Matthew Stafford throws for 337 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Los Angeles Rams escape SoFi stadium with a 20-17 victory and advance to their second Super Bowl in 4 years.
In what is a run heavy offense for the San Francisco 49ers, their ground game did not come to play today. As the rushing attack was stifled by a big time front seven in the Rams, led by Aaron Donald. Elijah Mitchell averaged 1.8 yards per carry, while swiss army knife Deebo Samuel rushed for 26 yards on 7 carries.
The Rams made quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo win the game with his arm and have to rely on the passing attack to get the job done.
Stafford connected with triple crown receiver Cooper Kupp for a 16 yard touchdown after throwing a red zone interception on the previous drive to take a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.
Samuel and Garoppolo responded with a 44 yard touchdown to notch things up at 7-7.
The 49ers ended the half with a 10-7 lead thanks to Robbie Gould's 38 yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Garoppolo connected with George Kittle for a 16 yard touchdown to take a 17-7 lead heading into the fourth. Kittle only recorded 2 receptions on the night for 27 yards.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Rams. The Stafford-Kupp connection was a deadly duo down the stretch. Kupp and Stafford hooked up on a 11 yard pitch and catch to cut the score to 17-14.
The 49ers had no answers on the offensive end as Jimmy Garoppolo was unable to move the ball down the field when it mattered most.
A heart breaking sequence for the 49ers was when safety Jaquiski Tartt dropped, what would have been, a crucial interception. The next play, Stafford connected with Odell Beckham Jr. for a big gain, which was tacked on by a unnecessary roughness penalty.
The Rams finished off the drive with a field goal to tie the game at 17-17.
After another empty drive for the 49ers, Stafford and the Rams marched down the field, consistently finding Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. Kupp finished with a tremendous stat line with 11 catches for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Beckham finished with 9 catches 113 yards.
Matt Gay kicked a 30 yard field goal with 1:46 left on the clock to take a 20-17 lead.
Garoppolo and the 49ers had one last chance to go down the field and stamp their ticket to the Super Bowl. On third down, Garoppolo, under pressure, throw a game ending interception to Travin Howard to send the Rams to the Super Bowl.
The Rams go on to play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI in their stomping grounds at SoFi Stadium.