In the week leading up to the NFC Championship game between the Rams and 49ers, head coach Sean McVay was asked if 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was in his head.
Before Los Angeles’ 20-17 victory on Sunday, the Rams had lost their previous six games to the 49ers. Plus, McVay and Shanahan were a part of the same coaching staff in Washington for a few years and clearly know one another very well.
McVay said no, that notion wasn’t true. And when it got brought up again after Sunday’s victory, McVay jokingly said the question didn’t even need to be asked.
But McVay also noted that his team didn’t approach Sunday’s contest thinking about the results of every Rams-49ers contest since 2019.
“We looked at just being in this moment, taking care of this game today,” McVay said. “It was the NFC Championship — huge game. Our guys did a great job. Really, each game is its own separate entity. And I’m really just happy those guys got it done today.”
McVay later added that he didn’t feel like it the victory held any extra significance since it came over Shanahan and the 49ers.
“I think we knew what a great team this was,” McVay said. “But you guys think it might just be coach speak, but our guys genuinely knew, hey, we’re familiar with this opponent, but the previous six games where we didn’t find a way to finish have nothing to do with what’s going to occur at 3:30, or 3:40 when we kicked this thing off. Those are separate entities. And our guys did a great job of being able to compartmentalize.
“We always talk about being totally and completely present — having a short memory from the good and the bad, being able to hit that reset button. I thought our guys did that in a big way. And [we’re] looking forward to enjoying this and being able to get back to work. Just grateful to be working still, and love this team.”
With Sunday’s victory, McVay now has a 6-3 postseason record and has won a conference title in two of the last four seasons.