The Rams improved upon their 10–6 record from the previous season after a win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16, and clinched their second consecutive playoff berth the same week. Despite a Week 18 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams won their division for the first time since 2018. They advanced to the NFC Championship after defeating the Arizona Cardinals in the Wild Card round and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30–27 in the divisional round, where they faced their divisional rival San Francisco 49ers, winning the game 20-17 and advancing to Super Bowl LVI to be played at SoFi Stadium, becoming only the second team ever to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. The Rams won Super Bowl LVI over the Bengals on their home turf. Coincidentally, in order to do so the Rams had to get past the Buccaneers, who were the first team to accomplish the feat. Unlike the Bucs, however, the Rams, despite playing in their home stadium, will be the designated visiting team, as the league alternates between the two conferences annually.
Pass game coordinator Shane Waldron was hired by the Seattle Seahawks as their offensive coordinator January 26, 2021 Additionally, the Seahawks hired away Andy Dickerson to be their run game coordinator. Dickerson was the last remaining member of the coaching staff who had been with the team in St. Louis.
The Rams took an early lead and maintained their advantage throughout in securing their 10th win of the season that clinched an NFC playoff spot. Los Angeles drove 70 yards in 12 plays before Sony Michel scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Michael turned in a season-best 131 yards on 27 carries, including 43 yards on five attempts which helped to set up a 32-yard field goal by Matt Gay to give L.A. a 10-0 lead. After the Vikings scored a field goal following a Matthew Stafford interception, Gay added a second field goal just before halftime to put the Rams ahead 13-3. Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr got a second interception that led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Alexander Mattison. Brandon Powell was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a punt 61 yards for a score to extend the Rams' lead to 20-10. Stafford then threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. early in the fourth quarter to put L.A. up by two touchdowns and Gay added a third field goal. Minnesota scored late to close to within 30-12 with just over a minute remaining, but Van Jefferson covered the onside kick attempt to preserve the Rams' victory. Cooper Kupp again led the team in receptions with 10 catches for 109 yards while cornerback Jalen Ramsey and safety Taylor Rapp shared the team lead in tackles with seven each.
Week 17: at Baltimore Ravens
Week 17: Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens – Game summary
Odell Beckham Jr. scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford with 57 seconds remaining to give the Rams their first-ever win over the Ravens in Baltimore. Los Angeles kept the Ravens offense out of the end zone, with Baltimore's lone touchdown coming off a Stafford pass that was intercepted by Ravens strong safety Chuck Clark and returned 17 yards for the game's first score late in the first quarter. Clark intercepted Stafford on the next drive to end a Rams scoring threat, and the Ravens drove 91 yards in 15 plays but were held to a Justin Tucker field goal. Down 10-0, the Rams got a big break with less than two minutes remaining in the half when L.A. strong safety Jordan Fuller intercepted a pass from Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley, which ultimately set up an 18-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Baltimore extended its lead to 16-7 with two more field goals from Tucker before Rams running back Sony Michel (19 rushes, 74 yards) scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter to bring Los Angeles to within two. The Ravens drove inside the Rams 10 on their next drive, but Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd combined for a sack of Huntley that forced Baltimore to settle for a fourth field goal by Tucker with 4:30 remaining. Starting from his own 25, Stafford led the Rams' comeback by completing five straight passes, including a critical fourth down-and-5 catch by Beckham to keep the drive alive with just over a minute remaining. Stafford and Beckham then connected for the game-winning score on the next play to give the Rams the lead for the first and only time of the game. Baltimore's last attempt to rally was snuffed out when linebacker Von Miller sacked Huntley at the Ravens 30. Aaron Donald then forced a fumble on a lateral play that was recovered by Darious Williams as time ran out as the Rams claimed their fifth consecutive victory. Stafford completed 26 of 35 passes for 309 yards and two TDs with two INTs, while Kupp had six receptions for 95 yards and a score.
