The 49ers’ season didn’t start well. But my, oh my, what a finish.
Jimmy Garoppolo was traded in the middle of the season, became the 49ers’ starter after a miserable 1-10 start, and turned the 49ers into one of the best teams in the league down the stretch. Today’s win over the Rams makes the 49ers a perfect 5-0 with Garoppolo as their starting quarterback.
The game didn’t matter to the Rams, who rested many of their best players in preparation for the playoffs next week. But it absolutely mattered to the 49ers, who have played hard down the stretch and proven that they’re a very different team with Garoppolo as their starting quarterback.
The big question now for the 49ers will be whether they can get Garoppolo signed to a long-term contract this offseason, and whether they can put a playoff-caliber team around him. San Francisco has plenty of cap space, so there’s every reason to believe they should be a better team in 2018 than in 2017.
This year the Rams are the class of the NFC West. Next year, the Garoppolo-led 49ers will have something to say about it.