The star quarterback, in his first season with the Rams, made huge play after huge play against the resolute Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. But none bigger than his pass to wide receiver Cooper Kupp in their final drive, which allowed them to get into field goal range and get the win, 30-27.
But that almost didn't happen. In the Rams' first snap during their final drive, Stafford was sacked and almost fumbled the ball. With the mounting pressure, the former Comeback Player of the Year admitted he wanted to take over. But it didn't bode well—initially, at least (via ESPN).
“The first-down play, I don't know. I was thinking I was going to run it. That was a poor idea.”
Luckily for the Rams, Stafford immediately dusted off the blunder, which eventually led to his 44-yard connection with Kupp. Kicker Matt Gay then converted on a 30-yard punt to finish off the Buccaneers and earn the ticket to the NFC Championship Game.
Stafford added that he and Kupp even had to improvise for their critical completion.
“The route that Cooper's running there, you're really never getting the ball. You're just clearing out some area, working for some other routes. They decided to bring everybody and that's really the best option at that point. Felt it after the snap, kind of recognized it was going to be an all-out pressure and was able to put it to a good spot. Coop made a great catch, and then we just clocked it with enough time and Matt (Gay) came in and did his thing, which was awesome.”
The Rams will face off with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.