SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Rams will miss the playoffs for the first time in Coach Sean McVay's three seasons after a 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers Saturday.
The nail in the coffin came with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter as Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo passed deep to the middle to WR Emmanuel Sanders for 46 yards. San Francisco went on to score a 33-yard field goal as time expired.
The Rams scored early, marching down the field in the first four minutes with a pair of 24- and 20-yard passes from QB Jared Goff to WR Josh Reynolds and TE Tyler Higbee, respectively. The drive set up for a short pass to WR Brandin Cooks for a touchdown.
The 49ers created a massive shift in momentum with less than a minute before halftime with LB Fred Warner's interception on a pass from Goff, returning it for a 46-yard touchdown, giving San Francisco a 24-21 lead - their first of the game.
The Rams reclaimed the lead with Goff's pass to WR Cooper Kupp for a 22-yard touchdown.
On the next drive, the Niners took a 31-28 lead after a 91-yard drive sparked by Garoppolo's pass to TE George Kittle for 36 yards. The Rams responded with a 52-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein.
The Rams were eliminated from the playoffs with the loss, becoming only the second team since 2009 to lose in a Super Bowl and miss the playoffs the following season. Ahead of Week 15, they only had a 1.7% chance of making the postseason, according to ESPN's Football Power Index, as they relied on winning their remaining two games and the Minnesota Vikings losing their final two contests at home to the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.
The Rams' round out the season with a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 29 at 1:25 p.m.
Rams-49ers: Los Angeles eliminated from playoffs with 34-31 loss to San Francisco