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Carson Wentz rallies Rams to 21-20 win over 49ers

Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Jordan Mason (24) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Wentz threw for two touchdowns and rallied the Los Angeles Rams by rushing for a late score and throwing for the two-point conversion in their 21-20 win over the host San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday.

Wentz, who had appeared in one game for the Rams earlier this season but did not attempt a pass, completed 17 of 24 passes for 163 yards. He was intercepted once.

Wentz bolted up for the middle for a 12-yard touchdown, and then found Tutu Atwell for the conversion with 4:56 left to give the Rams their first lead of the day. Wentz also rushed 17 times for 56 yards.

San Francisco quarterback Sam Darnold fumbled while scrambling during the 49ers’ last-ditch try to get into field-goal range.

The game was laden with reserves as both teams were assured of playoff berths. The 49ers (12-5) were locked in as the top seed in the NFC, and the Rams (10-7) locked down the No. 6 seed with the win.

Also making his first start of the season, Darnold threw for 189 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score. The 49ers will get next week off, earning the lone bye in the NFC, when the playoffs begin.

Not sitting out Sunday was Los Angeles star wide receiver Puka Nacua. Nacua played into the third quarter, just long enough to set rookie records on consecutive catches.

A 7-yard reception pushed his yardage total past the 1,473 of rookie Bill Groman of the Houston Oilers in 1960. On the next play, Wentz and Nacua connected for the fifth time, giving Nacua 105 catches, one better than the Miami Dolphins’ Jaylen Waddle in 2021.

Los Angeles trimmed its deficit to 20-13 when Wentz hit Tyler Johnson with an 8-yard touchdown catch with 4:45 left in the third quarter.

The 49ers built that early lead with two touchdowns in the second quarter to break away from a 7-7 tie. Darnold capped a 16-play drive, which started late in the first period, by scoring from 1 yard out with 6:59 left before halftime.

Darnold’s 5-yard toss to Ronnie Bell produced another touchdown with 11 seconds left, but Jake Moody missed an extra point for the first time in 60 attempts this season, and the Niners took a 20-7 lead into intermission.

–Field Level Media

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