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#pounditFriday, May 20, 2022

Matthew Stafford brushes aside doubters with clutch play in playoff win

Matthew Stafford in a practice shirt

The Los Angeles Rams did nearly everything in their power to give away Sunday’s playoff game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they came through in the end. They can credit Matthew Stafford and his clutch play at the end of the game for helping them advance.

The Rams led 27-3 midway through the third quarter. Then they fumbled three times, went 3-and-out twice, and missed a field goal by kicking it short. They allowed the Bucs to tie the game 27-27 with 42 seconds left.

But Stafford and Cooper Kupp made sure that the collapse didn’t even matter.

Rather than play for overtime, Stafford continued to pass in the final 40 seconds. He threw to Kupp twice, including a 44-yard bomb deep to the middle of the field to set up the winning field goal.

The story of the game could have been the Rams collapsing in pathetic fashion. Instead, the story turned into Stafford coming through with a 30-27 win.

Entering the postseason, some in the media made a big deal about Stafford’s career 0-3 record in the postseason with Detroit. He not only erased that narrative with a win over the Arizona Cardinals in the Wild Card game, but he obliterated it with his clutch throws late against the Bucs.

Stafford finished 28/38 for 366 yards, two touchdown passes, and one touchdown run. His Rams will be hosting the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, and they have a special ticket policy in place.

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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