Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has suggested the team are close to agreeing a deal for Aaron Donald to return for the 2022 season.

The Super Bowl LVI champions had hoped Donald would do so after he hinted he would "run it back" during the victory parade following the win against the Cincinnati Bengals at the NFL's big show in February.

Ahead of the game at SoFi Stadium, it was reported the highly rated defensive tackle could retire if he finally won a championship to go with his individual achievements.

And the three-time Defensive Player of the Year could scarcely have been more influential in the 23-20 Rams win.

Donald held up Joe Burrow and the Bengals on third and one and then fourth and one on their final drive, finishing with two sacks and three quarterback hits – tying the best marks of his playoff career.

The 30-year-old penned a six-year, $135 million extension before the start of the 2018 season, but has now outplayed that deal.

Speaking at a media conference on Tuesday at the annual league meeting, McVay addressed Donald's situation, saying: "It's a huge priority for us. I know that our group is working with [Donald's agent] Todd France and trying to get that figured out.

"[I] feel really good about Aaron's excitement about coming back and continuing to lead the way for us. But that is a piece that we do want to be able to get figured out for him. And I think he's deserving of it.

"We're in the process of working through that right now."

Donald recorded 12.5 sacks for 111 yards and 17 quarterback hits in the 2021 regular season, before adding another 3.5 sacks for 20.5 yards and nine quarterback hits in the postseason.

The immediate futures of head coach Sean McVay and veteran defensive lineman Aaron Donald will not be determined for a month according to Los Angeles Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff.

McVay guided the Rams to Sunday's 23-20 Super Bowl LVI triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium, making him the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl in NFL history at 36-years-old.

Donald made a series of key plays to clinch victory for the Rams but speculation has been rife about the 30-year-old's playing future, although he declined to discuss it in the aftermath of victory.

“I think all of these guys are wiped,” Demoff told reporters on Monday. “When you get to this point, the gas tank is empty and you’re sitting there holding a trophy.

"I think that’s daunting to some degree when you wake up this morning and realize you’ve got to go do it all over again, and you don’t have the energy so I think the talk is actually natural.

“I would agree. I don’t think Sean’s current pace is sustainable in terms of how much work he puts in if you want to have a family. But I think the one thing, these guys all love football.

"They love being around each other… These are all natural questions that are hard to answer in the moment. A month away, two months away from everybody, and I think things will feel a lot better.”

McVay added that good things happens when you get great players pulling in the same direction, as the Rams claimed their first Super Bowl victory since 1999, when they were based in St Louis.

The Rams invested heavily in success ahead of this season, bringing in quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr and outside line backer Von Miller in the past 12 months.

"When you get around great players and great coaches who are all committed and pulling in the same direction, pulling that rope in the same direction, good things can happen," McVay told reporters on Monday.

"Each team is a new team every single year but when you have the right foundational pieces like Cooper [Kupp], [Andrew] Whitworth, Stafford, Aaron Donald, the list goes on, you just feel grateful to be a part of it.

"Because of their success other people get a chance to grow."

Sean McVay described the nature of the Los Angeles Rams' Super Bowl LVI triumph as "poetic" after they came up big on offense and defense to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Rams – playing at their SoFi Stadium home – had led in the first half before Odell Beckham. Jr, who scored the opening touchdown, departed with a knee injury.

The Bengals took control for a period and had a four-point advantage inside the two-minute warning.

But a record-breaking 15-play go-ahead drive ended with Matthew Stafford throwing a TD pass to Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp.

There was still work to do on defense, with the Bengals within a field goal of overtime, yet Aaron Donald stuffed the run on third-and-one and then forced an incompletion on fourth down to clinch victory.

McVay considered the dramatic conclusion fitting for his team, who became the first to win three games by three points or fewer in the same postseason thanks to this 23-20 success.

The coach, who reserved praise for the "great job" from Stafford and Kupp, who "took over the game", said: "It feels outstanding.

"You talk about a resilient team, coaches, players, I'm so proud of this group, just proud to be associated with it.

"We talk about competitive greatness all the time, being your best when the best is required. For the offense to be able to find the way and then Aaron to be able to finish it off, it's poetic."

