Matthew Stafford was brought in this offseason by the Los Angeles Rams to be a hero when it counted the most. The Los Angeles Rams blew a 27-3 lead against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay tied the game at 27 with 42 seconds remaining in regulation.
Stafford’s heroics came on a 1st-and-10 from their own 44-yard line and Matthew Stafford threw a 44-yard pass to Cooper Kupp with less than 28 seconds remaining in regulation. They had no timeouts and it has been one of the most reliable connections all year in the NFL. With five seconds remaining, Stafford spiked it and set up the game-winning Matt Gay 30-yard field goal as time expired for a 30-27 win for Los Angeles over Tampa Bay.
Matthew Stafford played great in this game. He completed 28-of-38 passes for 366 yards and two touchdowns. This offense had four turnovers and Stafford didn’t account for any of them. They fumbled four times.
Cooper Kupp was the Rams leading receiver with nine receptions for 183 yards receiving and a touchdown. He has been the best player not named Matthew Stafford on this offense all year long. Kupp is probably going to win the offensive player of the year award.
The Los Angeles Rams tried so hard to blow this football game. When they needed a play the most, Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp was right there for head coach Sean McVay. Stafford has won two consecutive playoff games and he is clutch.
This win for Los Angeles may have put Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady into retirement. There will be no back-to-back Super Bowl Champion this year. It hasn’t happened since 2003-2004 with the New England Patriots.
Had Jared Goff been the quarterback for the Rams on this day, the Los Angeles Rams would not have won this football game. For games like this, this is why the Los Angeles Rams went out and acquired quarterback Matthew Stafford this past offseason from the Detroit Lions. This narrative that Stafford can’t win the big game needs to be put to bed right now.
Matthew Stafford was brought in to get this franchise to win a Super Bowl. They’ve been to one in the last four years with Jared Goff but fell short.
The Los Angeles Rams (14-5) will host the San Francisco 49ers (12-7) in the NFC Championship next week. Los Angeles has lost their last six games against San Francisco. This game will be at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California. If the Rams win this football game, they will be at home for the Super Bowl and this will be the second consecutive season this feat has happened.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-5) season concludes and they will have a lot of questions to answer this offseason.
-Glenn Kaplan, 12oz Sports Contributor, Live Monday’s at 3 p.m. ET & Thursday at 11 a.m. ET on 12oz Sports
Photo Credit: Twitter @RamsNFL