TAMPA, FL—On a last second field goal courtesy of Matt Gay as time expired, the Los Angeles Rams reached the NFC Championship by dethroning the reigning Super Bowl champs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-27, at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, January 23.
SoFi Stadium will host the NFC Title game when the Rams host their arch-rival in the San Francisco 49ers for a right to play in Super Bowl LVI also at SoFi in Inglewood on Sunday, February 13. After the Bucs and Tom Brady tied the epic NFL Playoff matchup at 27 apiece in the waning seconds, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford led a game winning drive.
Stafford was acquired for high stakes moments exactly like these with the season hanging in the balance. It was Stafford’s 43rd game winning drive, most among QBs since 2009.
“That’s a resilient team,” Stafford told NBC’s Michele Tafoya after the game. “I got great playmakers on the outside. I tried to run on first down in two-man, bad idea.”
With 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Stafford hooked up with his favorite weapon, the best wide receiver in the game in Cooper Kupp for two season saving receptions. Highlighted by a 44-yard yard catch where Stafford seen Kupp being single covered to put the ball at the 10-yard line.
Rams kicker Matt Gay, who previously missed a 47-yard field goal minutes earlier, was true from 30-yards sending the Rams back home to Los Angeles.
The Niners and the Rams met a few weeks ago in the regular season finale, where the 49ers beat the Rams in OT, 27-24. The Niners have owned the rivalry recently, winning the last six contests.
The resilient Rams were dominant early, dominating as Stafford was surgical in the dramatic victory. Going 35 of 46 for 366 yards, and 3 total TD’s while Copper Kupp caught nine passes for 183 yards and a touchdown.
It marks the second time in the last four seasons the Los Angeles Rams will reach the NFC Championship game.
Building a cushy 27-3 lead, 7:11 left in the 3rd quarter, Tom Brady led a furious postseason rally as we have watched over the past two decades. The Bucs offense compounded by a few costly Rams blunders turned the game around. The Rams became the first team in NFL Playoff history to win despite turning the ball over four times.
The NFC Championship will kick-off at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 30 on FOX.