The Los Angeles Rams are one win away from the ultimate prize after erasing a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and defeating the San Francisco 49ers 20-17. LA snapped their six-game losing streak to the 49ers, and in the process earned the right to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals. After the game, head coach Sean McVay and several players spoke to the media about winning the NFC Championship.
McVay on Odell Beckham Jr.
“I thought Odell was outstanding today. To be able to go over 100 (receiving yards), he had some key and critical catches to be able to extend drives...He’s a special player. He’s so smart. He’s so talented, so gifted, and he’s brought such a charisma and a presence, and really a swag to our team. Love Odell. Really just happy for him.”
Beckham Jr. had 113 yards on 9 catches, moving the chains multiple times as LA converted 11 of their 18 third down attempts at a rate of 61 percent. He grew up a Rams fan so this must be extra special for him. I’m sure the $750,000 bonus for winning the NFC Championship (and a potential $1,000,000 bonus for winning the Super Bowl) doesn’t hurt either.
Details on Rams WR Odell Beckham's 1-year deal, per source.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 13, 2021
• $750K base for rest of the season.
• $500K to sign.
• $500K if Rams win WC or get a bye.
• $750K for divisional round win.
• $750K for NFC title win.
• $500k for playing in SB *or* $1M for winning it.
McVay on the Rams’ physical run game
“I thought Cam (Akers) ran hard. I thought Sony (Michel) had some tough runs that he leveled off. I thought it was able to open up some big windows in the pass game...The run game was very key and critical, even though it was just kind of tough, hard-earned yards to set some other things up.”
The running backs combined for 64 yards on 23 carries. Though they averaged only 2.7 yards per rush attempt, the Rams were able to keep the 49ers defense honest, thanks to the commitment to the run.
Been saying “Thank you God” to myself for hours. I’m in awe at the way you work Lord. I couldn’t be more appreciative . 1 more.— Cam akers (@thereal_cam3) January 31, 2022
McVay on what Stafford means to the Rams
“We went out and got him because we thought it was a chance to be able to get a great player of his magnitude. Those things don’t come around often. What he’s done, he’s elevated everybody around him. He’s made me a better coach. He’s made his teammates better...If you don’t root for this guy something’s wrong with you.”
Stafford threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns. He was pinpoint accurate on the majority of his throws, completing 68 percent of his passes. He could have had an even bigger day had rookie wide receiver Ben Skowronek been able to haul in a perfect 38-yard would be touchdown catch in the end zone. The Stafford slander stops here, if it hasn’t already.
Stafford on being Super Bowl bound
“I’m so proud of this group. We’ve had high expectations all year. Done nothing but do everything in our power to meet those. It’s a driven group we have in there...Just happy and proud to be a part of this group and we’ve got some more work left to do.”
The Rams have been resilient all year long. Despite a roster loaded with star players, this is not a Hollywood team. The Rams are a battle-tested group that won the toughest division in the NFL, knocked off the GOAT Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, and beat a 49ers squad that had defeated LA six consecutive times. This group is ready to win a championship.
Stafford on the offensive line
“Our guys upfront played great all night. We asked them to protect a bunch. We threw the ball quite a few times tonight. Tried to get it out quick. Mixed taking some shots and getting it out quick. Those guys played unbelievable. That’s a great front. That front is as good as it gets in the league.”
The offensive line certainly had their best game against the 49ers out of three attempts this season when it counted the most. Stafford got hit hard a few times and was sacked twice, but the o-line won the line of scrimmage against San Francisco. Their play allowed LA to keep drives alive, with the offense to keep the ball 10 more minutes than the 49ers and running 26 more plays.
Stafford on Kelly Stafford
“She’s fired up. I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Kelly Stafford is a legend. From being openly critical of the 49ers fans taking over SoFi Stadium in Week 18 to buying tickets to the NFC Championship and giving them to Rams fans, it’s been fun to watch her part of this journey. She should also get a pretzel endorsement.
In 2019, Kelly Stafford needed 12-hour brain surgery and had to relearn how to walk. Makes this embrace with husband Matt Stafford even more beautiful. https://t.co/5HhXTHfrr5— espnW (@espnW) January 31, 2022
( @diannaESPN) pic.twitter.com/mvEQPZlSoJ
Stafford on playing the Super Bowl in SoFi Stadium
“It’s great that it’s here. If we’re playing in it, I don’t give a hell where it was. I don’t give a shit where it is. I just want to play in the dang thing. The fact that it’s under this roof it’s going to be awesome. Our fans did an unbelievable job tonight making it a tough environment. Nice to send some of those red jerseys home, so that was cool.”
The Rams will try to mimic the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by winning the Super Bowl in their home stadium. What a storybook season it’s been so far. The perfect ending will be beating the Cincinnati Bengals and hoisting that Lombardi trophy in two weeks on their home field.
