The reigning Super Bowl champions will kick off the NFL season in Thursday night's primetime slot on September 8, as the Los Angeles Rams host this season's Super Bowl favourites, the Buffalo Bills.

There will be plenty of the Rams in this season's marquee timeslots as the full 2022-23 schedule was released on Thursday, including a Monday night fixture against the Green Bay Packers in week 15, and a Christmas Day game against Russell Wilson's Denver Broncos six days later.

The Broncos will not have to wait long for their first eyebrow-raising matchup, travelling to take on Wilson's former team, the Seattle Seahawks, in the first Monday night fixture of the season.

Week one's third primetime game sees Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading to 'Jerry World' to take on the Dallas Cowboys.

Patrick Mahomes – the man with the richest contract in the sport – will get his first primetime appearance of the season in week two's Thursday night showdown, as his Kansas City Chiefs host arguably Mahomes' only competition for best young quarterback, taking on Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers gets the Sunday night fixture in week two against the Packers' long-time rivals as the Chicago Bears come to town, and his week three matchup against Brady's Bucs will be must-see TV.

The Rams have the toughest strength-of-schedule based on their opponents' 2021-22 records (164-125, .567 winning percentage), while the Cowboys and the Washington Commanders are tied for the easiest schedule (133-155-1, .462 winning percentage).

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions will be the only team in NFL this season to not have a primetime game.

The complete week one schedule features:

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams (Thursday night)

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday afternoon)

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (Sunday late-afternoon)

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers 

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday night)

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (Monday night)

Super Bowl-winning quarterback Matthew Stafford has indicated his long-term future is with the Los Angeles Rams stating it is where he wants to "put some roots down".

Stafford recently agreed to a four-year extension with the Super Bowl champions, with the deal worth $160million according to ESPN.

The 34-year-old QB spent 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions where he never won a postseason game before joining the Rams last year.

Stafford led the Rams to the Super Bowl LVI title over the Cincinnati Bengals, with the new deal reward for that, yet he said there was never any doubt for him.

"I just had so much fun playing for this team this year, playing for this organisation, this coaching staff, and I wanted to make sure I was able to do this for a long time," Stafford told reporters.

"I obviously wanted to say thanks to the Rams for giving me that opportunity. It was a lot of hard work getting to this point.

"I'm just happy where we are and to know what the future looks like for me and for our team. It's an exciting thing as a player to kind of know where you are going to be and be able to put some roots down and really go try to make something really special for a while.

"I was just trying to find something that felt good for both sides where we are able to continue to add players and pieces around me.''

Stafford completed 404 of 601 passes at a 67.2 completion rate for 41 touchdowns last season with 17 interceptions.

The Rams have bolstered their ranks with the addition of free agent wide receiver Allen Robinson II from the Chicago Bears.

"I'm eager to get out there and get to work with him and see what it's like throwing to him," Stafford said.

Matthew Stafford has signed a four-year, $160million extension with the Los Angeles Rams as the Super Bowl champions aim to bolster their squad for a title defence.

Stafford, who played just three playoff games in 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, ended his first year in LA by leading the Rams to a 23-20 Super Bowl LVI win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Representing a significant upgrade on predecessor Jared Goff – who headed to Detroit as part of a trade that also saw the Lions receive two first-round picks – Stafford threw for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns in the 2021 regular season.

The team improved from ranking 13th in passing offense in 2020 (250.9 yards per game) to fifth in 2021 (273.1 yards).

The one-time first overall draft pick added 1,188 yards and nine touchdown passes in the Rams' successful playoff run, including three scores in the defeat of the Bengals.

Stafford's existing contract had been set to expire following the 2022 season, but the new deal added to the end of that is set to keep the quarterback in LA through 2026.

The extension guarantees Stafford $135m, according to reports, and was crucially secured before his $10m roster bonus was due on Sunday.

