Sean McVay Says Kyle Shanahan Isn't in His Head amid Rams' Losing Streak to 49ers

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 27, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 29: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers talks with head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams before their game at SoFi Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay downplayed the notion that San Francisco 49ers counterpart Kyle Shanahan is "in his head" ahead of the teams' meeting Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

McVay was asked about that in regards to his six-game losing streak against Shanahan and instead shifted the focus to his respect for the Niners' coaching staff.

He told reporters:

"No. What I do have is respect for these guys. They've done a great job. You look at it, you've got to play well in that three-and-a-half hour window that we're allotted. You look at the last time we played them—didn't finish the game. But this is a really good football team. We have a lot of respect for them, but we're competing and preparing to the best of our ability to see if we can advance. But this is a really good team. Kyle's an excellent coach. He's got great players, great coaches, good schemes, so that's why they're in the NFC Championship."

The Rams have only lost five games all season and two have come against the 49ers. The first was a 31-10 blowout on Monday Night Football in Week 10, and the second saw L.A. blow a 17-0 lead en route to an overtime loss in Week 18.

L.A. held the early edge by winning three of the first four meetings between the coaches in 2017 and 2018 before the tide shifted in San Francisco's favor starting in 2019.

The Rams can leave those recent struggles in the rivalry in the rearview mirror on Sunday. They opened the playoffs with a 34-11 win over the Arizona Cardinals and then overcame a late rally by the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 30-27 triumph.'

Meanwhile, the Niners are coming off a pair of one-score road wins, 23-17 over the Dallas Cowboys and 13-10 over the Green Bay Packers, as they prepare to visit SoFi Stadium.

Shanahan told reporters Monday he doesn't "think there are many secrets" left between the teams.

"There are not many things we can surprise them with, and the same with them with us," he said. "Which I think is kind of the most fun way. Two really good teams, a really good football game where you can't really trick each other. Got to go out and beat somebody."

The winner will advance to Super Bowl LVI to take on either the Kansas City Chiefs or Cincinnati Bengals out of the AFC.