The triumphant locker room at the Super Dome started out so crowded Sunday night that personal space seemed like an extravagance. But as the room emptied, and the jubilant Los Angeles Rams continued a celebration that would rival any bacchanalia in this city’s French Quarter, the player who helped preserve their season by blatantly breaking the rules stood in the middle of it all, still in full uniform, delighted to answer question after question about his fateful, and fortunate, moment.
Amid the mayhem after a 26-23 overtime victory that propelled the Rams past the Saints and into the Super Bowl, that player, cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, got his first look at the replay of his helmet-to-helmet, fourth-quarter thump on New Orleans receiver Tommylee Lewis. Peering at a reporter’s cell phone, he could see himself slide into view and clobber Lewis before the pass arrived.
For Robey-Coleman, it was just visual confirmation for what he already knew — he had been guilty of pass interference on Lewis and somehow had gotten away with it.
“I felt more than lucky,” Robey-Coleman said, when asked how he felt when no penalty was called, allowing the Rams to stay within 3 points when the Saints were forced to kick a field goal rather than go for a touchdown. “I felt blessed.”
The repercussions of that play will be felt everywhere from the league office, which acknowledged to New Orleans Coach Sean Payton afterward that the officiating crew botched the call, to this mystical city, which will now mourn a second consecutive infuriating exit from the postseason for their beloved Saints. Just 53 weeks ago, the Saints lost in the divisional round of the playoffs when Minnesota scored on a last-second, 61-yard touchdown — nearly the same distance as Greg Zuerlein’s 57-yard field goal that doomed them on Sunday.
But in the giddy aftermath of Sunday’s game, the missed call maybe resonated even deeper for a Los Angeles franchise that went 4-12 two seasons ago after relocating to Southern California from St. Louis and entrusted a 30-year-old coaching prodigy, Sean McVay, to return the Rams to prominence. And now, on the 39-year anniversary of their only Super Bowl appearance as a Los Angeles franchise, the Rams have advanced there for the second time.
“We walked into the interview saying, ‘How on earth could we hire a 30-year-old? We walked out of the interview saying, ‘How could we not hire Sean McVay?” the Rams’ chief operating officer, Kevin Demoff, said in recalling the decision to hire McVay.
“He’s a great football coach,’’ Demoff added. “He’s not a quarterback whisperer. He’s not an offensive genius. Today he found a great way for our team to play complementary football. We kicked two field goals to go to the Super Bowl.”
In one night, the Rams vindicated two off-seasons’ worth of bold personnel moves intended to turn a middling team from St. Louis into a champion in Los Angeles. Having pierced the aura of the Superdome, where Payton and quarterback Drew Brees had won their previous six playoff games, the Rams will now face New England on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.
It is not a surprise that the Patriots – who also advanced with an overtime victory, by 37-31 at top-seeded Kansas City – will be there. They always are. But the Rams have gotten this far because, at bottom, every move they made after losing to Atlanta in the playoffs last year, all the off-season splurges and in-season roster churn, positioned them to thrive amid the jackhammer-in-your-ear din that they confronted on Sunday in the Superdome.
“We didn’t feel pressure,” said cornerback Aqib Talib, one of several new players on the Rams’ revamped defense. “We applied it.”
This N.F.C. title-game matchup registered somewhere between sunrise and sunset on the inevitability scale. Since September, New Orleans and Los Angeles had jockeyed for the conference’s top seed, with one coaching mastermind named Sean striving to duplicate the success of another. No other matchup embodied the season’s offensive boom better than having the conference’s most prolific teams — who combined for 80 points in the Saints’ Week 9 home victory over the Rams — vying to outscore each other for a second time.
On Sunday, a full quarter elapsed before the Rams looked comfortable — or, at least, they no longer looked sleeping-above-an-alligator-pit uncomfortable — and then gradually, they chiseled away at the Saints’ lead. They trailed by 13 after the first quarter but by just 3 at halftime and ultimately tied the score, at 20-20, on Zuerlein’s 24-yarder with 5:03 left in the game.
The other day in the Saints’ cafeteria, Brees, newly 40, glanced up and saw himself on television. The channel was showing the N.F.C. championship game from 2010, the last time New Orleans played in the Super Bowl. His teammates ribbed him about all the hair he had nine years ago, all the hair he seems to have lost.
Seizing the chance Sunday to lead them to another, Brees drove the Saints to the Rams’ 13. On third-and-10, Lewis scooted out of the backfield and ran a wheel route. Brees saw him and released a pass down the near sideline — the Saints’ sideline — toward Lewis, who was now inside the 5-yard line. The ball never reached him. Robey-Coleman made certain of that.
