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3 Down, 1 To Go…Super Bowl Awaits Rams…In Their House


(East Los Angeles, CA) February 7, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: At last week’s NFC  Championship Game, and from the Rams, press box high atop SoFi Stadium, a large swath of Gold rally towels could be seen everywhere. And, to fairly contrast the fans support, in a game of this magnitude, there was almost a nearly equal scenario of red, but nothing written, printed, or emblazoned on them that could match what the Rams had..CHAMPS!! Nonetheless, they were present and accounted for in a very noticeable number.


The sold-out SoFi Stadium was ready to provide both Rams (14-5) and 49ers (12-7) fans the best “Live” game environment that anyone could find in the NFL. And so the stage was set for millions of pro football fans to watch and cheer on their preferred team in this highly-anticipated showdown between theses two major and accomplished sports franchises. Now to the game we go.


[Pre-Game]: The unfurling of the Stars & Stripes was used as the gigantic visual background for the singing of our National Anthem by multi-platinum R&B artist, Brandy. In a stunning sight, SoFi Stadium’s field, was once again covered in its entirety by our nation’s flag. On this occasion, it was held and unfurled by Rams’ season ticket members. Legend, James “Shack” Harris, the first African-American QB to start a season opener (with the Buffalo Bills) and start (and win) a playoff game (with the Los Angeles Rams), served as a coin toss captain.


(Photo Gallery): Erik Sarni, East L.A. Sports Scene Productions



[Game Summary]: {1st Qtr): The 49ers won the coin toss and deferred to kick-off. In comparing the period to a 10 round heavyweight title bout, Round 1 was clearly won by the Rams due to their (9:45) seconds of possession, while the 49ers could only manage to have it for (5:15). Both teams were merely feeling each other out. The Rams compiled 5 first downs, (2) by rushing and (3) by passing. The 49ers were held to just (2), by way of their run game, and none by passing in those same categories. There was no scoring.


{2nd Qtr} Both teams scored. First the Rams, after a long, 18 play/97 yard drive, in which consumed some (6:00) minutes in length, Coach McVay called for a basic targeting of “Super” Cooper Kupp, who ran an excellent route, then alertly found the perfect 16 yard TD pass thrown by Matt Stafford from the shotgun formation. The Matt Gay PAT was good and the score was Rams (7), 49ers (0). It came at the (8:50) mark.


The 49ers finally got onto the scoreboard at the (6:19) minute mark when #19/Deebo Samuel scored on a 44 yard catch and run. The Robbie Gould PAT was good to tie the score at (7-7). After a few more possessions, and with time winding down in the period, the 49ers were able to muster a 38 yard field goal with only (00:02) seconds left in the half. The 49ers took their first lead of the game on that play, making the score 49ers (10),  Rams (7). Again, the Rams led their opponent with (10:04) seconds in time of possession.


(HALFTIME  SCORE): San Francisco 10   Los Angeles 7


{3rd Qtr} Both teams battled back and for the with no apparent dominance by either. Defense was king for most of the period. But with (7:53) left, the 49ers made strides in getting into the “Red-Zone” scoring area when at the (2:04) mark, and after showing a nice blend of run-pass plays, Garopollo found his tight end #85/George Kittle for a 16 yard TD pass. Gould came on to score the PAT, moving the score to (17-7). For the period, the 49ers were huge winners in the time of possession margin showing (10:05) minutes to the Rams (4:55).


{4th Qtr} The Rams were in possession to start the final period, and Stafford was finding his targets while generating enough ground game to stay focused on cutting the scoring gap from ten to three points. After a catch by #86/Kendall Blanton to the 11 yard line, and a run for no-gain by #25/Sony Michel, the Rams were ready to score. On the next play, Stafford found his favorite target, #10/Cooper Kupp open in the end zone for the TD grab. Gay’s PAT was good. The Score now read 49ers 17, Rams 14.


The Rams started a new drive at the (9:53) mark, and with Stafford using a blend of run-pass plays for positive yardage, he moved his team steadily and confidently downfield with key plays turned in by Kupp, Beckham, Jr., and Michel. Then, with (6:53) left in the game, the Rams tied the game at (17-17) with a 40 yard field goal by Gay.


SoFi Stadium was now strongly energized at this point in the game as it was “nitty -gritty” time. Rams fans were “fired-up and ready-to-go” onward to victory as they screamed and passionately energized their Rams to get the ball back. Their cheers and prayers were answered as the defense held the 49ers to a timely “3 and out” at the (6:25) mark.


Not a Rams fan was sitting as they began a badly needed scoring drive to re-take the lead as the clock was winding down to its end. Stafford took them from their own 39 yard line down to the 49ers 12 yard line and after the two-minute warning ran a couple of plays keeping them within field goal range for Gay. And after a time-out with (1:55) left, Gay put his foot into the ball and scored on a 30 yarder, giving the Rams a (20-17) lead with still enough time left for the defense to come back out onto the field to stop the 49ers and get the ball back, should that have been necessary.


The 49ers line of scrimmage after the kick-off was their 25 yard line, and after an Aaron Donald sideline urgent, but emotional “pep” talk to his defensive unit, the result could not have portended a better result. From the 49ers (22) yard line on 3rd and 13, the Rams “Front Flex-4” worked their pressuring magic on Garoppolo and forced him into an unexpected “hurry” by Donald, resulting in Garopplo’s scramble left, as he was unable to completely evade him. The grab by Aaron Donald, shook him off balance and stalled him long enough for #91/Greg Gaines to provide even more pressure. In Garoppolo’s frantic attempt to pass it high and forward to his running back, JaMycal Hasty, it was batted away and ultimately into the waiting arms of #32/Travis Howard. He was credited with the interception and took it down to  the 49ers (13) yard line. From our perspective, this will go down as the definitive Play of The Game”/”POTG.


Needless to say, the team’s and the fans’ celebration began after that “big” play happened and SoFi began to shake, rattle, and roll with emotions that were “Off-the-Richter Scale.” These loud, proud, and triumphant thrills of victory sounds filled the Rams House with resonating and reverberating vibrations!!


With that said, the Rams stayed in a high celebratory mode as there were just (1:09) seconds left in the game. The Rams ran out the clock on three “Victory Formation” snaps ending the game. Now it’s Onwards and Upwards to Super Bowl LVI!!


(NextUp): Cincinnati Bengals/Super Bowl LVI, Sunday, 2/13 @ SoFi Stadium; Kick-off 3:30 PM| PT; [To Watch]:  NBC, Ch. 4 (Local); NFL World Feed; [To Listen]: ESPN 710 AM; 93.1 JACK FM; Westwood One/National Radio); Tu Liga, KFWB 980 AM (Spanish).



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