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Rams defeat 49ers 20-17 to advance to Super Bowl LVI

The Rams are favored over the 49ers entering the NFC Championship Game in Los Angeles, but San Francisco's recent success in this matchup and a misleading home field advantage make this a tough game to call.

For the second year in a row, a team will host the Super Bowl at its home field.

The Rams will square off against the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI after defeating the 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship game.

Los Angeles had lost its last six contests to San Francisco. And the club was down 17-7 at the start of the fourth quarter.

But the Rams engineered a comeback, first scoring on an 11-yard touchdown from quarterback Matthew Stafford to receiver Cooper Kupp. Then kicker Matt Gay hit a 40-yard field goal with 6:49 left in the contest to tie the score at 17 apiece.

Needing to put a drive together to keep the Rams at bay, the 49ers went three-and-out. A delay of game penalty set up second-and-15. Then a pair of Jimmy Garoppolo incompletions induced a San Francisco punt.

Getting the ball back at their own 39, the Rams got into scoring position with a crucial third-and-3 completion from Stafford to Kupp that went 25 yards to the San Francisco 12-yard line.

But the Rams couldn’t get anything more, as Stafford got sacked on second-and-11 for a 7-yard loss.

Gay’s 30-yard field goal gave Los Angeles a 20-17 lead.

On the third play of the ensuing drive, defensive tackle Aaron Donald broke through the line and spun around Garoppolo. The quarterback got a pass away to running back JaMycal Hasty, but it went off his hands and into the arms of linebacker Travin Howard — sealing the game for Los Angeles.

Garoppolo finished the game 16-of-30 for 232 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. The 49ers were just 3-of-9 on third down and finished with 282 total yards.

Los Angeles had 396 total yards, finishing 11-of-18 on third down. Stafford was 31-of-45 for 337 yards with a pair of touchdowns and one pick.

Kupp led the team with 11 receptions for 142 yards with two touchdowns. Odell Beckham Jr. had nine catches for 113 yards.

The Rams will now play for a title for the second time in four years. The club lost Super Bowl LIII to the Patriots to end the 2018 season.