Rams kicker Matt Gay (8) celebrates a field goal with teammates against the Buccaneers on Sept. 26 at SoFi Stadium. (Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press)
The Rams, on the verge of clinching a playoff spot, have not required a last-minute field goal to win a game.
But that situation — or another that requires a pressure-packed kick — could present itself before the end of a season the Rams aim to finish in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.
Kicker Matt Gay is ready for the opportunity.
“You definitely want that moment,” he said. “That’s what, as a kid, you pretend about, counting down the clock and hitting that as time expires.”
Gay has made 28 of 29 field-goal attempts for a Rams team that can ensure a fourth postseason appearance in five seasons under coach Sean McVay by defeating the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Gay kicked two fields goals in a 20-10 victory Tuesday over the Seattle Seahawks, a win that moved the Rams into a first-place tie with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West.
The next day, Gay received word from a team official that he had been voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
“I took a second and had to reread the text on my phone a little bit and just let it sink in,” he said.
The recognition was a milestone for a kicker who was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his rookie season in 2019 and then spent time on the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad in 2020.
“All the while knowing deep down in your heart that you’re a starter in this league and that you deserve to be playing on Sundays,” he said, adding, “Just making sure that when I did get back on the field I was going to make the most of it.”
The Rams gave him that opportunity.
Last season, after deciding not to re-sign veteran Greg Zuerlein, the Rams were desperate for a capable kicker. McVay could not tolerate rookie Samuel Sloman’s misses and low-trajectory kicks. Veteran Kai Forbath lasted one game.
In November, just before playing the…