Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams Outlast Tampa Bay Buccaneers
TAMPA, Fla. -- When the Los Angeles Rams acquired Matthew Stafford in a blockbuster trade last winter, the veteran quarterback said he wanted to play in big games, an opportunity he seldom received during 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions.
Stafford and the Rams -- fresh off a dramatic 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium -- are now one victory away from the biggest game of all.
And they nearly blew their chance to get to the NFC Championship Game, losing four fumbles and a 27-3 third-quarter lead to Tom Brady and the defending champions before Stafford led a 63-yard drive in the closing seconds to set up the winning field goal.
"In my mind, I live for those kind of moments," said Stafford, who pulled off the 43rd game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime of his career, the most of anyone since he entered the league 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."