Half of the puzzle is now complete.
The L.A. Rams went into a hostile environment, in New Orleans, against the Saints, and won in overtime, 26-23. The Rams have punched their ticket to Super Bowl 53.
The Rams fell in a quick hole, down 13 early. Things got off to a rough start. Then, facing a 4th down, Sean McVay dialed up a fake punt that led to a field goal making it 13-3. The Rams would also get a quick touchdown by way of Todd Gurley before the half.
Drew Brees and the Saints looked unstoppable early as they seemed to march up and down the field. However, in the second half the Rams’ defense found some success.
After a Saints’ touchdown, the Rams would go to score 10 unanswered points to tie it at 20. Then, after a big gain from Ted Ginn, in Rams’ territory, the Saints would be faced with a crucial 3rd down. Tommylee Lewis was hit in the head and everyone waited for a flag, but none was thrown. The Saints would have to settle for 3 and the dome erupted in frustration. The Rams would get a field goal as they’d head into overtime.
The Saints would get the ball first. The Saints were driving when Brees would be hit and the ball would be popped way up into the air. Rams’ corner, John Johnson, who was flat on his back, would be there for the interception. The Rams would get into long distance field goal range and Greg Zuerlein would drill a 57-yard goal to stun the Saints.
The missed call by the referees may have decided this game, but nevertheless, the Rams battled all the way to the end.
Let’s not forget that the Saints had the ball inside the Rams’ redzone early and only managed 6 points. This game could’ve been theirs early.
As for the Rams, they stepped up big in the second half and will now wait to see who they’ll meet in Atlanta in Super Bowl 53.
(Written by Seth Cohen, a Tailgate writer who also runs @tailgatenflnews on Instagram.)