers’ territory and scoring another touchdown on the ensuing drive.

The two scores gave Los Angeles the lead with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, and the Rams held on for their first regular season victory over the 49ers since 2018.