If Sunday was the last game of the Jim Tomsula era, at least the 49ers sent him out a winner after giving him some extra time on the sideline.
One of the few Week 17 games without any bearing on the postseason turned out to be the longest of the day when the 49ers and Rams went to overtime in Santa Clara. It looked like the 49ers would go down to their 12th loss of the season when they punted and Greg Zuerlein took the field to try a 48-yard field goal, but Dontae Johnson blocked the kick and the 49ers were able to drive for a 19-16 win on a Phil Dawson field goal.
The big plays were a roughing the passer penalty on William Hayes, a 15-yard completion to Torrey Smith and a short Blaine Gabbert pass that Quinton Patton turned into a 33-yard gain. Gabbert finished the day 28-of-44 for 354 yards and brought the 49ers back from a 16-10 halftime deficit with a pair of field goal drives in the second half of the game.
It’s a nice end to a nice run for Gabbert after he took over from the deposed Colin Kaepernick for the final eight games of the season. There wasn’t a lot of winning, but Gabbert ends the year having gone 178-of-282 for 2,021 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. That could put him in the mix for a starting job with the 49ers or elsewhere and should ensure he’s nothing less than a clear-cut No. 2 come 2016.
Those decisions will have to wait until the 49ers announce their plans for Tomsula, who is expected to be fired after one year on the job. The same talk hasn’t accompanied Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who now has four losing seasons in four tries for a franchise that appears to be more interested in where they’ll be playing next year than how they played this year.