A big comeback, a blown call, this game had it all.
And in the end, the Los Angeles Rams walked away with a stunning 26-23 road victory over the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
With the win, the Rams are now headed to the Super Bowl.
The Rams, which trailed the entire game until the game-winning field goal, managed to hang around despite being outplayed for much of the game.
Quarterback Jared Goff completed just 25 of 40 passes for 297 yards to go with one touchdown and one interception. But he did just enough to lead the Rams to victory thanks to Greg Zuerlein’s 57-yard field goal.
After it looked like the Saints were going to put the game away with a late drive in the fourth quarter, the Rams were benefited by the biggest no call in league history when a pass interference penalty was not called on cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman who committed a blatant interference penalty on top of a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tommylee Lewis well before the pass had arrived near the goal line.
“I came to the sideline, looked at the football gods and was like, `Thank you,” Robey-Coleman said. “I got away with one tonight.”
After the no-call and after a Saints field goal, Goff had just enough time to lead the Rams down the field for Zuerlein’s 48-yard game-tying field goal with 15 seconds remaining.
New Orleans won the coin toss and received the ball first in overtime. But, with a hand in his face, Brees’ pass fluttered in the air before being picked off by John Johnson III.
The Rams didn’t do much on offense, but didn’t matter thanks to Zuerlein’s big leg who split the uprights with plenty of room to spare.
“It’s unbelievable, man. I can’t put it into words,” said Goff, who at 24 became the youngest quarterback to win an NFC title. “The defense played the way they did to force it to overtime. The defense gets a pick and Greg makes a 57-yarder to win it. That was good from about 70. Unbelievable.”
The loss was the first home playoff loss for the Saints with Brees and coach Sean Payton which came into the game with a 6-0 record at home.
“Being that it happened right there in front of the person who would be the one to make the call, and everyone in the stands saw it, everyone watching at home on TV saw it, that makes it even more difficult to take,” Brees said. “Because of this, I’m sure there will be a lot of talk about reviewing penalties, perhaps game-changing penalties.”