NFL

Rams relish home Super Bowl as they look to emulate Bucs

By Sports Desk January 31, 2022

The Los Angeles Rams are relishing their opportunity to host the Super Bowl after seeing off the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

A 20-17 triumph over NFC West rivals the Niners means it is the Rams who will face the Cincinnati Bengals with NFL glory on the line at SoFi Stadium on February 13.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year became the first team to play in a Super Bowl at their home stadium and went one step further by winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy against the Kansas City Chiefs.

And the Rams now have an opportunity emulate the Bucs after reaching their second Super Bowl in the space of four years, with this one on home soil.

"To be able to play at home in this house that Stan Kroenke built, this iconic venue, is really unique," McVay said, per ESPN, after the win over the Niners. 

"A little bit easier travel schedule for us since we travelled all over the country during the course of the year.  Just so happy with this group and proud to be associated with it.

"We always talk about being totally and completely present, having a short memory for good and bad. Being able to hit that reset button. I thought our guys did that in a big way."

Matthew Stafford led a Rams comeback from 17-7 down. He completed 31 of 45 passes for 337 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Having gone 12 years without a postseason win as a member of the Detroit Lions, the quarterback now has three straight playoff victories and the chance to match the history made by Tom Brady if he wins a fourth.

"It's great that it's here," Stafford said about the home Super Bowl. "If we were playing in it, I didn't give a hell where it was. I'm like, I just want to play in the dang thing. 

"But the fact that it's under this roof, it's going to be awesome. 

"Our fans did an unbelievable job making it a tough environment. And it's nice to send some of those red jerseys home."

Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp caught both Stafford TD passes in a fine display that saw him make 11 catches for 142 yards.

Odell Beckham Jr (nine catches for 113) was another standout performer and like Stafford he will also play in his first Super Bowl.

"Everything about this place is right, and it's done right," Beckham, who joined in a mid-season trade from the Cleveland Browns, said. 

"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. Just keep going."

McVay was effusive in his praise of Stafford after the game and Beckham was similarly complimentary.

"Everything that you could hope and wish for," Beckham said about Stafford.

"He had that look in his eyes the whole game. He motivated us, he pushed us, one play at a time, and he drove us down. 

"He's just been doing that all postseason, all season really, since I've been here, he's just had that look on him. Just happy that we could get him to this point.

"I know it was tough for Detroit for a lot of those years. He is having an amazing opportunity and is just gonna take full advantage of it."

The Rams have one Super Bowl title in franchise history, which came in 1999 when they represented the city of St Louis, and three NFL championships overall.

Cincinnati will be making their third appearance in the big dance and are seeking their first title.

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