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San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams Prediction and Preview

San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams Prediction and Preview

49ers look to punch their postseason ticket while the Rams have the NFC West title in their sights when the two rivals clash in SoFi Stadium

You almost couldn't have planned the final weekend of the season any more perfectly. We've got a pair of West Coast rivals meeting with a ton of playoff implications at SoFi Stadium in Hollywoodland. More specifically, the Rams (12-4) are playing for the division title and the chance to play at home in the playoffs and the 49ers (9-7) are playing for their postseason lives.

Just in case you haven't seen them already, here are the exact scenarios for each team going into this game:

  • The Rams will clinch the NFC West division title with a win or tie vs. San Francisco or if Arizona loses or ties against Seattle.
  • The 49ers, currently the No. 6 seed for the playoffs, can clinch their postseason spot with a win or a tie vs. the Rams or with a New Orleans loss or tie at Atlanta.

After an 0-3 month of November, the Rams come into this game riding a five-game winning streak, including last week's 20-19 come-from-behind victory at Baltimore. The Niners have won three of their last four and are 6-2 since their 3-5 start to the season. So this will be a showdown between two teams that are playing on an uptick.

San Francisco (9-7) at Los Angeles (12-4)

Kickoff: Sunday, Jan. 9 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Spread: Rams -4.5

Three Things to Watch

1. Is the thumb up for Jimmy G.?
The dashingly handsome Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an injured thumb and torn ligament on his passing hand back on Dec. 23 against the Titans. He's sat since then but finally threw again this week during practice; however, it is still uncertain as to whether or not he will see the field. And even if he did play, how dynamic can he be? In the meantime, Trey Lance did an admirable job filling in last week, going 16-of-23 for 249 yards and two touchdowns in leading the 49ers to the win over the Houston Texans. And much like Baltimore backup Tyler Huntley did against the Rams, Lance has the ability to stretch the field both vertically and horizontally with his feet, giving the Niners a chance to do a few more things. He'll have more of the playbook to work with this week, and he'll need it against that Rams D.