Week 18: vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 18: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams – Game summary
Despite building a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, the Rams squandered their chance to lock up the NFC's No. 2 seed as well as the NFC West title in falling to rival San Francisco for the sixth straight time. The loss, which snapped a five-game win streak for the Rams, was also the first under head coach Sean McVay in which his team had led at halftime (a streak that had stretched to 45 games). Los Angeles built its first half advantage thanks to kicker Matt Gay's 43-yard field goal in the first quarter and two touchdown receptions by tight end Tyler Higbee from quarterback Matthew Stafford. But the 49ers got on the scoreboard as the second quarter ended on a 42-yard field goal by kicker Robbie Gould, then seized the game's momentum by scoring twice in the third quarter as versatile wide receiver Deebo Samuel scored on a 16-yard run and then tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings to tie the game at 17-17. The Rams turned the tide in the fourth quarter when cornerback Jalen Ramsey made an acrobatic interception of Jimmy Garoppolo in the end zone, which sparked a 92-yard touchdown drive. Stafford, who finished with 238 yards passing to set a new Rams single-season passing yards record (4,886 yards), found Cooper Kupp for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 2:29 remaining to take a 24-17 lead. Kupp, who finished with a game-high seven catches for 118 yards and a score, ended the season leading the NFL in receptions (145), receiving yardage (1,947), and touchdown catches (16) to become only the fourth player in pro football history to lead the league in all three categories in the same season, and his numbers for receptions and receiving yards were the second-highest in NFL records. But after the teams traded punts, the Rams were unable to stop the 49ers as Garoppolo threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jennings with 26 seconds left. In overtime, the 49ers drove 12 plays in 69 yards to set up a 24-yard field goal by Gould for a 27-24 lead. With under two minutes left, the Rams drove to near midfield but Stafford's final pass intended for Odell Beckham Jr. was intercepted by 49ers cornerback Ambry Thomas to end the game. Despite the loss, Seattle's 38-30 win at Arizona that ended minutes earlier clinched for the Rams their third NFC West Division title in five seasons.
Hosting the first-ever playoff game on Monday Night Football, the Los Angeles Rams thoroughly dominated NFC West rival Arizona in the first postseason game held at SoFi Stadium. Quarterback Matthew Stafford had an efficient and effective night, completing 13 of 17 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. His first scoring pass went to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on a 4-yard catch midway through the first quarter that was the first postseason touchdown of Beckham's career. In the second period, Stafford and Beckham connected again on 30-yard pass that helped to set up a 1-yard score by Stafford to put the Rams ahead 14-0. L.A.'s defense smothered the Cardinals throughout the first half, holding Arizona without a first down on its first four drives. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was constantly harassed by Rams defenders and was held to just 143 total yards, including just six yards rushing. Facing third-and-7 from the Arizona 4, Murray tried to evade Rams linebacker Troy Reeder and as he fell threw a desperation pass that was easily intercepted at the 3-yard-line by cornerback David Long Jr. and resulted in the shortest interception return for a touchdown in NFL playoff history. In the third quarter, Beckham fielded a lateral from Stafford, then tossed a 40-yard pass to running back Cam Akers as the Rams drove down the field on their first possession of the second half. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown reception from Stafford. Kupp finished with five receptions for 61 yards, Beckham had four catches for 54 yards, and tight end Tyler Higbee added three receptions for 46 yards. Akers and Sony Michel combined for over 100 yards on the ground as the Rams offense was turnover free. On defense, linebacker Von Miller led the team with six total tackles including a sack, while defensive tackle Marquise Copeland added an interception. Kicker Matt Gay converted two field goals (37, 46) in the fourth quarter and punter Johnny Hekker had all five of his punts downed inside the 20. With the victory, Rams head coach Sean McVay tied John Robinson for the most postseason wins as a coach in team history (Robinson was 4-6 in the playoffs from 1983 to 1991).