This should allow cap space for the Rams to further improve their roster in free agency, with another title tilt on the cards as both coach Sean McVay and superstar defender Aaron Donald appear set to return despite claims to the contrary.

The Rams have already signed Allen Robinson and Stafford will again be able to look to Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp in a fearsome offense.

Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson is joining reigning Super Bowl champions the Los Angeles Rams after agreeing to a three-year deal worth up to $46million.

The deal includes just over $30m in guaranteed money, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Robinson, 28, has long been considered one of the NFL's most underappreciated receivers, finding ways to produce with very little help from mediocre quarterback play.

Robinson has only seen more than 70 pass attempts thrown his way by two quarterbacks in his career – Blake Bortles (372 attempts) and Mitch Trubisky (300 attempts).

Now he gets a chance to prove himself with Matthew Stafford under centre, where instead of being the primary focus of the defensive game plan, he will start opposite the league's most productive receiver and reigning Offensive Player of the Year, Cooper Kupp.

Matthew Stafford deflected praise onto his Los Angeles Rams team-mates after leading them to Super Bowl LVI success.

Quarterback Stafford threw for 283 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 26-of-40 passing as the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

The Rams had to do it the hard way at SoFi Stadium, without Odell Beckham Jr. through injury for more than half of the game and trailing by four points inside the two-minute warning.

But Stafford and triple crown wide receiver Cooper Kupp combined for a decisive touchdown on a 15-play drive.

That was the longest go-ahead drive in terms of plays in a fourth quarter in Super Bowl history.

Stafford was asked how his work with Kupp came together, but he was eager to share the credit for the victory.

"That's hard work. That's hours together," he told CBS. "[Coach Sean McVay said], 'Matthew, you and Cooper are getting this done'. He kept calling plays for him, finding ways to get him the ball.

"He made unbelievable plays – that's what he does.

"I'm just so proud of this team, it's such a team victory. Our defense played outstanding, our special teams were big when we needed it, such a great game."

Reflecting on the game as a whole, the QB said: "I'm so proud of this team. There's so many guys on our team that deserve this, so many great players, guys that have just given their heart and soul to this team, guys that are either playing in this game or not – because of injuries or whatever it is.

"I'm just so proud of this group. That game today is the story of our season – it's up and down, it's tough, but we're a tough team, showed up late and got it done. I'm excited."

Stafford added of the secret to their success: "The way we pull for each other. We work together every single day and sharpen each other's skills.

"I get to go against that defense every single day – how can I not get better? I hope they feel the same way about us.

"We care for each other. That starts top down – Sean does an unbelievable job connecting us as players, leading the way. We follow his lead and we're here now."

Kupp, who became the second player to catch TD passes in four straight games in the same postseason, finishing with six scores in this year's playoffs, was named Super Bowl MVP.

As the celebrations started, he said: "I'm just proud of this team, the way we prepared, the way we loved all each other, trusted each other.

"I don't feel deserving of this. The guys were so good. I'm just so thankful of the guys I get to be around, the coaches, my family. I don't know what to say."

Kupp had eight catches on 10 targets for 92 yards and two TDs.

Cooper Kupp capped a dominant season with two Super Bowl LVI touchdowns to guide the short-handed Los Angeles Rams past the Cincinnati Bengals in LA.

The Rams were heavily reliant on Kupp at their SoFi Stadium home after Odell Beckham Jr. was ruled out with a first-half knee injury, joining tight end Tyler Higbee on the sideline.

But the triple crown wide receiver had just enough to inspire a 23-20 win and deny the Bengals their first championship – with a little help from Aaron Donald.

Before Beckham went down, the Rams' superstar receiving talent had a telling impact, as their second drive ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to the former Cleveland Brown.

The Bengals could only come up with a field goal in response – Evan McPherson's record-breaking 13th consecutive successful conversion in a single postseason – and Stafford soon found Kupp for a fifth TD in four playoff games.

