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Los Angeles Rams Advance to Super Bowl in Overtime Thriller

L.A. has an NFL team in the Super Bowl for the first time in 35 years

For the first time since 1984, Los Angeles has a pro football team in the Super Bowl, as the L.A. Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints 23-20 in an overtime thriller to win the NFC Championship game on Sunday.

The Rams will play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Atlanta in two weeks against either the Kansas City Chiefs or the New England Patriots. The Rams defeated the Chiefs earlier this season 54-51 in what was the highest-scoring game in Monday Night Football history.

The Rams reached Super Bowl LIII in their third season since returning to Los Angeles from St. Louis. In 1995, then-owner Georgia Frontiere moved the team after several seasons of losing records and plummeting attendance, with the L.A. Raiders also moving back to Oakland that same year. For 20 years, Los Angeles went without an NFL team while the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl in 2000 under the leadership of Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner.

Then, in 2016, Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced the move back to L.A., with plans to build a new stadium in Inglewood that will be shared with the L.A. Chargers, who moved from San Diego in 2017. A few months after the move was approved by owners, the Rams drafted quarterback Jared Goff with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, but fell to a poor 4-12 record in their first season playing in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Following that season, the team fired head coach Jeff Fisher, replacing him with Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay. At 31 years old, McVay became the youngest head coach in NFL history and turned the Rams around, leading the team to their first division title in 14 years and winning the league’s Coach of the Year award. The team repeated as division champions this season, defeating Dallas and New Orleans to advance to the championship.

Los Angeles football teams have only made two appearances in the Super Bowl. The Rams reached the big game in 1980, but lost Super Bowl XIV to the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19. Four years later, the L.A. Raiders reached the Super Bowl and trounced Washington 38-9 on the back of MVP Marcus Allen, winning the city’s only Super Bowl title.