Good Morning Faithful,
Here are your top 49ers storylines for Wednesday, January 12.
New and Notable
San Francisco scratched and clawed their way into a playoffs spot during the Week 18 overtime nail-biter against the Los Angeles Rams. And since, many analysts see the 49ers as an ascending team in the NFC as they prepare to take on the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round of the postseason.
With 14 teams all vying for one goal on Feb. 13, here's a look at how NFL pundits have ranked San Francisco heading into the first round of postseason football.
49ers Get (Relatively) Healthy Across Roster Ahead of Wild Card Round
With the NFL calendar expanding to a now 18-week format, the new-look season can certainly take a toll on a number of players' bodies, not to mention availability.
Just look at San Francisco's roster in 2020 – by the third week of the season, the team had already lost a handful of starters due to injury, some for the year. Over the season, the team sat atop of the league with the number of players on Injured Reserve, including Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Raheem Mostert and Jimmy Garoppolo among a number of other players.
Couple the standard (or in the 49ers case unprecedented) number of injuries along with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing players and close contacts to miss time playing, the extended NFL season has drastically affected roster depth over the last two seasons.
However, San Francisco appears to have dodged a few bullets heading into their second postseason appearance in the last three years. Entering into Sunday's Wild Card matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, the 49ers are (relatively) as healthy across the roster as they've been all season.
Making Skeptics Believers: Ambry Thomas' Tough Road to Storybook Ending
The San Francisco 49ers regular season finale concluded in a storybook ending with a win over the Los Angeles Rams in overtime, sending the team to their second playoff appearance in three years.
The clock was running down as the 49ers held a three-point lead in overtime. This is when Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford unleashed a deep throw for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Just behind the star receiver was rookie cornerback Ambry Thomas, who with perfect timing while pursuing Beckham Jr., came down with the under thrown pass. His first-career interception sealed San Francisco's sixth victory over the Rams as they set their eyes on the postseason.
Deebo Samuel, Nick Bosa Add Their Names to 49ers Record Books After Win vs. Rams
The San Francisco 49ers punched their ticket into the postseason following a comeback 27-24 overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams. Here are a few notes and stats from the 49ers divisional win.
- San Francisco has now won six-straight games against the Rams, having swept the season series for the third-consecutive season.
- San Francisco became the first team to defeat Rams head coach Sean McVay when trailing at halftime, including the postseason. He is now 45-1 when leading at halftime.
- Deebo Samuel hauled in four receptions for 95 yards on Sunday. He also added eight carries for 45 yards and one touchdown on the ground and threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings. His eight rushing touchdowns on the season are the most in a single season by a wide receiver in NFL history.
- Ambry Thomas picked off Stafford in overtime, sealing the win the 49ers and marking the first interception of his career.