San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, right, celebrates after scoring against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. Rick Scuteri AP
San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, right, celebrates after scoring against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. Rick Scuteri AP

49ers with Matt Barrows

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San Francisco 49ers

Report card: 49ers end season as NFL’s hottest team

By Matt Barrows

mbarrows@sacbee.com

December 31, 2017 04:14 PM

Offense: Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t quite the surgeon he had been in previous starts, but he and the offense were more than a match for Los Angeles’ B team. The run game showed a resolve that had been missing, and Carlos Hyde scored twice. Grade: B+

Defense: Yes, the Rams – especially their offense – leaned on backups from start to finish. But the 49ers still played well, particularly safety Adrian Colbert and defensive tackle Sheldon Day, who substituted for injured DeForest Buckner for most of the game. Grade: A-

Special teams: Kicker Robbie Gould set a personal record this season with 39 field goals made, including connections from 33 and 48 yards Sunday. Bradley Pinion, meanwhile, tied a career high this season with 30 punts inside the 20-yard line. Grade: A

Overall: A 49ers team that began the season with nine straight losses ends it with five straight wins. San Francisco goes into the new year as the hottest NFL team and served notice it is not to be taken lightly in 2018. Grade: A

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Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.