The Los Angeles Rams were doing their all to slow down Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on the first drive of overtime in the NFC Championship Game. With a spot in the Super Bowl on the line, the Saints were just shy of their own 35-yard-line and just beginning to start a drive.
Fortunately, thanks to an acrobatic interception by safety John Johnson, New Orleans wouldn’t go any further than that, as he saved the day. The exceptional focus on the interception led to the Rams getting great field position and starting their drive in striking distance of field goal range.
Although there was still work to be done from there, Jared Goff took over and needed three plays to get into kicker Greg Zuerlein’s field goal range. Goff connected with tight end Tyler Higbee on passes for 12 and six yards, with the second placing the ball on the Saints’ 39-yard-line. From there, the Rams kicker stepped up and nailed the walk-off 57-yard attempt.
Rams Defense Steps up
While the Rams defense wasn’t perfect in this game, the fact they managed to hold Drew Brees under 250 yards in the Superdome is a victory in its own right. As StatMuse shows, the Saints quarterback averaged 321.6 passing yards and three touchdowns per game over seven home matchups during the 2018 NFL regular season.
The day wrapped up with Brees completing 26-of-40 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He was also intercepted the one time and sacked twice. With the Rams defense holding the Saints to 23 points at home, their run defense also deserves a large amount of credit. The leading rusher for New Orleans was Mark Ingram, who finished with 31 yards on nine carries, and one of those attempts went for 16 yards.
Ingram’s backfield mate, Alvin Kamara totaled eight attempts for 15 yards on the ground. Kamara wound up being the Saints’ leading receiving, totaling 96 yards on 11 catches. That stat actually points to the excellent job the Rams did in the secondary as well. They held star wideout, Michael Thomas, to just four catches for 36 yards on seven targets.