After Greg Zuerlein sent a 57-yard field goal kick through the uprights in overtime, defeating the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in NFC Championship game on Sunday, the Rams are headed back to the Super Bowl for the first time in over 15 years.
For the first time since 2002, and the first time a Los Angeles team has made an appearance in the Super Bowl since the ‘80s, the Rams will face off against the New England Patriots in Atlanta in Super Bowl LIII. But, in spectacular L.A. fashion, there was controversy surrounding the win.
In the fourth quarter after Ted Ginn Jr.’s big third down catch, Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, threw a pass for TommyLee Lewis, who by the naked eye looked like he got hit before the ball was even close to getting there, but no “pass interference” call was given. If the call was given, the game would have been essentially over. The Saints could run down the clock to near zero and kick the game-winning field goal.
Instead, Brees threw an incomplete pass, stopping the clock, and let the Rams keep their precious timeouts. After the Saints kicked a field goal to put them up 23-20 with 1:41 left, the Rams took over to try and score on the last possession in regular time.
The Rams marched down the field and Zuerlein kicked a 48-yarder to send the game into overtime. The Saints won the coin flip and began to drive down the field, but just when things were going right, and after advancing to their own 40 yard line, Brees was hit in the backfield by Rams defensive end, Dante Fowler, throwing up a duck and allowing Joe Johnson III to get underneath the ball for the interception.
The interception proved costly for the Saints, as the Rams drove 15 yards and kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime to send the Rams to Super Bowl LIII. Since the conclusion of the game, the NFL front office contacted New Orleans head coach Sean Payton and accepted responsibility for the blown call. Unfortunately, that’s how the year ended for the New Orleans Saints, as the Rams got revenge from earlier in the season when the Saints handed the Rams their first loss of the season in Week 9.
The Los Angeles Rams will face-off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3 from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET.