The NFC West just got tougher for the Rams in December


The San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams game on New Year’s Eve just got a lot more intersting.

The Los Angeles Rams and the rest of the NFC West will soon get a look at how much better the San Frnacisco 49ers might be before the holiday season rolls around. Thanks to the New England Patriots, the Niners still aren’t a playoff team in 2017, but could certainly affect them.

Next: Predictions for Rams-Giants in Week 9

The trade that sent quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the West Coast won’t cause a seismic change in 2017, but it may upset how things could play out at the top of the division.

How much better an 0-8 team in San Francisco gets with the addition of Garoppolo remains to be seen this season. How many wins his presence creates isn’t known as the league heads into Week 9. But for a team who was closer to winning that losing in six games will be better on some scale.

Don’t forget, the 49ers played close games against both the Rams and the Seahawks. Against Los Angeles on a Thursday night, San Francisco had them on the ropes before defensive tackle Aaron Donald finally slammed the door, allowing LA to survive 41-39.

As for Garoppolo, he’s a monster upgrade over both Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard. That alone is an indication that with Jimmy G., the Niners should be better. Also, at 0-8 they aren’t so far behind the Arizona Cardinals at 3-4 that third place in the division isn’t totally out of reach.

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Fans won’t see the new quarterback until Week 10. However, Rams fans would be smart to circle December 31 on the schedule as Garoppolo, barring injury, will lead the 49ers into the Coliseum for a potentially critical game for Los Angeles, should they still be in the mix for the playoffs or even a shot at the NFC West title.

Like I said, San Francisco won’t be threatening to make the postseason, but they may have a say in LA who does.