The Los Angeles Rams won the NFC Championship Game at the New Orleans Saints with 26:23 in overtime. For the decision Kicker Greg Zuerlein, who brought the team only by field goal in the extension and then also sealed the victory. Previously, a blatant wrong decision by the referees had brought the Saints to a possible touchdown. The Rams are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2001 season.
The Saints got the ball first and also got the better start to the game. Their first drive, however, ended prematurely in the Red Zone and with a short field goal by Wil Lutz. There was not much more, as tight end Dan Arnold made a drop in the endzone at 3rd Down. The Rams then opened their game with a deflected interception by linebacker DeMario Davis against Jared Goff. The result: Again “only” a field goal, as the Rams defense stopped.
Even then, Los Angeles did not kick in and did not make a first down towards the end of the first quarter. Quite different was the Saints, who finally made it to the end zone in the third attempt: Brees finally found the newly activated tight end Garrett Griffin – Ben Watson had to cope with an appendix irritation – for a 5-yard touchdown pass. 13: 0 Saints after the first quarter.
Then, however, the guests awoke and that just by a trick play train. Instead of puncturing at 4th Down, LA played a fake: Punter Johnny Hekker found defensive back Sam Shields for 12 yards and the first first down of the Rams in the game. At the end of the drive was only a field goal by Greg Zuerlein, but the fire was kindled! The Rams defense played their best series and made two sacks in a row against Brees, which led to the next punt.
In the last series before the break, the Rams were also offensively correct and wide receiver Brandin Cooks played great: First, he received a 17-yard reception for a first down, then a 36-yard pass, the guests to the 5 yard line carried. From there it was Todd Gurley who did the rest. With 13:10 for New Orleans it went into the break.