Los Angeles Rams

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Los Angeles Rams Edge New Orleans Saints in OT

Local Product Leads Rams in Tackles

Braden Surprenant
January 20, 2019 - 8:58 pm
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In what was an instant classic NFC Championship game, the Los Angeles Rams were able to edge out the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in Overtime, down in Louisiana Sunday afternoon.

The Drew Brees led Saints were able to jump out to a 13-0 lead over Los Angeles in the first quarter of the contest, starting with a 37-yard field goal by Wil Lutz, after their 11-play opening drive stalled at the Rams 19-yard line.

The insuing Rams possession ended fairly quickly, as Jared Goff was intercepted by Demario Davis. New Orleans, however was unable to find the endzone and had to settle for yet another Wil Lutz field goal, this time a 29-yarder.

Los Angeles was unable to do anything offensively in the first quarter, and the main reason was the crowd noise that the New Orleans faithful brought. It was a deffening roar the entire duration of Rams possessions, and it caused their offensive to be completely inept. As reported by Westwood One's Ed Werder, which was heard right here on 97.3 The Fan, Jared Goff tried three different helmets in the first quarter in order to get the communication system to work, so he culd get the play call from the sideline. Later in the game, Goff needed to run out wide to the right to talk to one of his wide receivers which caused the Rams to burn a timeout. The Rams looked rattled as their second possession ended in a quick three and out and a punt back to the Saints, and Drew Brees with 5:35 left in the first quarter.

On New Orleans next possession, they were able to orchastrate an 8 play, 68-yard drive on the backs of their tight ends, as the first play of the drive started with a 24-yard completion to Josh Hill, and the final play of the drive ended in a 5-yard touchdown reception by Garrett Griffin, which was his first reception on the season.

13-0 New Orleans after the first quarter.

The first half of the NFC Championship was a tale of two different quarters, and it started with a gutsy decision by Los Angeles to run a fake punt in their own territory. Facing a 4th and 5 from their own 30-yard line, the Rams called upon Johnny Hekker, their punter, to make the most crucial play for the Rams so far in the game and he delivered as he hit Los Angeles corner back, Sam Shields, on a comeback route that was good for 12-yards and a first down.

A couple plays later, they were on the board with a Greg Zuerlein 36-yard field goal.

The Rams would add a touchdown right before half on a 6-yard scamper by Todd Gurley, after a huge 36-yard reception by Brandin Cooks.

Both teams would enter the locker room with the Saints leading 13-10.

In the second half both teams would score touchdowns, and the Rams would add a field goal to tie the game up at 20-20, and this is where the chaos starts.

The first questionable call was Rams Head Coach Sean Mcvey decinding to kick a field goal on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line instead of trying to go for a go-ahead touchdown. At the time of the decision the Rams were down 20-17 with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter. A touchdown would force Drew Brees to drive down the field and score a touchdown to take the lead with 5 minutes left, whereas a field goal by Los Angeles would allow Brees to only have to drive down to field goal range with plenty of time and three timeouts. Ultimately, the field goal ended up being the correct decision but a tough decision at the time nonetheless.

With the game tied at 20, Drew Brees had 5 minutes and all three timeouts to try and drive his team down the field and kick a field goal to win and punch their ticket to Super Bowl LIII. It was not long before Brees had his team in Wil Lutz range, as he hit Ted Ginn Jr. for a 43-yard reception down to the Los Angeles 13-yard line with 1:58 left in the game, and the Rams only having two chances to stop the clock. BALLGAME. Right?

Wrong.

Out of the two-minute warning, New Orleans decided to go to the air and Brees was unable to connect with Michael Thomas, stopping the clock at 1:55 and preserving, an ever so valuable, Rams timeout. Before another play was even ran for the Saints, they are forced to burn a timeout of their own due to not being aligned right. Secdond down resulted in a Alvin Kamara rush for no gain and a Rams timeout. With 1:48 on the clock and the Saints facing a 3rd and 10, New Orleans decided to go to the air again and were again unable to make a connection, but this time for good reason. As Brees delivered a strike to Tommylee Lewis down the right sideline, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman flat out decleats Lewis before the ball could even come close to touching either Robey-Coleman or Lewis. Not only did Robey-Coleman not try to make a play on the ball he spears Lewis with a vicious hit. Lets just say if he was playing college football he would have been ejected for the hit. Was it dirty? No. Was it pass interference? Absolutley.

Saints have to settle for a field goal, and the Rams escape the situation only being down 3 instead of 7, and still holding a timeout with a plentiful 1:41 left in the game. Time for young Sean Mcvey and Jared Goff to put up or shut up, and boy did they ever.

Los Angeles led by Jared Goff marched down the field and let Greg the Leg Zuerlein take them to overtime with a 48-yard game tying field goal.

23-23 headed to sudden death.