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Rams open as 3.5-point favorites vs. 49ers in NFC Championship game

LA must knockout the 49ers to reach Super Bowl LVI

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nature Boy Ric Flair said it best: “To be the man, you gotta beat the man.”

Enter the Los Angeles Rams. LA showed the heart of a champion on Sunday by knocking off last year’s Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady. In order to be the second consecutive team to host a Super Bowl in their home stadium, the Rams must find a way to conquer their kryptonite in the San Francisco 49ers.

Despite the Rams’ six consecutive losses to the 49ers, DraftKings Sportbook has LA favored by 3.5-points in a game with a 47-point over/under. Head coach Sean McVay and the Rams will host San Francisco at SoFi Stadium next Sunday in the NFC Championship game, for the right to compete for the Lombardi trophy on Feb. 13.

Though the Rams will technically be the home team, the 49ers fan base has shown they are not afraid to invade SoFi and flip the home field advantage in their favor. Thankfully, ticket sales for the NFC Championship may be difficult to come by for residents outside of the Greater Los Angeles area. According to multiple reports, anyone whose credit card has a billing zip code outside of that region will have their ticket purchase cancelled without warning and issued a refund.

Getting an electric crowd similar to that in attendance during their Super Wild Card victory against the Arizona Cardinals will go a long way in helping the defense rise to the occasion. The defense has turned it on over the last quarter of the season, which for the most part has continued into the playoffs. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris’ primary focus must be to find a way to slow down Deebo Samuel and the 49ers offense that racked up 449 total yards in their Week 18 matchup.

On the other side of the ball, McVay will need to get the run game going against Nick Bosa and company. The Rams averaged only 58 rushing yards against San Francisco over the course of two games this season. It’s time to break out all the jet sweeps in the playbook, instead of pounding the running backs into a concrete wall. Maybe getting the defense to run sideways in order to contain the jet sweeps may open up some rushing lanes in the middle of the defense.

The NFC West was previously voted as the toughest division in the NFL, so there shouldn’t be much surprise the division will again be responsible for producing the NFC’s representative in Super Bowl LVI. It is only fitting that the Rams will get the opportunity to right their wrong of letting San Fran in the playoffs. The third time must be the charm.

“Whose House? Rams House!”