The NFC West will have a new champion, and now, so will the NFC.
The 49ers eliminated the Rams from postseason contention Saturday night with a thrilling 34-31 victory.
The 49ers (12-3) can win the NFC West and home-field advantage throughout the postseason as the No. 1 seed with a victory over the Seahawks next week. San Francisco has not won in Seattle since 2011.
The Rams fell to 8-7 a year after reaching the Super Bowl.
San Francisco, outplayed by the Rams for most of the game, improbably converted two third-and-16s on its game-winning drive. With 1:57 remaining, Jimmy Garoppolo found Kendrick Bourne for an 18-yard gain on third-and-16 to the San Francisco 37.
Three plays later, with 58 seconds left, Garoppolo made good on third-and-16 with a 46-yard pass to a wide-open Emmanuel Sanders on a blown coverage by safety Taylor Rapp. Sanders couldn’t keep his footing, allowing Jalen Ramsey to touch him down.
The damage was done with the Rams on the Los Angeles 23. Three plays after that, Robbie Gould kicked a 33-yard field goal on the final play.
The Rams gained 395 yards as Jared Goff completed 27 of 46 passes for 323 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Robert Woods caught eight passes for 117 yards, and Tyler Higbee added nine receptions for 104 yards.
But his two big third-down passes late in the game send the 49ers to Week 17 with all their goals still in front of them.
The 49ers’ losses were heart-breakers in the waning seconds. Their win Saturday night was a heart-stopper on the final play.