Von Miller on going to the Super Bowl with OBJ
“It’s surreal, man. I’ve been knowing this guy for a long time. He definitely put the work in on and off the field. It’s just a blessing to be here and experience it with your teammates and of course your real brothers.”
The additions of Miller and OBJ have been critical to the success of the Rams. The two are so close; they actually did their post-game press conference together. General manager Les Snead should have won NFL Executive of the Year by a landslide.
Beckham Jr. on going to the Super Bowl with Miller
“I remember everything was going down and I was getting that call from Von and Jalen (Ramsey) like ’Come, I’m telling you come,’ every day... It was just on my heart and I felt like this was the right place. I just can’t say enough about God. Just staying down and staying in faith. Just truly an amazing moment. Here with Von. This is a brother. Didn’t ever think it would really be possible, and here we are.”
Beckham’s mid-season signing was right on time, as Robert Woods tore his ACL shortly after OBJ’s arrival. He has made clutch plays throughout the playoffs. I wouldn’t be shocked if he resigns with LA in the offseason. We all know the Rams play with the salary cap turned off.
Quite a moment for Odell Beckham Jr. After all these years, not to mention a mid-season move after being released by Cleveland, he’s headed to the Super Bowl with his #Rams… pic.twitter.com/QvofURCs8f— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) January 31, 2022
Beckham on why he fits in with the Rams
“It’s been everything. From McVay, Stafford, Coop (Cooper Kupp). Just being integrated into the plan, taking me in, just pushing me for excellence, the weight room. Everything about this place is right and it’s done right. It’s just been an incredible opportunity that I feel like I’m just trying to make the most of. Here we are, playing in the Super Bowl, one game away from our dreams.”
It’s weird to think about Beckham started the season in a Cleveland Browns jersey. He is right at home in blue and sol.
Miller on the Rams’ culture
“The culture here is amazing. We didn’t have anything to do with that. I think it just comes from the top down. Coach McVay, leaders on this team: Aaron Donald, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp. These guys have built something special and it’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of it.”
That is a ringing endorsement from a former Super Bowl MVP. The Rams are doing things the right way from the top down and will likely continue to bring in the right type of players to add to the culture, as they have with OBJ and Miller.
We're not here without Bobby Trees. No words to explain his value to me. Only the people in our building truly know his impact.— Cooper Kupp (@CooperKupp) January 31, 2022
Love you brother. @robertwoods
Miller on Aaron Donald
“He’s been Aaron Donald vocally, physically, emotionally. That’s what leaders do. He’s a great leader. It just feels good to contribute. Like I said, Super Bowl is all he needs, he can walk off to the sunset and I’m going to do everything in my power to make that happen for him.”
A.D. is known to lead by example but he has been much more vocal during this playoff run. It is time to cement his legacy as the best to ever do it with a Super Bowl win.
Jalen Ramsey on going to the Super Bowl
“It feels amazing. It feels amazing...Just trying to take it all in.”
This team is so deserving of this opportunity. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and company made the right adjustments against San Francisco, holding the NFC West rival to only 50 yards rushing. The Rams matched the 49ers physicality from the first snap, practically eliminated that dreaded toss play, loaded up the box with defenders and dared Jimmy Garoppolo to beat them in the air for four quarters. They are only one more win away from shutting up all the doubters.
Safety @nickmscotty has made nothing but IMPACTFUL plays ever since he’s been thrusted into the starting lineup! His biggest play of the NFC Title game was this textbook pop over the middle on all world player Deebo Samuel. Just two players tough as nails going at full speed! pic.twitter.com/ApXs6c7gyN— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) January 31, 2022
Ramsey on dropping an interception
“I dropped a pick today. Crazy, right? Right in my hands, too. So I was mad about that for a little bit. But shit, we won so I don’t even really care no more. I was saving it really. That’s what I’m going to go with. I was saving it for two weeks.”
Ramsey dropped an easy interception with 6:37 left in the fourth quarter that would have set the Rams up just outside of the red zone. We look forward to the All-Pro cornerback getting a pick in the big game.
Ramsey on Donald’s speech to rally the defense late in the game
“I don’t remember his exact words. Kind of just telling us like ‘Yo, how bad do we want it? We right here. We’ve got to do more. We’ve got to give a little bit extra. We’ve got to give more.’ We just kind of went out there and did that.”
The defense didn’t sack Garoppolo, but they did turn up the pressure on the last two drives. Travin Howard sealed the deal with the game-winning interception.
THE RAMS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL! Jimmy Garoppolo INT to Travin Howard. pic.twitter.com/tbcVCOWVzV— Grunt Talks NFL (@GruntTalksNFL) January 31, 2022
The Rams are clicking on all cylinders at the perfect time, winning eight of their last nine games. They take on the Bengals in two weeks for the right to call themselves Super Bowl champions. Also, thank you to the 49ers for going on the road and taking out the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. We appreciate your contribution.