The Los Angeles Rams came out on top over the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, toppling their division foes 20-17. The Rams have now advanced to Super Bowl 56 in their home venue of SoFi Stadium, where they will host the Cincinnati Bengals.
Both NFC West rivals were held scoreless in the first quarter, the Rams in particular missing out on a golden opportunity when quarterback Matthew Stafford was picked off in the end zone by 49ers safety Jimmie Ward. The veteran QB would put the home team on the board midway through the second when finding top wide receiver Cooper Kupp on a 16-yard touchdown pass.
The visitors responded when wide receiver Deebo Samuel took a screen pass and housed it 44 yards for a score to tie the game 7-7. After a missed field goal for L.A., kicker Robbie Gould booted a 38-yarder as time expired to give San Francisco a 10-7 advantage heading into halftime.
The Rams had the ball in Niners territory midway through the third but on 4th and 1 at the 43, Stafford was stonewalled at the line for a turnover on downs. San Fran took advantage as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo marched the team down the field and hooked up with tight end George Kittle for a 16-yard TD to go up by 10.
Los Angeles wasn’t going to go down like that as it started the fourth quarter with a seven-pay, 75-yard drive that ended with another Kupp TD to pull to within three. After a 49ers punt, they put a field goal on the board in their next drive to tie the game. Forcing yet another San Francisco punt, a 25-yard Kupp reception once again put them into field goal range. A successful 30-yard attempt by Gay gave the Rams a 20-17 lead just inside the two-minute warning.
Making one final attempt to get his team in scoring position, Garoppolo was picked up by Travin Howard to end the game.