NFC Championship Preview: 49ers vs. Rams
Who would have ever guessed that the NFC Championship wouldn’t feature either the Green Bay Packers or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Instead, it will feature the sixth seed San Francisco 49ers and the fourth seed Los Angeles Rams.
The two teams are set to meet for the third time this season, and the San Francisco 49ers have won the first two matchups. The Niners will be going for the three-game sweep of their division rivals.
The teams’ most recent meeting came back in Week 17 when the 49ers overcame a 17-point deficit to come back and win the game in overtime, 27-24. It is worth mentioning that the 49ers needed that win to even clinch a playoff spot. The 49ers won the first matchup at home, 31-10, back on Nov. 15.
Now, fast forward only three weeks, and the teams are set to meet again.
The 49ers are coming off an upset win in Lambeau Field over the top seed Green Bay Packers, 13-10, thanks to a strong performance by their defense and special teams unit.
A blocked punt for a touchdown was the only time the Niners got into the end zone, but that’s all they needed, as kicker Robbie Gould connected on a game-winning 45-yard field goal as time expired.
The one concern for the 49ers is the inconsistent play of their quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. So far in the playoffs, he has completed 27 of 44 passes for 303 yards and no touchdown passes.
But as long as their defense – which has only allowed 13.5 points per game in the playoffs – continues to perform at a high level, then the 49ers will most certainly be up for the task in Los Angeles.
On the other hand, the Rams are coming off a close win over the second seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams nearly allowed the Buccaneers to send the game to overtime, but quarterback Matt Stafford – who has been lights out in the playoffs – was able to connect with Cooper Kupp on a 44-yard bomb to set up a Matt Gay game-winning field goal.
The Rams offense as a whole has been performing well in the playoffs, as they are averaging 32 points per game over two games. Their defense also hasn’t been bad, averaging 19 points allowed per game.
For the Rams, they must limit the turnovers in this game, as turning the ball repeatedly against the Bucs nearly cost them a trip to the NFC Championship Game.
All in all, this should be an exciting game. The game will be played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. EST. It will be streamed on FOX and Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be on the call.
Christian Smith is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.