NFL: Rams roll on thanks to Stafford-Kupp connection

25 January 2022 00:09:29 GMTPlus10
Sean McVay was in awe of his Rams' stars

Head coach Sean McVay said quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp "did a great job" on the last-minute play that put the Los Angeles Rams in position to down the reigning Super Bowl- champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A 30-27 win saw theĀ 4/7 Rams advance past Tom Brady and co to set up an NFC Championship clash with the San Francisco 49ers, who areĀ 20/23 with +3.5 points on the Spread, next week.

Ripping up the script

The script for a classic Brady comeback win appeared to have been written when the 44-year-old brought the Bucs back from the brink in the fourth quarter.

Recovering from a 14-point deficit, the Bucaneers had tied the game at 27 with a nine-yard touchdown run on fourth and one from the Rams nine-yard line by running back Leonard Fournette.

(Stafford) was able to read my body language and put the ball in the right spot for us.

Cooper Kupp

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But the 46 seconds left on the clock were just enough for the Rams to get into range for the game-winning field goal.

Stafford read the Bucs' blitz before finding Kupp for a 44-yard completion, subsequently spiking the ball with four seconds left to set up kicker Matt Gay from 30 yards out.

Tried and tested combination

The route that Kupp ranged had been designed to help the other receivers find space, but Stafford sought out his most-reliable receiver.

"We call it 'love of the game route,' because you're really trying to just draw coverage, but (Stafford) was able to read my body language and put the ball in the right spot for us," Kupp said, via nfl.com.

"You're never really getting the ball," Stafford explained. "You're just clearing out some area, working for some other routes."

"It felt like that ball hung up for about 12 seconds," McVay said later. "But those guys did a great job."

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