The Niners will have the Coliseum and Rams fans all to themselves in Week 17

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 24: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers congratulates Jimmy Garoppolo
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 24: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers congratulates Jimmy Garoppolo /

Are the Los Angeles Rams offering up an easy victory to their division rival San Francisco? If they are, expect Kyle Shanahan and his 49ers to take full advantage.

The Los Angeles Rams will trot out the second team in what is a regular season, preseason game in Week 17, when Sean Mannion leads LA against the San Francisco 49ers.

Intriguing, only if you continue the wonder how good or not second string Oregon State alum Mannion really is. It’s also a good week to get familiar with the depth chart and learn what schools some of these backups hail from.

Beyond that. Sunday’s regular season finale is nothing more than bad timing for a Rams team giving the home fans the middle finger after doing so earlier with another London “home” game.

As for NFC West rival San Francisco, it’s a prime opportunity for head coach Kyle Shanahan to showcase budding superstar quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and a Niners team on a four game winning streak. Add that they are playing the division champions with mostly backups on the field, and the 49ers have a chance to leave a lasting final impression.

And it may not be a good one for Rams fans.

Call it bad timing, call it more Sean McVay brilliance, but don’t call it a lot of competition from Los Angeles.

For San Francisco, who has toiled in font of a regional TV audience and an empty stadium, the chance to finish strong with five straight wins and a settled argument at quarterback, sets the table for 2018, while only getting a courtesy call from the Rams.

The 49ers will end their season on Sunday, while LA will get at least one more game. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s call. Los Angeles looks to be a bonafide team now unshackled from the mediocrity of the last decade.

Next: 3 predictions for Rams against 49ers in Week 17

But take notice of what you see on the field at the Coliseum, as the next “up-and-comer” looks to serve notice that any division titles yet to come may feature Garoppolo and the 49ers in the mix.

Which is the best thing to happen to the NFC West and fans in a really long time.