But the remainder of the first half did not play out nearly so smoothly for the Rams, who were pegged back by a career-first Joe Mixon pass – to Tee Higgins for a TD – and then lost Beckham to injury before Jessie Bates III picked off a deep Stafford pass in the endzone.

The Rams still took a three-point lead into halftime, yet that was gone within 12 seconds of the third quarter when an apparent foul by Higgins on Jalen Ramsey was not spotted, allowing the receiver to run in a 75-yard score from Joe Burrow's pass.

Burrow was quickly back on the field, too, as a Stafford throw bounced off Ben Skowronek – promoted in place of Beckham – and into the arms of Chidobe Awuzie for a second interception. Aaron Donald's second sack limited the Bengals to a McPherson field goal.

The Rams were also forced to settle for a field goal after Kupp overthrew a pass to Stafford as they ran the Philly Special, although some heavy punishment dished out to Burrow limited the Bengals' effectiveness on offense, giving Stafford one last drive with a four-point deficit.

After numerous penalties in the red zone, Stafford finally picked out Kupp for another TD, setting the stage for Donald to stall Burrow's reply and spark home celebrations.

Burrow on brand with big plays and sacks

Burrow's 51 sacks in the regular season set a record for any QB to start that year's Super Bowl, but he was largely kept clean in the first half – albeit he did not throw a TD either.

The second half was much more like what we have come to expect from Burrow and the Bengals' offensive line, however.

The NFL leader in passing plays of 50 yards or more (12 in 2021) added another with his TD pass to Higgins, although the controversy around that play – Higgins' hand grasped at Ramsey's facemask – appeared to contribute to a determined Rams response on defense.

Donald soon had his first sack and Burrow took seven in all, tying Roger Staubach's Super Bowl X record.

Kupp comes up trumps as only option

The reason for backing the Rams pre-game over the Bengals was their wealth of options, as evidenced by Beckham's early TD after a drive in which Kupp carried the ball into Cincinnati territory.

But when Beckham was ruled out, with Higbee and Robert Woods (two of five remaining Rams from their Super Bowl LIII defeat) already sidelined, Stafford turned his focus to Kupp alone.

This year's premier wideout was the target of a game-high 10 pass attempts and reeled in eight of them – another high – for 92 yards and those two decisive TDs.

The Los Angeles Rams are relishing their opportunity to host the Super Bowl after seeing off the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

A 20-17 triumph over NFC West rivals the Niners means it is the Rams who will face the Cincinnati Bengals with NFL glory on the line at SoFi Stadium on February 13.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year became the first team to play in a Super Bowl at their home stadium and went one step further by winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy against the Kansas City Chiefs.

And the Rams now have an opportunity emulate the Bucs after reaching their second Super Bowl in the space of four years, with this one on home soil.

"To be able to play at home in this house that Stan Kroenke built, this iconic venue, is really unique," McVay said, per ESPN, after the win over the Niners. 

"A little bit easier travel schedule for us since we travelled all over the country during the course of the year.  Just so happy with this group and proud to be associated with it.

"We always talk about being totally and completely present, having a short memory for good and bad. Being able to hit that reset button. I thought our guys did that in a big way."

Matthew Stafford led a Rams comeback from 17-7 down. He completed 31 of 45 passes for 337 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Having gone 12 years without a postseason win as a member of the Detroit Lions, the quarterback now has three straight playoff victories and the chance to match the history made by Tom Brady if he wins a fourth.

"It's great that it's here," Stafford said about the home Super Bowl. "If we were playing in it, I didn't give a hell where it was. I'm like, I just want to play in the dang thing. 

"But the fact that it's under this roof, it's going to be awesome. 

"Our fans did an unbelievable job making it a tough environment. And it's nice to send some of those red jerseys home."

Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp caught both Stafford TD passes in a fine display that saw him make 11 catches for 142 yards.