There was talk Sean McVay could ride off into the sunset after Super Bowl LVI, but both he and counterpart Zac Taylor are set to stick around as head coaches for the long term.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Rams coach McVay and Bengals coach Taylor are in line to receive contract extensions from their respective teams once the dust settles on Sunday's clash at SoFi Stadium.

McVay has two seasons remaining on his deal, while the 2022 campaign is the last year of Taylor's current contract.

There had been reports that 36-year-old McVay, who has previously expressed a desire not to coach into his 60s, could step away from coaching at the end of the season, with talk of a potential move into broadcasting.

Such suggestions appear to have been erroneous, as the indication is now that he will continue a head coaching career in which he has reached the playoffs in all but one of his five seasons in charge of the Rams.

McVay also looks set to be tied to the quarterback that has led his team back to the Super Bowl for the long term.

Indeed, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported the Rams are set to hammer out a contract extension with Matthew Stafford, whom the Rams traded a pair of first-round picks to acquire in the offseason.

Stafford's contract expires at the end of next season but, regardless of whether he gets the job done on home turf, the Rams are poised to reward him for a campaign in which he set franchise records for completions (404), passing yards (4,886) and touchdowns (41).

The Los Angeles Rams would not be in the Super Bowl without two-touchdown NFC Championship Game hero Cooper Kupp, according to head coach Sean McVay.

The Rams edged the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 with quarterback Matthew Stafford finding Kupp for two touchdown passes.

Kupp had 11 receptions for 142 yards for the game, with his fourth-quarter TD helping them reel in a 10-point final-change deficit.

The 28-year-old led the NFL in the key receiver statistics with 145 receptions, 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. Kupp has 386 receiving yards this postseason, which is the third all-time most in playoffs history before the Super Bowl.

"He's just a special player," McVay said at the post-game news conference. "I talked about Matthew [Stafford], competitive greatness, Cooper was that today.

"Just big catch after big catch. He's competing in the run game. He does so many things.

"We'd have no chance of being here today without Cooper Kupp."

The victory means the Rams have reached the Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons under McVay, having been beaten by the New England Patriots three years ago.

Stafford completed 31 of 45 passing attempts for 337 yards with his two touchdown passes for Kupp.

The Rams traded in 33-year-old QB Stafford from the Detroit Lions in March last year, with the move paying off.

"We went out and got him because we thought it was a chance to get a great player of his magnitude," McVay said. "Those things don’t come around often.

"He's elevated everybody around him. He's made me a better coach. He's made his teammates better. He's such a great person.

"He's a great competitor. We've seen that all season but it's really been on display this last couple of weeks. We talk about competitive greatness, he embodied that today."

Stafford endured years of under-achievement with the Lions, with only three postseason games which were all defeats, and was delighted to reach a Super Bowl for the first time in his 13-year career.

"I don’t know that I ever thought about what I'd be feeling at this moment," Stafford said. "I probably just sat there and wished I'd be in those games.

"I'm so happy that I've got that opportunity and we've got an opportunity to be in another one that I've always wanted to play in."

He added: "Long time coming, you know. [I] Spent a lot of years in this league, I've loved every minute of it. I feel blessed to be able to play in this league as long as I have. It's an opportunity."

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is thrilled that quarterback Matthew Stafford will no longer have to face questions about never winning a game in the NFL playoffs.

NFC West rivals the Arizona Cardinals were convincingly swatted aside by the Rams in the Wild Card round on Monday, the hosts triumphing 34-11.

The Rams will now move on to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a huge Divisional Round game with a place in the NFC Championship up for grabs.

Stafford had only previously reached the playoffs three times in 12 years with the Detroit Lions before his trade to LA ahead of the 2021 campaign and had been winless in each of those postseason appearances.

"I thought he did a great job leading the way," McVay said, per ESPN, after Stafford threw touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp.

"He's still the same great player to me, and he always was before this game.

"So I think it's good so you guys don't have to talk about [him not having a playoff win] anymore. So he can get that one out of the way. 

