NFC Championship Game 2019 Final Score, Highlights from Rams vs. Saints

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20:  Greg Zuerlein #4 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates after kicking the game winning field goal in overtime against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints with a score of 26 to 23. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The longest game-winning field goal in postseason history sent the Los Angeles Rams to Super Bowl LIII. 

Sean McVay's team eked out a 26-23 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints in an NFC Championship Game that was marred by controversy at the end of regulation. 

New Orleans had a legitimate gripe that a pass interference call wasn't made on a third down with one minute, 48 seconds remaining in regulation, but no call was made and the Rams received a chance to keep their season alive. 

After a bizarre conclusion to the fourth quarter and an unusual interception by Drew Brees that was forced by pressure, Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein won the game with a 57-yard field goal, which became the longest game-winning kick in playoff history, per Stats.com.


Greg Zuerlein sends the @RamsNFL to the @SuperBowl!!!!! #LARams #NFLPlayoffs https://t.co/vJ9goPzit2

The game-winning kick was set up by a John Johnson interception on the fourth play of overtime. Johnson caught the ball on his back after Dante Fowler tipped Brees' pass at the line of scrimmage. 


The @RamsNFL defense forces the INTERCEPTION! Huge turnover in OT. #LARams #NFLPlayoffs 📺: #LARvsNO on FOX https://t.co/Bn54AaPEBR

The NFC Championship Game got to that juncture because of a controversial no-call made by the officials on third down as the Saints were driving down the field late in the fourth quarter. 

Brees threw a pass down the right sideline in the area of Tommylee Lewis, who appeared to be interfered with by Nickell Robey-Coleman before the ball reached him. 

Will Brinson @WillBrinson

NO FLAG??? WHAT A JOKE. https://t.co/sxrCsBP2cq

The referees did not throw a flag on the play, and the Saints were forced to settle for a Wil Lutz field goal with 1:41 remaining. 

Robey-Coleman told reporters after the game that he got to Lewis too early and was trying to save a touchdown, per Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko

Saints head coach Sean Payton was irate on the sidelines for the rest of the contest, and he even told the officials they made a "Super Bowl non-call", as NFL Network's Mike Garafolo captured

After the game, the NFL league office said that the officials should have called pass interference, as NFL.com's Jim Trotter confirmed

While Payton was busy screaming at any official in his sight, the Rams used the remaining time in the fourth quarter to their advantage and set up Zuerlein's game-tying 48-yard field goal. 

FOX Sports @FOXSports

😱Greg Zuerlein barely sneaks in the game-tying FG to tie the game!! #LARvsNO https://t.co/yaZP044wbn

Well before Zuerlein stepped into a starring role in the NFC Championship Game, the Saints racked up a 13-0 lead on a five-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Garrett Griffin, who hauled in his first catch of the season on the score. 


What a time for your first catch of the year. 5-yard TD grab for Garrett Griffin! #HomeInTheDome #NFLPlayoffs 📺: #LARvsNO on FOX https://t.co/mJFZ2Hgd6e

New Orleans appeared to be running away with the contest after stopping the Rams on third down on the next drive, but McVay dialed up a fake punt and Johnny Hekker executed it to perfection. 

The Checkdown @thecheckdown

IT'S A FAKE 😱 @JHekker https://t.co/4UAGpLqnWR

The Rams turned that drive into three points and got back into the game before the end of the second quarter. 

With momentum on their side, the Rams marched down the field right before halftime, as they went 81 yards on seven plays in 1:29. 

Todd Gurley finished off Los Angeles' final drive of the first half with a six-yard touchdown run, which came on one of his four carries in the game. 

The Checkdown @thecheckdown

Gurley gets the Rams in the end zone 💪 @TG3II https://t.co/Vt66LeWEV3

At the start of the second half, the teams traded touchdowns, as Taysom Hill caught a touchdown pass from Brees and Tyler Higbee hauled in a scoring pass from Jared Goff. 


Taysom Hill TD!! @Saints up by 10 in the 3Q. #LARvsNO https://t.co/LMWi7CafPF

Los Angeles Rams @RamsNFL

.@JaredGoff16 ➡️ @Ty_Higs19 for the touchdown! 🙌 #LARams pull within three! #LAvsNO https://t.co/0v3zkf1EdB

After a scoring lull, the game came alive in the fourth quarter and produced a few moments that will be remembered by both sets of fans for quite some time. 

Zuerlein's game-winning field goal ignited a championship celebration on the Rams sideline that continued into the locker room. 

Los Angeles Rams @RamsNFL

What a time to be alive. Super Bowl bound! 🙌 https://t.co/f5NASOss8l

The win sent the Rams to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since they lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90  


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