Odell Beckham Jr (nine catches for 113) was another standout performer and like Stafford he will also play in his first Super Bowl.

"Everything about this place is right, and it's done right," Beckham, who joined in a mid-season trade from the Cleveland Browns, said. 

"It's just been an incredible opportunity that I feel like I'm just trying to make the most of. Here we are playing in the Super Bowl, one game away from our dreams. Just keep going."

McVay was effusive in his praise of Stafford after the game and Beckham was similarly complimentary.

"Everything that you could hope and wish for," Beckham said about Stafford.

"He had that look in his eyes the whole game. He motivated us, he pushed us, one play at a time, and he drove us down. 

"He's just been doing that all postseason, all season really, since I've been here, he's just had that look on him. Just happy that we could get him to this point.

"I know it was tough for Detroit for a lot of those years. He is having an amazing opportunity and is just gonna take full advantage of it."

The Rams have one Super Bowl title in franchise history, which came in 1999 when they represented the city of St Louis, and three NFL championships overall.

Cincinnati will be making their third appearance in the big dance and are seeking their first title.

Aaron Donald was hailed by his Los Angeles Rams teammates after they overcame a 10-point deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year gave an emotional speech on the sideline as the Rams trailed 17-7 in the NFC Championship Game.

Los Angeles subsequently rallied for a 20-17 victory that sent them to a second Super Bowl in the space of four years.

They lost to the New England Patriots to conclude the 2018 season and generational talent Donald remains without a ring.

Pass-rusher Von Miller, who tasted Super Bowl glory with the Denver Broncos in 2015 and joined the Rams in a mid-season trade, is desperate to get the team's inspirational figure over the hump.

With seven first-team All-Pro selections and eight Pro Bowl appearances to go with his three DPOY crowns, Miller believes defensive lineman Donald is on the brink of making it a complete career.

"It was great," Miller said to ESPN about Donald's message to the defense.

"He's been Aaron Donald - vocally, physically, emotionally. That's what leaders do. He's a great leader. 

"Like I said, a Super Bowl is all he needs. He could walk off into the sunset, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make that happen for him."

Donald pressured Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the decisive interception to linebacker Travin Howard that ensured the Rams would keep their three-point lead.

Matthew Stafford will be QB for the Rams in the Super Bowl this time around after Jared Goff played under center in that Patriots loss.

Stafford would have preferred to give the defense a seven-point lead to preserve at the end, but still had faith in a dominant unit.

"Wish we'd have put seven up there, it would have felt a whole lot better sitting on the sideline, but I've got so much trust in our defense, so much faith in those guys," he said.

"They went out there and did their thing and got the win.

"I'm so proud of this group. We've had high expectations all year, done nothing but everything in our power to try to meet those. 

"It's a terrific group we have in there. The game wasn't easy. It wasn't perfect in some spots, but we found a way to win and that's what it's all about. We've got some more work left to do."

Safety Eric Weddle had been retired for two years before making a comeback that will end with a fairy-tale Super Bowl appearance against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

"We were down and out," the veteran said. 

"AD rallied us. He asked us to give more. He said to let us be the reason we win this game. We knew what it meant to him."

And defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was also full of praise for Donald.

"That's what Aaron does," said. "He was vocal all week about what this game meant to him. 

"He calmed everybody down on the sideline and said to do right longer. There was no bigger moment [than the play on the interception]."

The Rams had lost their previous six meetings with the Niners but will now host Super Bowl LVI, looking for their first title since 1999, when they played in St. Louis.

The Los Angeles Rams would not be in the Super Bowl without two-touchdown NFC Championship Game hero Cooper Kupp, according to head coach Sean McVay.

The Rams edged the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 with quarterback Matthew Stafford finding Kupp for two touchdown passes.

Kupp had 11 receptions for 142 yards for the game, with his fourth-quarter TD helping them reel in a 10-point final-change deficit.