NFC Divisional Playoffs: at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Divisional Playoffs: (4) Los Angeles Rams at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Game summary
Kicker Matt Gay's 30-yard field goal as time expired sent the Rams to the NFC Championship Game for the 11th time in franchise history. Los Angeles built a 27-3 lead over the defending Super Bowl champions before Tampa Bay rallied to score 24 unanswered points to tie the game with 42 seconds remaining. Gay converted field goals of 26 and 40 yards in the first and second quarters, respectively, while quarterback Matthew Stafford threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to tight end Kendall Blanton and 70 yards to wide receiver Cooper Kupp to put the Rams ahead late in the first half. Cornerback Nick Scott picked off a pass by Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady to set up another Rams scoring opportunity with under two minutes remaining, but running back Cam Akers, making his first start of the season, was stripped of the ball at the Tampa Bay 1 to leave the score 20-3 at halftime in favor of Los Angeles. Stafford added a touchdown on a 1-yard sneak to put the Rams up by 24. After the Buccaneers added a field goal, a fumble by Kupp on the Rams' next possession was recovered by Tampa Bay, leading to a 1-yard touchdown by Leonard Fournette. Los Angeles squandered opportunities to put the game away, as linebacker Von Miller's strip sack of Brady gave L.A. a first down at the Tampa Bay 25, only for an errant shotgun snap on the Rams' next offensive play to turn the ball right back to the Buccaneers. Later in the fourth quarter, the Rams drove down the field, but Gay came up short on a 45-yard attempt with 6:36 remaining. Following another exchange of punts, Brady threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Evans to close to within 27-20. On the Rams' next possession, Akers fumbled for the second time in the game, giving Tampa Bay the ball at L.A.'s 30. Seven plays later, Fournette scored his second touchdown of the day on a 9-yard run to tie the score. With just 42 seconds remaining, Stafford shrugged off a first down sack and connected with Cooper Kupp for a 20-yard gain to the Rams' 44. Stafford and Kupp hooked up on the very next play for a 44-yard pass over the middle as Kupp (9 receptions, 183 yards) beat Buccaneers free safety Antoine Winfield Jr. in single coverage down to the Tampa Bay 12. Stafford then spiked the ball with four seconds remaining to set up Gay's winning kick. It was the Rams' third win over the Buccaneers in three postseason meetings, the last two occurring in NFC Championship Games in 1979 and 1999.
NFC Championship: vs. (6) San Francisco 49ers
NFC Championship: (6) San Francisco 49ers at (4) Los Angeles Rams – Game summary
LAR – Cooper Kupp – 11 receptions, 142 yards, 2 TD
Rallying from a 10-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Rams overcame the rival San Francisco 49ers 20-17 to win the NFC Championship Game for the second time in four seasons. While it was the Rams franchise's fourth straight win in a conference title game dating back to 1999, the victory was the first for the team while playing at home in Southern California (the Rams had been defeated in conference championship games played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1975 and 1978. Following a scoreless first quarter, Los Angeles took the lead on quarterback Matthew Stafford's 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cooper Kupp midway through the second period to cap off a 16-play, 97-yard drive that consumed 9 minutes and 33 seconds. The 49ers, who came into the game with six straight wins over the Rams, surged ahead with 17 unanswered points as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw touchdown passes to wide receiver Deebo Samuel (44 yards) in the second quarter and tight end George Kittle (16 yards) in the third, while kicker Robbie Gould converted a 38-yard field goal at the end of the first half. Stafford shrugged off an early interception and two sacks to throw for 337 yards and following the 49ers' last touchdown, answered with a 75-yard drive in seven plays that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Kupp. The Rams' defense was effective in neutralizing San Francisco's running game, allowing just 50 yards on the ground and forced a punt at midfield on the next drive. Stafford connected twice with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on key receptions to set up a 40-yard field goal by kicker Matt Gay to tie the score at 17-17 with 6:53 remaining. The Rams defense forced the 49ers to punt again, and Stafford completed five straight passes for 53 yards and Gay's 30-yard field goal put the Rams ahead with 1:46 left. Though never sacked, Garoppolo faced increasing pressure in the fourth quarter. Backed up on the 49er 22 on third-and-13, Garoppolo desperately tried to get out of the clutches of Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, but his last ditch pass attempt bounced off the hands of 49er running back JaMycal Hasty and was intercepted by linebacker Travin Howard to preserve the Rams' victory. Cooper Kupp, the NFL's leading receiver during the regular season, had 11 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns, while Odell Beckham Jr. had season highs in both receptions (nine) and yards (113). Free safety Eric Weddle, who had come out of retirement to join L.A.'s postseason run, led the Rams with nine tackles. The defeated 49ers lost a conference championship game for the 10th time in team history, the most losses of any team since the AFL-NFL merger. This was also the first since the 2018 season that the Rams advanced to the NFC Championship, albeit their opponents were their division rival instead of the New Orleans Saints, and there were no controversial scenes in the 3rd quarter. In the end of the game O'Dell Beckham Jr. and Deebo Samuel share an emotional moment on the sideline after conclusion of the game.
The Rams advanced to their fifth Super Bowl and first since Super Bowl LIII in 2018. Additionally, the Rams are the second team in as many seasons to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium after the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. The AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals are the designated home team and chose to wear their black jerseys with white pants. The Rams opted to wear their white throwback jerseys with yellow pants, a uniform combination that was introduced earlier in the season.
^ abcDespite being played in the Rams home stadium, the Super Bowl is still officially considered a neutral site game.