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For the second time in history, the Super Bowl will be played at the home of one of the finalists, after Los Angeles Rams achieved a 20-17 victory over San Francisco 49ers in the Final of the National Conference and obtained the pass to the last date, where they will face the Cincinnati Bengals.

The SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, gave a very similar sample of what the atmosphere of the Super Bowl LVI next February 13 during the meeting between Rams and 49ers, with an atmosphere tinged with shouts, drama and emotions that, in the end, served to send the rams to their second final of NFL in the last three years.

The main factor in the victory of the Rams it was the defense, which continued the positive inertia of the postseason in which the Arizona Cardinals’ offenses (in wildcard) and also that of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (in the Divisional Round) had already broken. Now, they did not stop biting Jimmy Garoppolo and company.

The game began close to the point that before the end of the first half the score remained 7-7, until a field goal by the 49ers put them ahead before going to rest.

Already during the third quarter, the 49ers managed to go ahead 17-10, before a crowd that made them feel at home, with a large band of fans dressed in red at the Rams’ home.

The quarterback of San Francisco, Garoppolo, continued to leave doubts regarding the inconsistency of his performance, because although he managed two touchdown passes and 232 yards, he suffered an interception and many other times, especially in the second quarter, he was about to lose the ball at the hands of the solid rival defense.

It should be remembered that, during the regular season, the Rams they were the third team with the most sacks with a total of 50, behind only the Vikings (51) and Steelers (55). Elements like Aaron Donald, Von Miller, A’Shawn Robinson and Troy Reeder demonstrated the complexity of beating them, as Tom Brady himself confirmed a week before.

With that tenacity in defense, the Rams managed to score 13 points in the fourth quarter to regain the lead 20-17, thanks also to a 30-yard field goal by Matt Gay, which was preceded by an interception by Aaron Donald with a minute to go. and 10 seconds into a third down possession by Garoppolo and San Francisco.

The history of Rams has taken on a new dimension in NFL since the arrival of their head coach, Sean McVay, who at 33 years old took them to play the Super Bowl of the 2018-19 season and set the mark as the youngest head coach to reach that instance (although he lost to New England Patriots). Now he could tie Mike Tomlin as the youngest to win it, being 36 going into the next game against the Bengals.

The Rams they have three NFL titles but only one by way of Super Bowl, which they achieved in 1999 when they beat the Titans (23-16) and still playing in the city of St. Louis, before returning to Los Angeles in 2016.

On offense, they’ve also been bolstered by the blossoming of their quarterback, Matthew Stafford, who is no longer a rookie like Super Bowl rival Joe Burrow (in just his second NFL season). Stafford spent 12 years defending the Detroit Lions and never managed to win a single playoff game, but in 2021 he replaced Jared Goff and has sent the Rams back to a Super Bowl. Other figures on offense include receivers Cooper Kupp, Cam Akers and Odell Bekcham Jr.

The joy of the fans at home could be a factor in favor of the Rams as happened last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hosting the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs. Never before had a team played for the title of the NFL in their stadium and now this has happened for two consecutive seasons.

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www.eleconomista.com.mx

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