The 28-year-old led the NFL in the key receiver statistics with 145 receptions, 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. Kupp has 386 receiving yards this postseason, which is the third all-time most in playoffs history before the Super Bowl.

"He's just a special player," McVay said at the post-game news conference. "I talked about Matthew [Stafford], competitive greatness, Cooper was that today.

"Just big catch after big catch. He's competing in the run game. He does so many things.

"We'd have no chance of being here today without Cooper Kupp."

The victory means the Rams have reached the Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons under McVay, having been beaten by the New England Patriots three years ago.

Stafford completed 31 of 45 passing attempts for 337 yards with his two touchdown passes for Kupp.

The Rams traded in 33-year-old QB Stafford from the Detroit Lions in March last year, with the move paying off.

"We went out and got him because we thought it was a chance to get a great player of his magnitude," McVay said. "Those things don’t come around often.

"He's elevated everybody around him. He's made me a better coach. He's made his teammates better. He's such a great person.

"He's a great competitor. We've seen that all season but it's really been on display this last couple of weeks. We talk about competitive greatness, he embodied that today."

Stafford endured years of under-achievement with the Lions, with only three postseason games which were all defeats, and was delighted to reach a Super Bowl for the first time in his 13-year career.

"I don’t know that I ever thought about what I'd be feeling at this moment," Stafford said. "I probably just sat there and wished I'd be in those games.

"I'm so happy that I've got that opportunity and we've got an opportunity to be in another one that I've always wanted to play in."

He added: "Long time coming, you know. [I] Spent a lot of years in this league, I've loved every minute of it. I feel blessed to be able to play in this league as long as I have. It's an opportunity."

The Los Angeles Rams rallied from a 10-point three-quarter time deficit to clinch a spot in Super Bowl LVI with a 20-17 NFC Championship Game victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

The Rams will face the Cincinnati Bengals at their home, SoFi Stadium, on Sunday February 13.

Matthew Stafford completed 31 of 45 attempts for 337 yards, combining with Cooper Kupp for two crucial touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter alongside two Matt Gay field goals to overturn the deficit.

Gay put the Rams ahead from 30 yards with 1:46 left, before Aaron Donald pressured Jimmy Garoppolo into an interception for Travin Howard to practically end the game with 1:09 remaining.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr was excellent for the Rams too, with nine catches for 113 yards.

After a scoreless first quarter Stafford found Kupp, who starred with 11 catches for 142 yards, in the corner for the opening TD. But 49ers running back Deebo Samuel, who had seven carries for 76 yards and four receptions for 72 yards, levelled it up with a remarkable catch and run before Robbie Gould's field goal earned them a 10-7 half-time lead.

The 49ers moved 10 points clear when Garoppolo, who made 16 of 30 passes for 232 yards, threw another TD pass in the third quarter for George Kittle, but the Rams would rally with Stafford finding Kupp early in the fourth to narrow the gap.

Jaquiski Tartt inexplicably dropped a routine pick, allowing the Rams to drive forward for Gay to score from 40 yards. Five minutes later he did it again, before the Rams defense clinched the win.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford insists his teammates do not have a mental block when it comes to beating the San Francisco 49ers.

The two teams will do battle on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, with the winners to face either the Kansas City Chiefs or Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl.

Stafford, who had never previously won a playoff game in the NFL, has led the Rams to victories over the Arizona Cardinals and defending champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reach this stage.

The Rams finished ahead of the Cardinals and the 49ers to win the NFC West this season and go into the game at SoFi Stadium – which will also host the Super Bowl - as narrow favourites.

But that status comes despite the Rams having struggled against their divisional rivals in recent seasons. The Niners have won the last six meetings, including both of the regular season clashes in 2021.

In Week 18, the Rams led 17-0 before the Niners stormed back to win 27-24 in overtime and book their place in the playoffs as a wildcard team.

Stafford has only played in the two most recent games in the six-game streak but was asked if his teammates had a mental block against San Francisco.

