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Rams vs Niners III: NFC Champ Game Preview

The Los Angeles Rams are set for a third matchup of the season with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. The Rams are coming off of a huge win over the 2021 Super Bowl Champions, while the Niners went into Green Bay and upset Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 22: Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers in the locker room after the game against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 22, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The 49ers defeated the Packers 13-10. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

How Did the Niners Get Here?

The 49ers had a similarly difficult path to the NFC Championship game. They were underdogs in both of the previous rounds, firstly taking down the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, then traveling to Lambeau, defeating the Packers.

After trailing by just a score almost the entire game, the Niners’ special teams answered the bell. Robbie Gould hit a pair of field goals in the snow, including the game-winner. The real game-changing play came late in the fourth quarter, however.

The Packers were forced back to their own 12-yard line following one of the Niners’ five sacks in the game. The 49ers were able to block the punt and return the fumbled ball for a touchdown, tieing the game at 10. Just two drives later, Gould nailed a 45-yarder for the win.

How Did the Rams Get Here?

The NFC Championship match was set up with the LA Rams’ narrow win against the defending Super Bowl champs Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Quarterback Matt Stafford came out hot in the first half putting up 20 points to Tampa’s 3. The Rams’ biggest lead was 24 points, which was in the third quarter.

Stafford out-dueled Tom Brady all day long. Stafford threw for 366 yards, two touchdowns. Brady threw for 329 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Leonard Fournette rushed for nine yards on a controversial 4th and one spot that extended to a touchdown drive with 0:42 seconds left in regulation that would time the game.

The act of optimism would prevail the Rams to go put together a five-play, 63 yards drive, Cooper Kupp would come in clutch with a 44-yard catch from Stafford to seal the game-winning field goal by Matt Gay to advance them into the NFC Championship.

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 23: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 23, 2022, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , FL. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Previous Meetings

The 49ers and Rams are no strangers to this year’s season. The 49ers beat the Rams in both of their meetings this season, including an overtime game that jolted the 49ers into the playoffs. This wasn’t the only time they owned the Rams.

The Rams haven’t defeated the Niners since December 2018. Will this stat be the telling tale of the demise of the Rams or will they overcome the mountain of historic adversity? Despite the two teams’ bi-annual meetings, both teams have only met once in the post-season.

That matchup would be in 1989 in the very game they are set to go head-to-head, the NFC Championship, where the 49ers would defeat the Rams, 30-3 to secure their first SuperBowl appearance. San Francisco 49ers and the LA Rams rivalry has been one to follow since the 1950s.

Their first meeting was October 1, 1950, The Rams put one over on the Niners 35-14. but the most notable meeting is with arguably the goat himself at the helm, Joe Montana which brings us back to their first meeting in the post-season.

This Weekend…

The 49ers and the Rams have so much written history to date that can’t be duplicated. Even though today’s game is played at a much higher level, what do you expect from this weekend’s slugfest?

If the Rams come away with a win, we could witness NFL History for the second year in the row with the home team hosting the Super Bowl back-to-back.

Thanks for checking out my article on the NFC Championship Game! For more content check us out @CooterGreene and @OTH_Football!

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Main Image Credit

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 23: Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) before the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 23, 2022, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , FL. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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