"I am really proud of him. Just so lucky to be able to do this with him. He's our leader. We wouldn't be here without him."

Stafford only had to throw a season-low 17 pass attempts, but he was impressive in completing 13 of them, with three of his four incompletions being dropped passes.

The Rams' defense played a big part in the win too. The Cardinals were 21-0 behind before they were even able to record a first down, while cornerback David Long had a three-yard pick six on Kyler Murray, the shortest in playoff history.

"I'm just excited for our team to get the win," said Stafford. 

"What a team effort. Our defense played outstanding, special teams basically set up a score with [punter] Johnny [Hekker] pinning them down there, we did a great job on field goals. 

"And we were good enough on offense to score some points and come away with the win. Just happy to be moving on."

The Rams must now beat the defending NFL champions on the road to progress further in a postseason schedule which will culminate with the Super Bowl being hosted at their own SoFi Stadium.

LA were one of only three teams who beat the Bucs in the regular season but Stafford is under no illusions over the size of the task facing them.

He added: "It is a huge challenge. Obviously, a fantastic quarterback, great defense, a really good football team.

"I think their team is different than when we played them last [in Week 3], and I think we are, too, both [in] personnel and scheme a little bit. You always evolve throughout the season. 

"So it'll be interesting to see what they look like here as of late, and we'll go out there, attack and see what happens."

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has labelled Monday's 30-23 win over division rivals the Arizona Cardinals as "big" but says it will mean little if they do not continue to improve.

The Rams toppled the Cardinals, who are ahead of them in the NFC West, to improve their record to 9-4, while Arizona go to 10-3.

Stafford's side had lost three in a row against the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers before winning their past two and refused to get carried away.

"Obviously it's big. Obviously it's a great win for us but at the same time we've got to make it worth something," Stafford told ESPN after the game. "We win this one and don’t take care of business in other weeks, then it don't mean much.

"We're on to the next one. This is a nice win for us, a division opponent, at a tough place to play, without some big-time key players, it's a good win to get but we've got to continue to get some more of them."

Stafford had three touchdown passes, completing 23 of 30 attempts for 287 yards. He has an NFL-high six games without three TD passes and no interceptions this season, ahead of Kirk Cousins, Justin Herbert and Aaron Rodgers with four.

The win came with the Rams without five players due to COVID-19 protocols, including Jalen Ramsey and Tyler Higbee who were both ruled out on the day of the game. Rob Havenstein, Dont'e Deayon and running back Darrell Henderson were also unavailable.

"It's a total team win," Stafford added. "A lot of adversity this week and today with some stuff going on with the players and personnel, I'm just proud of our team and our coach, and everyone sticking together. Getting one at their place, it's a tough place to play."

Rams head coach Sean McVay reiterated Stafford's comments, with the side scheduled to face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday after they had managed back-to-back wins.

"It's a measuring stick for tonight. I thought the guys answered the bell," McVay said at the post-game news conference. "We've talked about it throughout the course of the year, how do we build on this, this is one night, we'll enjoy this but we've got a short week.

"Seattle has really gotten rolling over these last couple of weeks. Big win over San Fran, they looked good versus the Texans yesterday. Really pleased with these guys but we want to continue to be totally and completely present. Enjoy this but let's keep building on it.

"That's what the good teams do, they get better in the month of December. That's our goal, you've got to continue to be relevant but you want to make sure that you're improving so if you do give yourself an opportunity to play after the regular season, you're playing your best ball."

The loss is Arizona's third in a row at home and they were left to bemoan their final possession, having got within seven points, as quarterback Kyler Murray ran out of options with the clock ticking down, before being sacked for a third time by Aaron Donald.

On the final play, Murray said: "It was a miscommunication between me and the line. They thought it was a spike. It was a heat of the moment deal. I don’t even recall what was being said in the helmet."

Kyle Shanahan was filled with pride as the San Francisco 49ers finally ended their long home-win drought with a 31-10 upset of the Los Angeles Rams, but he warned that cannot be a flash in the pan.

All eyes were on debutants Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller after the high-flying Rams (7-3) acquired the star duo to boost their Super Bowl bid.