"No, we just have got to go out there and play good football," he said.

"We had our chances last time we played them to win the game, whether it was a four-minute situation for us on offense, a two-minute situation on defense and we still had a shot in overtime as well. 

"It's a really good football team. It's two really good football teams going after each other, seen each other twice this year, we’re going to see each other for a third time. 

"Not a bunch of secrets. Just who can step up to the plate and make the plays when we need to make them."

Stafford has found the build-up to the NFC Championship Game more normal than for the Rams' previous two postseason clashes.

"Obviously excited about the opportunity, but going about it kind of as a normal week - it’s the first normal week we've had in a little bit," said the former Detroit Lions QB.

"We played the first playoff game on a Monday and the second one on a short week, so this one just feels like a normal week during the season.

"Obviously a lot at stake. We know that we’re playing a really good opponent that's playing as good a football as anybody in the NFL right now. So it'll be a big challenge for us."

Rams head coach Sean McVay was this week forced to deny Niners boss Kyle Shanahan – who worked with him in Washington - was in his head.

"No," insisted McVay. "What I do have is respect for these guys. They've done a great job. 

"You look at it, you got to play well in that three-and-a-half-hour window that we're allotted. You look at the last time that we played them, we didn't finish the game. 

"This is a really good football team. We have a lot of respect for them. We're competing and preparing to the best of our ability to go out and see if we can advance. 

"But this is a really good team. Kyle is an excellent coach. They have great players, great coaches, good schemes. It's why they're in the NFC Championship."

Shanahan, meanwhile, felt McVay should not have been asked the question.

Asked if he enjoyed the narrative, the Niners coach replied: "Not really. I think that's kind of silly. A question like that is giving Sean and myself way too much credit.

"We're coaches. Watch what's going on out on that field and some of the players out there and the people that are competing.

"To think that it's about Sean and I... I know that he doesn't feel that way and he knows that I don't feel that way.

"The entertainment of this business is cool and stuff, because it brings a lot of fans and makes a lot of money for everybody, but I think that's pretty ridiculous. I don't give coaches that much credit."

Getting wide receiver Cooper Kupp involved is likely to be key for the Rams after he became the first player to win the NFL receiving triple crown since 2005 this season. 

He followed that achievement by putting up 183 receiving yards against Tampa Bay, which was second-most in a playoff game in Rams history behind Tom Fears in the 1950 Divisional Round (198). 

Per Stats Perform data, the Rams have never lost a game, regular or postseason, when Kupp has at least 125 receiving yards (9-0).

Matthew Stafford revelled in "stealing somebody's soul" after he helped the Los Angeles Rams end the Tamp Bay Buccaneers' playoff hopes.

The Rams prevailed 30-27 over last season's Super Bowl champions on Sunday to reach the NFC Championship game, which will be a matchup between two underdogs after the San Francisco 49ers' win over the Green Bay Packers.

Yet it could very well have gone badly wrong for Los Angeles, who had led 27-3 until a Tom Brady-inspired comeback from the Bucs in the final quarter.

Brady connected with Mike Evans for a 55-yard touchdown pass, with the possibility of a turnaround that would rank as the joint-fourth largest in postseason history coming into view.

Evans' score made the game 27-20 and another Rams mistake allowed the Bucs to level the scores through Leonard Fournette.

Yet Stafford had other ideas, with the 33-year-old – who joined from the Detroit Lions ahead of this season – combining with wide receiver Cooper Kupp to set up a Matt Gray field goal.

"In my mind, I live for those kinds of moments," said Stafford, who has now made 43 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. That is the most of any player since the QB first featured in the NFL in 2009.

"I would have loved to have been taking a knee up three scores, but it's a whole lot more fun when you've got to make a play like that to win the game and just steal somebody's soul.

"That's what it feels like sometimes where they're sitting there going, 'Man, we just had this great comeback.' And you get to reach in there and take it from them. That's a whole lot of fun."

