INGLEWOOD CA — Sean McVay of Los Angeles Rams ran the length sideline in eagerness to celebrate with his players.
It was late in halftime of the regular season finale and tight end Tyler Higbee had just caught a touchdown pass from 15 yards to give the Rams a 17-0 lead over San Francisco 49ers.
McVay hit receiver Cooper Kupp’s helmet and then gave Higbee an enviable high-five, before an official ordered him to return to the sidelines.
McVay and McVay believed, possibly for a reason, that they were on the way to clinching NFC West. The Rams won the No. They were the 2 seed in the conference, defeating their division rival for first time in six attempts.
Jalen Ramsey, the cornerback, sat on the team benches alone, looking dejected, as a banner lit overhead, highlighting Rams’ new NFC West championship.
They lost to the 49ers again. This time, they were unable to hold a 17-point advantage to lose in overtime. A stronghold of red-clad fans celebrated the 49ers’ win and their wild-card playoff berth.
However, because the Seattle Seahawks (7-10) defeated the Arizona Cardinals (11-6), minutes prior, the 12-5 Rams won the division title.
McVay said, “In the moment right here, this is a difficult feeling.” His streak of 43 victories without losing when leading at halftime ended abruptly. “Our guys did a great job in being able navigate through the season while still winning the division. Although it’s a great accomplishment, I don’t think this is the right time to celebrate it.
Ramsey responded, “Nope,” cutting off a question regarding whether there was a silver-lining in the ending of the regular season finale.
The Rams need to regroup quickly. The No. They will be hosting the No. 5 Cardinals, who split the regular season series with each other — each team winning at home — in a wild card game next week on Monday Night Football.
Kupp stated that while it was not easy to win a division championship, the NFL’s “triple-crown” award for the league’s top receivers (145), receiving yards (1.947), and touchdown receptions (16) earned Kupp the “triple crown”. “The main focus is to get ready for next week. Watch the film, make changes, and then be ready to play with a very strong Cardinals team.
The Green Bay Packers was awarded the NFC’s top seed and a bye in the first round, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TBC) and Dallas Cowboys were the No. The No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively, were lost by the Rams. The Rams’ loss resulted in 3 and 2 seeds, respectively.
Matthew Stafford, Rams quarterback, took no comfort Sunday despite winning his first division title in 13 NFL season.
Stafford replied, “I guess it is nice.” “It’s a home playoff game. But I’d rather win the game.”
Stafford led the charge for the quick start. He commanded a fault-free first half, including completion of 15 of 16 passes at 153 yards and two touchdown passes from Higbee.
However, the offense, which only produced 14 rushing yards in halftime, started to stall at the end of the game.
Stafford finished 21 of 32 for 238 yards, three touchdown passes and two interceptions. It was his third consecutive game that he had multiple interceptions.
The Niners won Sunday’s game when cornerback Alby Thomas intercepted an offensive pass that was meant for Odell Bettham Jr.
Stafford admitted that he had “just left it short” in an offseason deal with the Rams. This was despite the fact that Stafford was believed to be the final piece necessary for them to win Super Bowl LVII at their home stadium on February 13.
Stafford was not helped by the ground game as the Rams ran only 64 yards behind Sony Michel (who made his season debut after sustaining a torn right Achilles tendon).
Defensively the Rams held Niners to 83 yards in first half. Safety Taylor Rapp intercepted his fourth passing of the season. Halftime saw the 49ers offense explode, with 449 yards in total, 135 on the ground.
Ramsey answered, “I don’t understand,” when Ramsey was asked how the 49ers managed to score 14 points unanswered in the third quarter to convert a 17-3 Rams halftime lead to a 17-17 tie. Ramsey said, “We weren’t aggressive enough, in our opinion, but it’s up to us to see the film to find out.”
Ramsey had three tackles and one interception. This stopped the 49ers from scoring a touchdown midway through quarter four. After leading 24-17, the Rams scored a touchdown pass from Stafford and Kupp of 4-yards. San Francisco was able to drive 88 yard without timeouts to score a winning touchdown with 26 seconds to go to force overtime.
McVay declared, “You’ve got the finish.” “Our men came out ready for action, but we had to play four or five quarters.
Ramsey expressed confidence that the Rams can move on in the postseason despite the loss.
When asked if they were still able to make a Super Bowl run, he replied “Fo sho”. “Correct the mistakes in the film, and then move on. Tomorrow. Or maybe in a bit. Although I’ll be fine when I see my daughter in a bit, right now, I’m pretty pissed.
Stafford was a repeat of his Pro Bowl cornerback.
He said, “The greatest thing about us is that we’re resilient bunch.” “We’ve been this way all year. Whether we’re playing at our home or on the road, things go our way. But when things don’t, we keep fighting. This is what it takes in order to win the playoffs. There’s no question.”