On the heels of an epic Divisional Round, it was a memorable Conference Championship weekend in the 2022 NFL Playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals pulled off the largest road comeback in Conference Championship history with a stunning 27-24 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Los Angeles Rams overcame a 17-7 4th quarter deficit to finally vanquish the San Francisco 49ers in a 20-17 victory.
Cincinnati’s previous two Super Bowl trips saw them lose to the San Francisco 49ers. This time they play another NFC West team in the quest for a famous first Lombardi Trophy, and unlike those Bengals teams of the 1980s, no one outside of the Bengals organization and its fans could’ve forecast a deep postseason run.
The great thing about those two games was that they were close and competitive and produced dramatic results. And because Sunday had so much action, you’re getting a double dose of Enemy Reaction this week! We will start with the NFC Championship Game, as it’s the one that I immediately started doing first, and you probably can’t wait for the latest Niners Nation meltdown.
Here we go! Rams comments courtesy of Turf Show Times.
Matthew Stafford picked off by Jimmie Ward (0-0)
Cooper Kupp opens the scoring (7-0 LAR)
Deebo Samuel races to the end zone on screen pass (7-7)
4th and inches sneak is stuffed by the 49ers, Sean McVay wastes challenge (10-7 SF)
George Kittle extends the 49ers’ lead (17-7 SF)
Cooper Kupp pulls the Rams back in it (17-14 SF)
Rams unsuccessfully challenge obvious non-fumble, 49ers punt anyway
Jaquiski Tartt drops the easiest interception of his career (17-14 SF)
Jaquiski Tartt drops a dime from Matthew Stafford— PFF (@PFF) January 31, 2022
On the next play, Odell Beckham Jr gets wide open and then takes a dirty hit (17-14 SF)
Before the final drive...
The Flip (20-17 LAR Final)
Post-Game: Bring me the head of Kyle Shanahan (Unca_Chuck, Niners Forever)
Fuck this. This one hurt. Kyle Shanahan has never seen a 4th quarter lead he can’t blow. It defies logic that Shanahan runs up the middle when there are 8 guys against our 5 on 2nd and 1. Since it didn’t work on 2nd down, or most off the whole fucking game, let’s try it again!!! Fuck me sideways. Fucking McVay had done it earlier himself, so it baffles me to no end that this keeps happening.
Where were the jet sweeps? None. Misdirection? Nope. Where were the slants Oh yeah, they worked to perfection, so naturally we stopped throwing them. Stopped. Throwing. Them. And I think Shany dipped into the Deebo up the middle well too often. We never ran outside. Baffling. And Jimmy wasn’t half bad. Sure, he missed Kittle wide open over the middle for what could have been a 1st quarter TD, but he was fairly solid, and actually got out of a few sacks without any damage.
Poor Jaquiski Tartt had the drop off the game on the gift from Stafford, but hey, that’s why he isn’t a wide receiver. The man who wears this loss is the head coach. Those last 2 drives, they couldn’t get anything set and they took a penalty, 2 more plays that no one was on the same page, and we just gave the ball right back. Could you have called a timeout, coach? Naaah. We’ll just piss the game away.
Post-Game Video: Grant Cohn rant time!
Video: 49ers fan’s live reaction to key plays (SF Bay Area SportsTalk)
Hi there, Statsjeff!
how it started how it's going pic.twitter.com/aroYklAEY9— Hustle Chillson (@HustleChillson) January 31, 2022
It was admittedly a hell of a run by the 49ers to make it this far, but to lose to the Rams in heartbreaking fashion three weeks after rallying to beat them in order to make the playoffs? Priceless.
Check back in on Wednesday for the AFC Championship, which is both more wholesome on the Bengals side and also has a heavy dose of Chiefs fans melting down like they haven’t been wildly successful over the past four seasons.
Thanks for reading and go ‘Hawks!