The Los Angeles Rams are headed to Super Bowl 53 a wild win over the New Orleans Saints. The Rams came back from a 13-0 deficit to beat the Saints 26-23 in overtime of the NFC Championship Game. The Rams will face the winner of the AFC Championship Game, which features the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the New England Patriots. This marks the Rams fourth Super Bowl appearance, and their first since losing Super Bowl 36 to the Patriots.
The Saints looked like they were going to roll the Rams early. New Orleans took a 13-0 lead in the first quarter as Jared Goff and Todd Gurley struggled to get LA’s offense going. It looked like the Rams would blow this thing out quickly, but the Rams defense stepped up until the offense got on track — at least a little bit.
The Rams scored a late second quarter touchdown to cut the Saints lead to 13-10. The Saints extended the lead to 20-10 in the third quarter, but a pair of scores tied it up in the fourth quarter. The Rams blew a huge opportunity when they elected to attempt a field goal on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line. A delay of game pushed them back five yards and Greg Zuerlein converted the easy field goal. It was a surprising decision by Sean McVay considering how aggressive he’s been this year.
The Saints eventually kicked a field goal with 1:41 remaining, but not before some serious controversy. On a 3rd and 10 pass intended for Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis, defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman absolutely bulldozed him before the ball arrived. It was an obvious defensive pass interference, and somehow the refs missed it. I’ll never understand it.
The Rams evened things up with 15 seconds remaining on a 48-yard field goal. Zuerlein easily had the distance, but it was a wobbler that looked like it might float wide right. Instead, it came in and sent the game to extra time.
Dante Fowler got critical pressure on Drew Brees in opening drive of overtime, and the ball was deflected and caught for an interception near midfield. The Rams drove down the field and Zuerlein drilled a 57-yard field goal to send Rams fans home happy. Saints fans, on the other hand, will be completing about the missed DPI (rightfully so) for a long time to come.