49ers GM John Lynch didn’t completely rule out the idea of a highly-drafted quarterback to challenge Jimmy Garoppolo. However, as things stand now Lynch doesn’t foresee San Francisco using their first-round pick at No. 12 overall on a passer. He added another defense of Garoppolo’s standing in the organization.
“We certainly could [select a QB], I don’t anticipate that right now, but we’re so early in the process, we’ll do what’s best for this team,” Lynch said via NBC Sports’ Alex Didion. “I do wanna make it clear, and I think Kyle and I have been fairly transparent since we’ve been here, we have a lot of belief in Jimmy Garoppolo. Where does that come from? It comes from the sample that we have, and when he’s been out there, we’ve been better. We’ve been successful.
“In addition to that, his teammates understand that. I’ve always believed leaders not only play at a high level, but they also make everyone else around them better. He’s had that quality on our team, I think he’s a good fit for what we do system-wise. Are there some areas he can improve on, sure, and we’ll always challenge him to do that. But we have liked working with him, and we’re excited to have him back.”
Rams QB Jared Goff was healthy enough to be active against the Seahawks in the Wildcard Round on Saturday. But HC Sean McVay made the decision earlier in the week to go with backup QB John Wolford since he was healthy enough to practice the whole week. That plan went out the window when Wolford went down with an injury of his own and Goff came in for the rest of the game, but he acknowledged it was a tough experience not being the starter.
“Sean made it very clear to me, ‘We’re obviously not benching you. We need to have a plan moving forward and this week, with where you’re at physically and what not…’ I got it, to an extent. But it was tough,” Goff said via NFL Media’s Michael Silver.
“As a competitor, you want to be out there — but I prepared accordingly,” Goff added. “We were doing almost all I could ‘on air’ throughout the week, just off to the side. I wasn’t taking any reps against the defense, but I was just trying to get my thumb into a good place.”
The performance wasn’t Goff’s best as he missed passes all day. But he did just enough for the win and to get the ball in the zip code of players like WR Cooper Kupp, whose 44-yard catch was one of a few huge plays in the game. Afterward, Goff said he’s not going to use the thumb as an excuse despite being less than two weeks removed from surgery.
“I don’t want to use (the injury) as an excuse,” Goff said. “Like, I was out there playing; I’m capable. Yeah, there were limitations, but I’m not gonna sit here and say that I can’t make that throw… or I can’t make any of the throws on the field. I can make any throw I want to make. Well, that one in particular, I was trying to get into a rhythm. I was trying to figure it out a little bit with where I was at with my hand and get into a good place, and get into a good place, and Cooper made a great play for me and settled me down.”
- Rams WR Cooper Kupp hobbled off late in the game with a knee injury, which was scary given his history with an ACL injury. But he avoided a major injury and has just a knee contusion. (Mike Garafolo)
- Rams DC Brandon Staley will likely receive a raise and a contract extension from Los Angeles if he doesn’t take a head coaching job this cycle. (Garafolo)
- The Rams are hopeful DT Aaron Donald can play next week after X-rays on his ribs came back negative. (Garafolo)
The Seahawks cooled off dramatically after a torrid start to the season as teams put a lid on their passing game, literally. After QB Russell Wilson and WR D.K. Metcalf shredded teams downfield, the gameplan from most opponents was to focus on limiting the deep shots and make Seattle work its way down the field. No one did it better than the Rams, who won the third matchup on Saturday 30-20 to knock Seattle out of the playoffs. Seahawks HC Pete Carroll lamented the team’s inability to adjust that was finally exposed.
“That doesn’t mean we throw the ball over their head all of the time and going for just bombs,” Carroll said via ESPN’s Brady Henderson. “But there’s a lot of space we create in the play-passing game, and it seemed like during the course of the season, after the halfway point, we had hit so much early, we had been so effective that people found a way to stay back and just try to bleed us and make us have to throw the ball underneath, and we were maybe really going for it more than we needed to and didn’t take advantage of switching gears a bit there as effectively as we would like.”
There seemed to be an opportunity for Seattle to get back into the game when Rams DT Aaron Donald left the game with an abdomen injury. But even that wasn’t enough for the Seahawks to get untracked on offense, as they continued to give up pressure, fail to get any offensive momentum and turned it over on a fumbled punt return as the final nail in the coffin.
“We needed to get going there,” Wilson said via Adam Jude of the Seattle Times. “The game kind of felt stale for us in a way — we kind of flatlined. We needed to get going and make that happen. And the next thing you know, we didn’t.”