Matthew Stafford on Rams' Game-Winning Drive vs. Bucs: 'I Love Those Situations'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 24, 2022

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates with four seconds left during a NFL divisional playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)
AP Photo/Alex Menendez

Quarterback Matthew Stafford led the Los Angeles Rams on a last-minute game-winning drive to give his team a 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday.

Stafford, who completed 28-of-38 passes for 366 yards and two touchdowns, found No. 1 wideout Cooper Kupp for catches of 20 and 44 yards en route to Matt Gay's game-winning field goal with no time remaining.

Los Angeles Rams @RamsNFL

9️⃣ TO 1️⃣0️⃣ TO SET UP THE WIN! <a href="https://t.co/1hrjkOa4lQ">pic.twitter.com/1hrjkOa4lQ</a>

After the game, Stafford commented on the heart-stopping matchup, which saw the Rams blow a 27-3 lead only to win at the very end.

Bridget Condon @BridgetCondon_

"I love those situations. I hate the way we got to it tonight...but at the same time finding a way to win a football game is what it's all about."<br><br>Matthew Stafford says his heart was racing but they have a group of guys in that locker room that all believe in each other.

Bucs running back Leonard Fournette scored on a nine-yard run with 42 seconds left. After the PAT, the score was all tied up at 27, giving the Rams the ball with one timeout left.

Stafford and Kupp got the job done, though, spoiling the defending Super Bow champion's effort and stunning the Raymond James Stadium crowd.

Regarding the final drive and overcoming the Bucs' comeback attempts, Stafford said this:

Lindsey Thiry @LindseyThiry

"Steal somebody's soul," Matthew Stafford says about leading a game-winning drive. "You get to reach in there and take it from them. That's a whole lot of fun."

The Rams will now host the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

Stafford has made a habit of leading game-winning drives over the years, and his penchant for clutch play down the stretch helped get the Rams into the NFC title matchup.

Per Pro Football-Reference, his 42 career game-winning drives entering today were third among active quarterbacks, behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and the Bucs' Tom Brady.

The odds were clearly stacked against the Rams in this one, as Los Angeles had just one timeout to burn with 42 seconds left and needed a field goal to win the game.

Tampa sacked Stafford—who nearly fumbled—on the first play, but the quarterback hit Kupp twice for a total of 62 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.

Now Stafford is in the championship round for the first time in his 13-year career. He spent 12 years with the Detroit Lions, making the playoffs three times but never winning a game.

He's nearly matched that total with L.A. after two playoff wins this year.

A victory Sunday over the 49ers means that L.A. will play at home for the Super Bowl, which will go down at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13.