But the 49ers (4-5) spoiled the party – Jimmy Garoppolo throwing two touchdown passes as San Francisco celebrated just their second home win in the past two seasons, keeping their playoff hopes alive on Monday.

The 49ers, who have now won five straight games against the Rams – the longest active streak by either side, matching their 2008-10 run – had last emerged victorious on home soil in October 2020, also over the Rams.

Part of that was down to the 49ers having to play part of the 2020 season in Arizona due to COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara, but there was still a sense of relief as they eventually enjoyed success in their own backyard.

Shanahan was grateful to put such a run behind them.

"It's been frustrating," he said. "We haven't won at home yet this year. The last time we did win at home was versus the Rams.

"We had one game after that versus the Packers, and we spent are our home [games] in Arizona, but just going to this year was very frustrating.

"Especially, the crowds that we've had, the way our fans have been. They were awesome today. Just like they were awesome last week, but I'm glad we gave them something to be proud of today.

"I just told [the team] how proud of them I was. I said we've got a short week. I think we've got a real good team [the Jacksonville Jaguars] ahead of us – that's how we expect to play here.

"It's been long overdue and we've got to make sure that we take a day off. Those guys rest, come back healthy on a short week, make sure we keep it going forward."

There were entirely different thoughts going through the head of Rams coach Sean McVay, however, with the Super Bowl hopefuls suffering back-to-back losses for the first time this season.

"I choose to believe that these last couple weeks are not who we are," he said. "I refuse to believe that, even though, you know what, you're only as good as your last game.

"These last two weeks have certainly been humbling."

Beckham was rather less dramatic, though, despite his debut being overshadowed by a chastening defeat.

The wide receiver, who joined the Rams as a free agent this week following his release by the Cleveland Browns, simply felt the 49ers were better all over the field.

"I was excited, I felt like I was ready for the moment," Beckham added. "I've been through so much and God has put me in this position for that exact moment.

"It just wasn't our night. There's really no way around it, it just wasn't our night. Any given Sunday any team can win.

"The Niners came out and they played better than us in all phases of the game, and that's really the moral of the story. There's no trying to find what happened, they just outplayed us."

Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Wolford returned from hospital to celebrate with his team-mates after they defeated the Seattle Seahawks 30-20 in the NFL playoffs on Saturday.

Wolford was in a neck brace when he was taken away from Lumen Field in an ambulance having been struck on the head by the shoulder of Seahawks safety Jamal Adams in the first quarter.

Asked for an update on the 25-year-old, Rams head coach Sean McVay told the media he had been released from hospital.

"He must be good because he was in the locker room smiling, looking good," said McVay.

"I think it was just a stinger, but he definitely seemed good. We wanted to be as cautious as we could with something like that. It looks like it's trending in a positive direction."

Wolford was selected to start the Wild Card game after completing 22 of 38 throws for 231 yards passing as the Rams clinched their playoff spot by defeating the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.

The fact starting quarterback Jared Goff underwent thumb surgery less than two weeks ago played a part in McVay's decision.

However, Goff came off the bench to replace Wolford and passed for 155 yards - the most by any player off the bench since Jay Fielder's 172 for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1999 Divisional Round.

He connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods, while Cam Akers had 176 scrimmage yards - the second-most by a rookie in his playoff debut - and Darious Williams scored a 42-yard interception return.

"For [Goff] to be able to throw the football is pretty impressive," McVay said.

"There were a couple limitations which led to the decision to go with John. I was real pleased with Jared, and I think it was a real credit to him to be able to handle this week the right way and have himself mentally ready to go."

Asked for his opinion on McVay's decision, Goff said: "It was tough. It was some long conversations we had, but ultimately, I respect his decision.

"He's the coach. He had to make a decision that he needed to make early in the week to get out in front of some stuff, and I get it, but as a competitor of course I wanted to play."

Goff suggested there was added motivation for the Rams after seeing the Seahawks celebrate clinching the NFC West division title by beating them 20-9 in Week 16.

"Two weeks ago, you saw them smoking cigars and getting all excited about beating us and winning the division, and we're able to come up here and beat them in their own place. It feels good," he said.

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