The final four are in place and the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers are set to square off for the NFC Championship and the right to advance to the Super Bowl. Both representing the unquestioned toughest division in the National Football League, this will be the third time this season that the Sean McVay squad clashes with their upstate rivals led by Kyle Shanahan.
The Rams are 3.5-point favorites against the 49ers, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
LA entered the playoffs as the number four seed with a 12-5 regular season record. In the Wildcard round they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 34-11. Last week in the Divisional round the task was to take out the defending Super Bowl Champion and second seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by Tom Brady. The result was a 30-27 victory for the Rams and end of the road for the Buccaneers.
Against Tampa Bay Matthew Stafford threw for 28 completions, 366 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He distributed the ball to seven different targets including scoring passes to tight end Kendall Blanton and his number one receiver Cooper Kupp. After the Bucs made the most of three fumbles by Rams skill players and one botched snap, the game was tied with 42 seconds left. Stafford was perfect on the game winning drive throwing two passes, first to Kupp for 20 yards, and then again to Kupp for 44 yards, to put the Rams in a great spot for Matt Gay to kick the game winning field goal. With that, the former Detroit Lions quarterback who was once 0-3 in the playoffs is now 2-0 in post season play since joining the Rams. He’s won one by an easy margin and one that took every play of all four quarters to finish.
Don't blitz Matthew Stafford ️ pic.twitter.com/z5rKZzXsZF— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) January 25, 2022
The Aaron Donald led defense can't be overlooked in what they’ve done in the post season. Against the Buccaneers, the Rams had three sacks and two takeaways. Safety Nick Scott intercepted Tom Brady and Von Miller got home for a strip sacked recovered by the defense. Per PFF Miller has 13 pressures and Donald has 12 which is the two most pressures tallied by defenders in the post season.
LA’s lethal duo pic.twitter.com/l24PZTzLxr— PFF (@PFF) January 25, 2022
The 49ers entered the playoffs as the sixth seed with a 10-7 regular season recored. Their path to the NFC title game first went through the Dallas Cowboys and then the Green Bay Packers. In the Divisional round, they beat the Packers on the road 13-10. In that game, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 11 receptions for 131 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception. Deebo Samuel posted 10 rushing attempts for 39 yards and three catches for 44 yards and zero touchdowns.
Round three of this seasons Rams vs 49ers rivalry series is on and Sunday at SoFi Stadium one of these teams will earn the right to return to the same venue two weeks later to play in the Super Bowl.
Final Score Prediction: The Rams will beat the 49ers 27-20 and will beat the spread.
What’s your prediction? Let us know in the comments.