The Los Angeles Rams were able to punch their ticket to the NFC Championship game with a 30-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys, and they needed a key defensive stop to swing the tide in the fourth quarter.
Dallas had a chance to continue a drive that could’ve tied the game at 23, but Ndamukong Suh came up big for the Rams on a fourth-and-1 run stop against Ezekiel Elliott.
STUFFED.— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 13, 2019
It all started with this from the defense. pic.twitter.com/izA06anNzo
The Cowboys tried to lean on what they do best: running the ball. They ran Ezekiel Elliott between the guards — right into the teeth of a Rams defense featuring Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh.
Suh played this block perfectly. He exploded out of his stance, got his hands inside of Joe Looney’s hands, and found the running back. Looney tried to throw Suh onto the ground as a last-ditch effort to stop him, but he ended up throwing Suh right into the path of Elliott.
Great push by Suh up the middle on fourth down. He’s earning his money tonight. pic.twitter.com/E3oxl2TL01— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) January 13, 2019
Suh’s textbook technique (leading up to the tackle at least) gave the Rams the ball back on their own 35-yard line. The Rams marched right down the field in 12 plays and scored a touchdown to put the game out of reach. That wouldn’t have been possible without Suh’s display of strength on that fourth down.
The timing of his stop was key too. The Cowboys had started to find some success on offense — they scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion on the previous drive. They had also just forced the Rams into their first and only punt of the game. Dallas scoring a touchdown had it converted this fourth down was not out of question.
Now, the Rams wait on the outcome of the matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles. No matter the opponent, they’ll need their stars to make big-time plays — Suh reminded the world just how dominant he can be on this play.