The Los Angeles Rams are just one win away from their second Super Bowl appearance in four seasons.
However, standing in their way are the visiting San Francisco 49ers.
But unlike their previous Super Bowl run, Matthew Stafford is now under center.
Despite tallying impressive numbers for the Detroit Lions every season, the 33-year-old quarterback couldn’t get the team over the postseason hump.
In 12 seasons in the Motor City, he and the Lions lost three playoff games.
When Matthew Stafford played through a hurt shoulder to score a game-winning touchdown.
— NFL (@NFL) January 27, 2022
The Rams already have two wins this time, and Stafford is seeking more.
Rams Went All Out
The Rams front office went into “win now” mode when they traded for Stafford in exchange for Jared Goff and draft picks.
By getting their current starting quarterback, general manager Les Snead let go of first-round picks for 2022 and 2023.
Their third-round pick in the 2021 draft also went to the Lions.
After Goff got outplayed by Aaron Rodgers in last year’s Divisional Round, head coach Sean McVay could not care less about trading a player that just signed a contract extension.
Therefore, the Rams quickly went into action when Stafford expressed his interest to leave Detroit after 12 seasons.
McVay did not doubt that Stafford’s ability to throw the ball could help unlock their offense.
After all, he’s only one of nine quarterbacks with 5,000 passing yards in a single season.
He also had six straight seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards from 2012 to 2017.
Stafford returned the trust Snead and McVay gave him by having a stellar 2021 campaign.
He finished the regular season completing 67.2 percent of his passes for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns.
However, he’s just getting started because he elevated his game during the postseason.
Shaking Off Past Demons
Rams fans were expecting nightmares with Stafford leading the way for a playoff run.
They were worried he would carry over the struggles from Detroit to Los Angeles.
He changed the narrative when he did well during the team’s two postseason victories.
Stafford completed only 13 passes during Super Wild Card Weekend for 202 yards.
Still, those were enough to complete a dominating win over the Arizona Cardinals.
His legend grew when he went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady in the Divisional Round.
The Rams needed all of Stafford’s 366 passing yards to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-27.
9️⃣ TO 1️⃣0️⃣ TO SET UP THE WIN! pic.twitter.com/1hrjkOa4lQ
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 23, 2022
During that game, Stafford also threw two touchdowns and did not have any interceptions.
So Near Yet So Far
After toiling for so long with the Lions, Stafford is inching closer to play for a Super Bowl.
Having the chance to play for a world title on their home turf is like a Hollywood movie script.
But he must be at his best to defeat the 49ers for that reality to happen.
As good as his game was against the Buccaneers, he needs to be at his best during the NFC Championship.
Bringing the Rams to the Super Bowl would be an excellent achievement after all the disappointments he experienced in his career.
If he ends up winning the title, his football story gets a much-deserved positive spin.