Stafford threw for 366 yards against Tampa Bay, a high mark for the season, besting his previous high of 365 set against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5 and bringing up the third-highest yardage in a single postseason game in Rams history.

He also threw for two touchdowns, rushed another and registered a pass completion rate of 73.7 per cent, finding his target with 28 of 38 attempts.

One of those touchdown passes was a 70-yard combination with Kupp, who led the way in the regular season for receiving yards (1,947), receiving touchdowns (16) and receptions (145).

However, Kupp was not happy with how the Rams' offense performed in the midst of Tampa Bay’s fightback.

"As an offense, we first and foremost did a terrible job of executing for this team in the second half," Kupp said.

"We can't do the things that we did. Put our defense, our team in a really bad spot."

Yet head coach Sean McVay was happy to reflect on a thrilling win, saying: "That's why you play four quarters and try to finish that game out.

"That was something else. That was something else.

"Those guys did a great job. I thought Matthew Stafford was unbelievable throughout the whole day. Just his poise, his command, his decision-making."

Matthew Stafford is convinced the Los Angeles Rams will have to put up big points to stand any chance of knocking Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the playoffs.

Sunday's Divisional Round game at Raymond James Stadium will be the third NFL postseason meeting between the Rams and Buccaneers.

The Rams have won the previous two as the teams combined for just 26 points in those games (9-0 Rams in 1989 NFC Championship, 11-6 Rams in 1999 NFC Championship). 

But Stafford, whose side cruised past the Arizona Cardinals in a 34-11 win last week, expects a high-scoring affair this time around.

Their Week 3 matchup this season did see plenty of scoring, and the Rams won 34-24, but Brady is a formidable opponent in the playoffs.

"The biggest thing about going against a guy like Tom is just knowing his consistency and his ability to get his team in the end zone," said Stafford.

"He's done a great job throughout his career, both in New England and in Tampa of scoring points and doing it kind of every which way.

"Whether they're going to run it, throw it, throw it deep, throw underneath – whatever it is, he always has a great game plan to go out there and execute at a high level. 

"So as an offense, we know we need to do the same. We have packed a great defense. Those guys are unbelievable players and dominated the game for us on Monday. 

"But at the same time, as an offense, you know you're going to have to go out there and score points, and enough to compete with the team that's led by Tom. It's a challenge.

"He's shown year in and year out how capable he is at doing that, especially this time of year. So it's a fun, exciting opportunity. We are playing the whole team, but he [Brady] is definitely a big part of it."

The win over the Cardinals was Stafford's first career postseason victory, meaning the Bucs clash will be his first taste of action in the Divisional Round. He only had to throw a season-low 17 pass attempts last week.

"That was just flow the game and nobody's ever talking about that number," he said. "We know we want to be balanced, like we always are. 

"We are just trying to go out there and feel the flow of the game, I think it's a credit to our guys up front, moving those guys in creating rush lanes, our guys did a great job around the football. 

"And then our defense was doing such a good job of giving us a short field. There's so many times where we had the ball with great field position, and those don't sometimes equate to long drives.

"Less plays, less opportunities to throw the football, but I take it as a positive. 

"I love throwing the ball, no doubt, but I love it when I hand it off, and our guys are getting 10 to 12 yards a pop. At this point I'll take [the yards] any way I can get them!

"This is a great opportunity. We've earned these opportunities as a team. I've loved being a part of this team. So I'm hoping that we continue to earn more opportunities. That's the goal at this point.

"Find ways to win games no matter what it looks like – hopefully, it looks great, like it did on Monday night, but sometimes games shakeout all different, you've got to find ways to win them."

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is thrilled that quarterback Matthew Stafford will no longer have to face questions about never winning a game in the NFL playoffs.

NFC West rivals the Arizona Cardinals were convincingly swatted aside by the Rams in the Wild Card round on Monday, the hosts triumphing 34-11.

