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Game Recap: Rams Super Bowl-bound after rallying to defeat 49ers 20-17

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Goodbye, six-game losing streak to an arch division rival. Hello, NFC Champions and the Super Bowl.

The Rams rallied to defeat the 49ers 20-17 on Sunday at SoFi Stadium to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LVI, where they will face the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, February 13 at 3:30 p.m. PT.

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Tied at 17 with 6:32 remaining, the Rams – helped by 25-yard completion from quarterback Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Cooper Kupp – mounted a go-ahead scoring drive capped off by a 30-yard field goal by kicker Matt Gay for a 20-17 lead with 1:46 remaining.

On the ensuing series, defensive lineman Aaron Donald pressured 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo into an errant pass that was tipped and intercepted by linebacker Travin Howard, which Howard returned six yards to the 49ers 13-yard line. From there, the Rams entered victory formation to run out the remaining 69 seconds and secure the victory.

Stafford completed 31 of 45 pass attempts for 337 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Kupp was on the receiving end of both of those touchdowns, also finishing with 11 catches for 142 yards. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. added nine catches for 113 yards.

Here is the complete game recap, presented by Audi:

The teams traded 3-and-outs on their respective opening possessions. The Rams' second possession reached the 49ers' 3-yard line, but Stafford's pass intended for Kupp was deflected, then intercepted in the endzone by 49ers safety Jimmie Ward.

The Rams eventually broke through with a 97-yard scoring drive ending with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Kupp for a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

However, the 49ers responded a little over two and a half minutes later with a 44-yard screen pass for a touchdown from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Deebo Samuel to tie the game 7-7.

The Rams were positioned to answer on the ensuing drive, but Gay's 54-yard field goal attempt missed short to the right. Following the change of possession, the 49ers added a 38-yard field goal from kicker Robbie Gould as time expired for a 10-7 halftime lead.

Los Angeles' third-down stop early in the third quarter helped gain some momentum, but it was halted at the San Francisco 43 after it unsuccessfully challenged that the ball was short of the line to gain on 4th and 1 from that spot. On the ensuing possession, the 49ers extended their lead to 17-7 on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo to tight end George Kittle with 1:59 left in the third quarter.

L.A. answered with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Kupp on the ensuing drive to reduce its deficit to three early in the fourth quarter.

A third-down stop at their own 45 gave the Rams another chance, despite unsuccessfully challenging 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk being down by contact. The unsuccessful challenges left the Rams without any timeouts or challenges with 10:01 left in the game. The 49ers appeared to be going for it on 4th and 2 from that spot, but wound up taking the delay of game penalty and punting.

Gay's 30-yard field goal gave the Rams a 20-17 lead with 1:46 to play. On the following series, Donald got to Garoppolo, and Howard corralled the tipped the tipped pass to clinch the victory.

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