The Los Angeles Rams made a Super Bowl in 2018 and they didn’t have Matthew Stafford. They didn’t have Jalen Ramsey. They didn’t have Odell Beckham, Jr. or Von Miller. And they didn’t have the opportunity to play that game at home.
Three years later, the Rams have a chance to repeat their NFC Championship with a cast of characters that reminds me of watching Saturday Night Live and seeing Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon and thinking, “This makes sense.” But then also 75% of everyone else on the show is different. (It’s not a perfect analogy though because, you know, the Rams are good.)
Speaking of familiarity, the team standing in between Sean McVay’s second Super Bowl trip in four seasons is the same team that has stood between McVay and victory in each of the last six meetings. The San Francisco 49ers also made the Super Bowl recently and also have added some upgrades since then, like Brandon Aiyuk, Trent Williams, and Elijah Mitchell. The 49ers didn’t play in the same stratosphere in 2021 to what they were in 2019—that team also had DeForest Buckner and Richard Sherman en route to 13-3—but none of that matters anymore.
As the 2007 or 2011 Giants can attest to, as well as the 2012 Ravens, 2015 Broncos, or 2017 Eagles or even 2020 wild card Buccaneers, all you need to do is survive. You don’t have to be the best team during the regular season—you need to be the best team this Sunday. That’s it.
Will the Rams be the best team this Sunday?
To prepare ourselves for Stafford’s third playoff game with L.A. and the franchise’s fourth NFC Championship appearance since the magical 1999 season, I want to kick it back to something that went dormant on this site for a minute: The Reverse Q&A.
What I know about the Los Angeles Rams may never compare to what you know about the Rams. What I know about football will never come close to the collective knowledge that all of you have about football. That’s as true for the Rams-49ers NFC Championship game preview as it is for any other day of the week, so I am going to ask YOU the questions and you must tell ME the answers.
Then discuss among yourselves. I have posted 5 opening question prompts in the comments section below. Hit me up with your answers and let’s find out what you know about Rams-49ers and what I’m about to learn about Rams-49ers.
Follow Turf Show Times on Twitter during the playoffs.