The Rams completed a 3-0 journey through the NFC postseason by defeating the 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship at SoFi Stadium. They will play “road” against the “home” Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in a couple of weeks.
The Rams will be vying for their second Super Bowl win, and the first since the “Greatest Show on Turf” squad claimed it all in 1999. The franchise, which was founded in Cleveland in 1936, also won the NFL championship in 1945 and 1951. The Bengals, on the other hand, have never won an NFL or AFL championship.
"I"m afraid that it's going to have to be Jimmy Garoppolo that gets it done." 😬 – Troy Aikman pic.twitter.com/aUyhfFKtzb
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 31, 2022
Recap of the game: solid first half
To start the match, the 49ers and Rams each went three-and-out. Los Angeles’ offense moved down the field on the subsequent possession, thanks to big receptions by Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, and Odell Beckham Jr.
On 3rd-and-goal from the 49ers’ 5 yard line, Matthew Stafford fired a throw to the front of the end zone intended for Kupp that was swatted down by K’Waun Williams and intercepted by Jimmie Ward.
Garoppolo linked with Deebo Samuel on a throw behind the defensive line two plays later, and the wideout avoided numerous tackles headed straight for a 44-yard touchdown.
The 49ers were able to score points before halftime, owing in part to a failed Matt Gay 54-yard goal. Garoppolo connected with George Kittle and Aiyuk for 11 and 13 yards, respectively, with 1:20 on the clock and a strong field position to put the 49ers in scoring position. To take a 10-7 lead into the half, the team settled for a field goal on 3rd-and-6.
Kevin Givens also had a quarterback hit on Stafford, which resulted in an incompletion.
— Sᴘᴏʀᴛs 24/7 (@Sports_24x7_) January 31, 2022
More recap: rocky second half
The 49ers fell short in their quest to score twice in the second half, receiving the ball to begin the second half. However, the squad regained possession following a failed 4th-and-1 try in which Stafford tried a quarterback sneak but fell a half-yard short of the first down.
They took advantage of the Rams’ choice not to attempt a field goal, executing a 10-play, 56-yard drive that concluded in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo to Kittle.
The 49ers converted multiple key third-down plays, including a 13-yard slant by Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings fighting for a first down on a 10-yard pickup.
Stafford lobbed a long pass in the middle of the field with Jaquiski Tartt as the only player within 10 yards of the ball, giving the 49ers a chance to win the game. The wide-open interception was dropped by the safety, giving Los Angeles life.
From then on, The 49ers’ offensive struggled to get anything going. The Rams’ final offensive play of the game was interrupted by a third-down split sack by Bosa and Samson Ebukam, forcing a Rams field goal to re-take the lead.
With less than two minutes remaining, the 49ers sought to make a rush down the field, but Los Angeles’ defense kept pressing Garoppolo. On 3rd-and-13, despite being flushed out of the pocket, Garoppolo lofted a high pass intended for JaMycal Hasty that was intercepted, sealing the victory for Los Angeles.
Jaquiski Tartt drops a dime from Matthew Stafford
— PFF (@PFF) January 31, 2022