The officiating crew, which could have called any number of penalties on the play — pass interference and unnecessary roughness among them — opted to call none. The referee, Bill Vinovich, told a pool reporter that he “personally” had not seen what occurred.
The Saints protested. Payton ranted and screamed. The public-address announcer admonished fans not to throw debris onto the field. Instead of scoring a touchdown or draining time off the clock, the Saints settled for Wil Lutz’s 31-yard field goal that put them ahead by 23-20.
“It was simple: They blew the call,” Payton said.
For the Rams and for Jared Goff, the quarterback who blossomed under McVay’s tutelage and became one of the best in the league, 101 seconds remained to tie or even win the game. Goff, who overcame a first-quarter interception to complete 25 of 40 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown, proceeded to direct the Rams into field-goal range, and Zuerlein equalized from 48 yards with just 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
After winning the overtime coin toss, knowing that a touchdown would win the game but a field goal would return the ball to the Rams, New Orleans faced a 2nd-and-16 at its 34. Charging on a stunt, Rams linebacker Dante Fowler, acquired from Jacksonville by the trade deadline, reached Brees and hit him in the wrist as he threw, causing his pass to float. Safety John Johnson, defending Michael Thomas, watched the ball reach its apex from his back. He barely moved as he intercepted it.
“I saw it the whole way,” Johnson said. “I’m glad I got my contacts in. I probably would have dropped it if I didn’t.”
Goff ran back onto the field, the Rams with the ball at their own 46, five plays from deliverance, and General Manager Les Snead said it all felt akin to climbing the 18th green at Augusta National Golf Club.
“The hole gets smaller,” Snead said.
Demoff harked back to a conversation he had with Goff after that miserable 2016 season, when he lost all seven of his starts. Goff told him that he knew how to turn around the franchise since, he said, he had done it in college, at Berkeley. “I know we’re not that far,” Goff told him at the time, and indeed the Rams weren’t.
They won a second consecutive N.F.C. West title this season. They beat Dallas last week, and when Zuerlein went on to kick his 57-yarder, they had conquered New Orleans as well. The fact that the referees helped the Rams, too, won’t make them any less proud.
“The referee made the call, we respect it,” Robey-Coleman said. “Now I’m going to the Super Bowl. Nobody can change that.”
— Ben Shpigel
[The New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 37-31, in the A.F.C. championship game Sunday, and will face the winner of this game in the Super Bowl. See how they did it here.]
Here’s how the Rams beat the Saints:
He’s known as Greg the Leg for a reason.
A 57-yard kick by Zuerlein has sent the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001. What a turnaround by Goff and the Rams, who trailed by 13 in an incredibly loud and hostile stadium, and largely orchestrated that comeback without their Pro Bowl running back, Todd Gurley.
— Zach Schonbrun
And the most accurate quarterback in N.F.L. history is picked off in overtime.
Brees’s arm was hit as he threw, leaving a ball that hung in the air. Rams defender John Johnson came down with the interception as he was falling down on his back in Saints’ territory. Los Angeles can now win it with a field goal.
— Zach Schonbrun
Hello, overtime. The Rams got down to the 31 yard line, but the Saints defense held firm, and a 48-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein tied the game with 19 seconds left. The Saints elected to kneel it to send it to the extra period.
But that no-call on the Lewis play on the last drive continues to look worse and worse. Saints Coach Sean Payton is still pleading his case to the referees and the fans are still booing. Hard to believe.
— Zach Schonbrun
Saints settle for a field goal to take a 23-20 lead and give the Rams back the ball with 1 minute 41 seconds left and one timeout. But the Saints and the fans were upset that Rams cornerback Robey-Coleman hit Tommylee Lewis early on a pass out in the flat. Both players went up for the ball, but Coleman connected with Lewis before the ball touched him. Fans are booing and, from replay, it certainly looked like the flag should have been thrown there. That could have ended the game because the Saints could have run down the clock before kicking a field goal. Once again, an N.F.L. playoff game could be decided by the referees.
— Zach Schonbrun
You just knew the Saints were going to try to take a shot downfield at some point. They've been thriving on their usual mix of underneath passes and creative screens, but, with time ticking down to the two-minute warning, Brees finally uncorked a bomb to Ted Ginn Jr., who out-leaped the safety Lamarcus Joyner for the ball 43 yards downfield. The Saints are now in the red zone with three timeouts and less than two minutes left.
— Zach Schonbrun
After trailing 13-0, the Rams have climbed back to tie it with just about five minutes remaining. After starting the drive on their own 9-yard line, Goff drove his team all the way down the field, and a rush by C.J. Anderson was stopped on the 1-yard line. Rams Coach Sean McVay likes to be aggressive, but going for it on fourth down and passing up the chance to tie was a bit too risky even for him. So after a field goal, we are all even.
