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Rams beat Buccaneers in NFL playoff classic

Matthew Stafford rolls to his left and connects with tight end Kendall Blanton for the Rams' first touchdown against the Buccaneers.

The Super Bowl will be in Los Angeles, and now the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC will go through Los Angeles.

The Rams defeated the Buccaneers today in Tampa Bay in an absolute classic of an NFL playoff game, and the Rams will host the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game next week.

For most of the day, the game was not close: The Rams kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 lead on their first drive, quickly extended the lead to 10-0, and were ahead 20-3 by halftime. By the time the score was 27-3 in the third quarter, there appeared to be little doubt the Rams were going to win.

But Tampa Bay made it interesting in the fourth quarter, with a series of improbable events somehow turning that 27-3 score into 27-27.

In the final moments, however, Matthew Stafford hit Cooper Kupp with a deep ball that set up a game-winning field goal, and the Rams won 30-27.

For the third time in three games this weekend, a last-second field goal was the difference. And this time it’s the Rams who are on the way to the NFC Championship Game.