Doggone ‘Dat. Rams Break Saints’ Hearts in OT, 26-23
Greg Zeurlein kicked a 57 yard field goal in overtime to send the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl, defeating the New Orleans Saints, 26-23.
New Orleans possessed the ball first in overtime but Drew Brees was hit by Dante' Fowler as he threw and John Johnson intercepted at the Rams' 46 yard line to set Zeurlein up for the winning kick.
But it will be a missed call by the officials that will have Saints fans lamenting the game for a long time to come.
With the score tied at 20 the Saints got a 43 yard completion to Ted Ginn Jr. to get in field goal range after the two minute warning. On third down there was an obvious pass interference call on a pass intended for TommyLee Lewis but no flag was thrown. The Saints would have been able to run the clock down to the final seconds before turning the game over to Wil Lutz. Instead, there was still 1:45 on the clock, which enabled the Rams to get a 48 yard field goal with :15 left to send the game to overtime.
The Saints got points after the opening kickoff, driving 56 yards on eleven plays, with Wil Lutz hammering home a 37 yard field goal. The Saints then got the ball right back when Demario Davis intercepted a Jared Goff pass at the Rams' 16. But the Saints couldn't move the football and had to settle for another field goal.
On its next possession, however, the Saints found the end zone, driving 68 yards with Drew Brees hitting Garrett Griffin on a five yard touchdown pass, giving New Orleans a 13-0 lead.
But the second quarter belonged to the Rams.
The Rams ran a fake punt on fourth down and converted, leading to a Greg Zeurlein field goal to get the Rams on the board. And, in their final possession of the half, the Rams drove 81 yards in seven plays. A 36 yard completion to Brandin Cooks set up a five yard run by Todd Gurley and the Saints' lead was cut to 13-10 at the half.
After stopping the Rams on their first possession of the second half, New Orleans drove 71 yards on 12 plays with Brees hitting Taysom Hill for a two yard touchdown to give the Saints a 20-10 lead. A 16 yard run by Mark Ingram was the biggest play of the drive.
But the Rams answered with a 75 yard drive of their own. A 25 yard completion to Cooks was the biggest play of the drive, with Goff throwing a touchdown pass to eight end Tyler Higbee to make the score 20-17.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams drove from their own nine yard line to the Saints' one and settled for a field goal by Greg Zeurlein to tie the game at 20 with less than five minutes to play.