— Zach Schonbrun
That was a huge series for the Saints defense, which forced the Rams to punt from their own 12-yard line — and just when the Rams looked to be seizing momentum (again). Add in a personal foul against the Rams on the punt, and the Saints will take over at the Rams' 46.
— Scott Cacciola
Rams continue to gash the Saints for big yardage plays, just as they did against the Dallas Cowboys last week. Brandin Cooks now has 100 yards receiving after a 25-yard catch and run. An end around by Josh Reynolds then went for 16 yards all the way to the 1-yard line, setting up a touchdown pass to Tyler Higbee to make it 20-17. After the score, Higbee immediately put his finger to his lips. Shhhhhhhh. (Don't think the Saints fans will listen, though).
— Zach Schonbrun
So much for the Rams’ momentum. After they went three-and-out on their opening series of the second half, the Saints took over and marched down the field. Their 12-play, 71-yard drive culminated in a 2-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Taysom Hill, the team’s third-string quarterback. (!) But really, that drive was all about Alvin Kamara, the Saints’ do-everything tailback. Kamara caught four passes for 34 yards and ran once for 6 yards, sparking New Orleans — and the crowd is once again in a tizzy.
— Scott CacciolaSecond Quarter: Spoke Too Soon
Don't count the Rams out yet. They turned up the defensive pressure on Brees, sacking him on consecutive plays. Then two big throws by Jared Goff to Brandin Cooks — including a beautiful 31-yard completion to the 6-yard line — have put the Rams right back in it. A touchdown run by Gurley (remember him?) makes it a 13-10 game at halftime.
— Zach Schonbrun
That series was the best possible sequence of events for the Rams. Not only did Gurley get involved with the touchdown run — welcome back, Todd — but the Rams also absolutely silenced the crowd before halftime. And don't forget: The Rams will get the ball to start the second half.
— Scott CacciolaSecond Quarter: Going Away From Gurley
Something to watch: The Rams have gone away from Todd Gurley, their All-Pro running back, since that early pass that wound up being an interception slipped through his hands. C.J. Anderson, signed late in the regular season when Gurley was sidelined with a knee injury, has been getting the bulk of the carries in his place. Anderson and Gurley were both terrific last weekend in the Rams' divisional-round victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
— Scott Cacciola
Special teams are already a factor in this game, which features two of the best and most creative units in the league.
On the Rams’ last drive, Coach Sean McVay made the gutsy call to fake the punt and throw a pass on 4th and 5, which finally gave the Rams some offensive momentum. (The result was a field goal to get on the board, 13-3).
On the other side, the Saints’ special teams were the most efficient in the N.F.L. this season, led by the well-respected Mike Westhoff. And they love to employ Taysom Hill in innovative ways.
— Zach SchonbrunSecond Quarter: MAKE NOISE
If there's one word to sum this game up so far, it might be noise. It is so loud inside this building. And just to give Saints fans a friendly nudge, the game operations department here keeps flashing a giant "MAKE NOISE" sign on the Jumbotron, with flames licking all the letters. Noise, of course, is part of the strategy. Veterans in the press box who have been to many sports events here at the Superdome are saying this is the loudest they've heard it — and the noise is clearly affecting the Rams. Jared Goff had the experience of playing against the Saints here earlier this season, but suffice it to say the atmosphere was slightly more muted back in November than it is today.
— Scott Cacciola
Fifteen. That's the total yardage for the Rams in the first quarter, their lowest total for a quarter this season. That does not include a single first down. And they're facing another third down when the second quarter begins. More alarming: The crowd noise at the Superdome caused the Rams to commit a false start AFTER they had just called a timeout … because of the crowd noise.
— Zach SchonbrunFirst Quarter: Good Start for Griffin
It’s starting to look like a nightmarish start for the Rams in New Orleans.
In the red zone for a third time already in the first quarter, the Saints brought their do-everything backup quarterback Taysom Hill in on third down but could not convert the run-pass option play. No matter: New Orleans brought Brees back onto the field on 4th and 2 from the 10-yard line, and he got the Rams to jump offside.
On the next play, two Rams defenders ran into each other, and Brees found Garrett Griffin wide open in the end zone. 13-0 New Orleans.
Los Angeles looks completely out of sorts on defense. But the Saints have that effect on a lot of teams.
— Zach Schonbrun
It’s probably worth noting the colossal difference in time of possession here so far: While the Rams have had the ball for a grand total of 3 minutes 9 seconds, the Saints have had it for 10:16. The Rams’ defense is already working hard, and probably did well to limit the Saints to two field goals on their first two series. Goff and his offense could do the defense a huge favor by keeping the ball here for more than another three-and-out.
