The Los Angeles Rams' Von Miller celebrates with the George Halas Trophy and teammates Sunday night after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Rams finally overcame the division rival San Francisco 49ers with a thrilling 20-17 win in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
The Rams, who had lost six straight games against the 49ers, rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to secure a berth in the Super Bowl for the second time in the past four seasons.
Matthew Stafford and the Rams will host the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in next month's Super Bowl, which will take place Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium. The Bengals defeated Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime earlier Sunday.
After 54 consecutive Super Bowls without an NFL team competing in its own venue, the Rams are the second franchise to do it in the past two seasons after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers broke that streak last year.
"You can't write the story any better," Stafford said. "I'm at a loss for words. I'm just having a blast playing ball with these guys and, shoot, we've got one more at the home stadium. Let's get it done."
After a scoreless opening quarter, the Rams took a 7-0 lead midway through the second frame when Stafford connected with star receiver Cooper Kupp for a 16-yard touchdown.
The Niners responded less than three minutes later and tied the game with Deebo Samuel's 44-yard receiving touchdown. The 49ers took a 10-7 lead into halftime after Robbie Gould booted a 38-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter.
San Francisco went ahead 17-7 late in the third quarter when superstar tight end George Kittle brought down a 16-yard touchdown for the 49ers, who were trying to reach their second Super Bowl in the last three seasons.
The Rams quickly answered with Kupp's second touchdown of the game, trimming their deficit to 17-14 with 13:30 remaining in the fourth. A pair of field goals by Matt Gay put Los Angeles in front with 1:46 to go.
The Rams' defense then clinched the victory when Aaron Donald grabbed 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and forced him to fling a short pass to running back JaMycal Hasty. The ball bounced off Hasty's hands and fell into the arms of Travin Howard for the interception.
After a few kneels by Stafford, the Rams were back in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2018-19 season, when they lost 13-3 to the New England Patriots.
"I've got total trust and confidence in that defense, man," Stafford said. "They've been unbelievable all year. Way to freakin' ice the game. I loved it."
Stafford finished with 337 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Rams. Kupp had 11 catches for 142 yards and two scores, while Odell Beckham Jr. ended with nine grabs for 113 yards.
Garoppolo was 16 of 30 passing for 232 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Samuel compiled 98 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, and Kittle had just two receptions for 27 yards and his receiving score.
The Rams' lone Super Bowl victory in franchise history came during the 1999-2000 season, when the team beat the Tennessee Titans.