The Rams will now move on to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a huge Divisional Round game with a place in the NFC Championship up for grabs.

Stafford had only previously reached the playoffs three times in 12 years with the Detroit Lions before his trade to LA ahead of the 2021 campaign and had been winless in each of those postseason appearances.

"I thought he did a great job leading the way," McVay said, per ESPN, after Stafford threw touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp.

"He's still the same great player to me, and he always was before this game.

"So I think it's good so you guys don't have to talk about [him not having a playoff win] anymore. So he can get that one out of the way. 

"I am really proud of him. Just so lucky to be able to do this with him. He's our leader. We wouldn't be here without him."

Stafford only had to throw a season-low 17 pass attempts, but he was impressive in completing 13 of them, with three of his four incompletions being dropped passes.

The Rams' defense played a big part in the win too. The Cardinals were 21-0 behind before they were even able to record a first down, while cornerback David Long had a three-yard pick six on Kyler Murray, the shortest in playoff history.

"I'm just excited for our team to get the win," said Stafford. 

"What a team effort. Our defense played outstanding, special teams basically set up a score with [punter] Johnny [Hekker] pinning them down there, we did a great job on field goals. 

"And we were good enough on offense to score some points and come away with the win. Just happy to be moving on."

The Rams must now beat the defending NFL champions on the road to progress further in a postseason schedule which will culminate with the Super Bowl being hosted at their own SoFi Stadium.

LA were one of only three teams who beat the Bucs in the regular season but Stafford is under no illusions over the size of the task facing them.

He added: "It is a huge challenge. Obviously, a fantastic quarterback, great defense, a really good football team.

"I think their team is different than when we played them last [in Week 3], and I think we are, too, both [in] personnel and scheme a little bit. You always evolve throughout the season. 

"So it'll be interesting to see what they look like here as of late, and we'll go out there, attack and see what happens."

Matthew Stafford celebrated the end of his long wait for an NFL playoff win as the Los Angeles Rams sealed a stress-free victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday.

The quarterback produced an immaculate performance as the Rams won 34-11 at SoFi Stadium, the venue for this year's Super Bowl, in the first match to be played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Stafford was 0-3 in playoff games over 12 years with the Detroit Lions but threw touchdown passes for Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp while running for another to ensure there would be no disappointment this time.

His reward is a showdown with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida next Sunday in the divisional round. The Rams were one of just three teams to beat the reigning champions in the regular season – a 34-24 win back in Week 3.

A 52-yard drive in the first quarter ended with Stafford finding OBJ with a four-yard pass for the opening TD of the game, the latter's first in the postseason.

It marked what would prove to be a display of efficiency from Stafford, who threw 13 of 17 passes – his lowest of the season – for 202 yards but did not commit a single turnover.

Von Miller – playing in his first postseason game since being MVP of Super Bowl 50 – sacked Kyler Murray as the Cardinals failed to respond, and in the first drive of the second quarter, Stafford found Beckham again for a 31-yard gain that led to his chance to run in touchdown number two.

Things went from bad to worse for the Cardinals as a Rams punt ended on the Arizona 1, and Murray thought he finally had a first down when he threw to AJ Green, but Nick Scott tackled the ball away from him to what was eventually called an incomplete pass. On the next play, Murray was panicked into rushing his throw from his own endzone, leading to a pick six as David Long intercepted and ran in for the TD.

It took until more than halfway through the second quarter for the Cardinals to get a first down as they fell 21-0 behind at halftime, and they were not back on the scoreboard until a little over four minutes remained in the third quarter.

Having surrendered a 17-0 lead over the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Rams were determined to avoid a repeat, Beckham making NFL history as the first player in the postseason to finish with 30-yard receptions and completions in the same game.

Stafford's seven-yard pass let Kupp, who finished with a team-high five catches for 61 yards, quell any fears of a late Arizona response.

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