NFC championship: LA Rams vs SF 49ers

By Lily Angel

It was the game the clouds cleared for: The Los Angeles Rams versus the San Francisco 49ers. For Angelenos, this game would be like no other as it was the seminal match that determined the competitors for the Superbowl. 

To say that the Rams winning the game was a shock is an understatement. After years of devastating defeat, including six consecutive losses to the 49ers, the Rams finally made a comeback.

On Sunday, January 30, the Rams beat the 49ers at SoFi stadium, with a score of 20 to 17. Despite their previous underdog status, the Rams were expected to win the game against the San Francisco 49ers with a 3.5 lead. 

It was a guaranteed victory for California with two of its most popular cities going head to head in the National Football Championship (NFC) game to see which city will be representing California at the 2022 Super Bowl.

A large part of the team’s success is its amazing lineup with key players such as wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp as well as quarterback Matthew Stafford. Head coach Sean McVay knows the strengths of his players and uses them strategically.

The Rams just eked out past the 49ers with wins this season holding 12 victories over San Francisco’s 10. 

The first quarter ended with no score as neither team would give an inch for fear of the other team taking a mile (which proved to be the case later on). With fans on the edge of their seats to see who would take the lead, the Rams kick-started the game just like they ended it – with a stellar performance from quarterback Stafford.

With worry, the Niners’ Deebo Samuel made an extraordinary run of 44 yards tying the game. After striking gold, the Niners went back for more and ended the second quarter with a 38 yard field goal kick by Robbie Gould making the game 10 to 7. 

The Niners had their Eureka! moment starting the third quarter of the game. George Kittle caught a 16-yard throw by Jimmy Garoppolo and scored a touchdown with a goal bringing the game 17 to 7, showing a clear but distant path to victory. After the halftime show, the Niners proved to be a force to be reckoned with. They brought a flawless defense and amazing offense; by the end of the third quarter, it seemed that the end was near for the Rams.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the tables turned in favor of the Rams. They started the fourth quarter with a touchdown and a field goal bringing the game to 17-17, a tie.

With a tie at 17 and with 6:49 left on the clock, Rams’ placekicker, Matt Gay, made a field goal giving the Rams a 3 point edge. With a minute and nine seconds, the Rams intercepted the ball from the Niners’ Jaquiski Tartt. At that point, the writing was on the wall: The Rams had secured their victory.

The Los Angeles Rams won the game 20 to 17. With just 20 seconds left on the clock, the game was called. The 49ers surely gave the Rams a run for their money with an outstanding performance, however. 

With a bittersweet victory for the Rams, they will go on next to face off against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Super Bowl on February 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

The Rams continue to be favored and are expected to win the Super Bowl against the Bengals.