2022 NFC Conference Championship Bet Preview

2022 NFC Conference Championship Bet Preview

Barry Devoe
1 year ago
3 min read
the 49ers Emmanuel Moseley (4) tries to evade Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) after Moseley picks off a pass in an NFL contest earlier this season

The NFC Championship Game is an all-NFC West affair, as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Los Angeles Rams for the third time this season. San Francisco has won the first two meetings between these teams but enters their final encounter of the season as 3.5-point underdogs. With both teams playing at such a high level coming into this matchup, either team could end up representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.

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San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have put forth two defensive masterpieces to get to the NFC Championship Game. They held the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers in check over the last two weeks, winning against both teams on the road to move to within one game of the Super Bowl. If the Niners want to make a second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons, they will need another defensive gem against the Rams.

In their last meeting during the regular season, the Niners fell behind 17-0 before coming back in the second half in Los Angeles. They came back to win the game behind a heroic defensive performance in the final two quarters of the game. But the Niners cannot afford such a slow start again in this matchup, as falling behind like that will likely cost them their chance at getting to the biggest stage in their sport.

Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional round to advance to the NFC Championship Game. They went ahead 27-3 in that contest before allowing Tom Brady and the Buccaneers to tie the game down the stretch. But a deep ball from Matt Stafford to Cooper Kupp put the Rams in range to kick the game-winning field goal as time expired to set up this NFC West rematch for the conference championship.

So far this postseason, Matthew Stafford has played at an elite level. He has completed 74.5% of his passes, throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions for a Rams team that hasn’t trailed in either of its postseason games. He will need to continue to avoid making mistakes if the Rams are going to get through the Niners and back to the Super Bowl once again under Sean McVay.

Keys To The Game

For the Niners, the biggest key to this game will be the play of Jimmy Garoppolo. Yes, the 49ers have won their two playoff games so far, but Garoppolo has been inconsistent as the Niners failed to score an offensive touchdown against the Packers. He will need to raise his level for the Niners to keep up with Stafford and the Rams’ offense.

On the Rams’ side, holding onto a lead will be the biggest key to the NFC Championship Game. The Rams blew a second half lead against the 49ers earlier this season and nearly blew their lead against the Buccaneers last week. Los Angeles must play four consistent quarters of football if they are going to avoid being upset at home by their division rivals from the Bay Area.

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