— Scott Cacciola
On the N.F.L.'s radio broadcast, they are reporting that Rams quarterback Jared Goff was having problems with the audio inside his helmet, meaning he couldn't hear Coach Sean McVay. The Rams are hoping that the issue is resolved.
— Scott CacciolaFirst Quarter: Saints Force a Turnover
Oh boy. New Orleans forces a turnover as a dropped pass by Todd Gurley goes right into the arms of Saints linebacker Demario Davis on the Rams' own 16-yard line. It was L.A.'s first turnover in three games, and it gives New Orleans a chance to take a commanding early start.
— Zach Schonbrun
It did not take long for Drew Brees to make a little history. With his third completion of the Saints’ opening drive, he passed the great Dan Marino for sixth on the all-time postseason completions list with 385. Incidentally, the Rams made an unusual decision to defer after winning the coin toss, giving the Saints the ball to start — a small gamble when Brees is the opposing quarterback and this crowd is fired up. (The kids might refer to the Superdome as “lit.”) All things considered the Rams were fortunate to get off the field after giving up just a field goal.
— Scott Cacciola
The last time the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints met, they combined for 80 points and 970 yards of offense, and the Saints ended the Rams’ dreams of going undefeated the entire season.
Here is what to know now:
The winner gets to go to the Super Bowl, to face the winner of the AF.C. championship game. That matchup features the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots (6:40 p.m. Eastern, CBS). Click here for our preview of that game.
The Rams have added two critical pieces: Aqib Talib and C.J. Anderson. Talib has noticeably improved the secondary, and Anderson has shown to be a valuable running option beside Todd Gurley.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees ended the season with 74,437 passing yards, after breaking Peyton Manning’s record early in the season. Click here for a timeline charting how offense took over the N.F.L.B:
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【上】【午】【的】【课】【依】【旧】【无】【聊】，【自】【从】【孟】【天】【亦】【获】【得】【了】【感】【知】【能】【力】【的】【提】【升】，【可】【以】【阅】【读】【任】【何】【书】【籍】【后】，【一】【年】【级】【的】【课】【程】【也】【变】【得】【的】【越】【来】【越】【无】【聊】【了】。 【就】【连】【原】【来】【的】【孟】【天】【亦】【颇】【为】【有】【兴】【趣】【的】【历】【史】【文】【化】【课】【现】【在】【也】【是】【一】【阵】【索】【然】【无】【味】。 【至】【于】【原】【因】【那】【也】【很】【简】【单】，【凡】【是】【孟】【天】【亦】【看】【过】【得】【书】【基】【本】【没】【有】【忘】【记】【的】，【所】【以】【从】【老】【师】【嘴】【中】【讲】【出】【来】，【除】【了】【让】【孟】【天】【亦】【回】【忆】【起】【之】【前】【看】【的】
【二】【丫】【见】【自】【家】【大】【姐】【这】【般】【说】，【撇】【了】【撇】【嘴】，【也】【不】【再】【说】【些】【什】【么】【了】。 …… “【今】【日】【三】【姐】【回】【门】，【本】【是】【想】【请】【沈】【大】【人】【到】【府】【上】【做】【客】，【怎】【奈】【不】【逢】【休】【沐】，【也】【就】【没】【敢】【叨】【扰】，【怕】【误】【了】【大】【人】【的】【公】【务】……！” 【虽】【是】【一】【心】【想】【奔】【去】【三】【姐】【的】【屋】【里】【与】【姐】【妹】【们】【说】【话】，【但】【是】【四】【丫】【还】【是】【端】【庄】【地】【接】【待】【着】【赵】【家】【的】【贵】【客】。 【沈】【岩】【眼】【角】【忍】【不】【住】【的】【抽】【动】【了】【一】【下】。 【四】【丫】www564949.c○m【随】【着】【岳】【阳】【派】【被】【屠】，【重】【新】【回】【到】【盟】【主】【山】【庄】，【楚】【熙】【的】【生】【活】【也】【逐】【渐】【回】【归】【了】【平】【静】。 【楚】【熙】【重】【新】【做】【回】【了】【以】【前】【无】【所】【事】【事】【的】【武】【林】【盟】【主】，【不】【过】【和】【以】【前】【不】【一】【样】【的】【是】， 【此】【时】【的】【楚】【熙】【已】【经】【不】【用】【再】【提】【防】【身】【边】【的】【人】【对】【自】【己】【心】【存】【不】【轨】，【而】【是】【真】【正】【的】【过】【上】【了】【幸】【福】【的】【生】【活】。 【身】【边】【四】【个】【夫】【君】【都】【对】【自】【己】【极】【度】【的】【宠】【爱】，【都】【一】【副】【恨】【不】【得】【将】【楚】【熙】【宠】【成】【一】【个】……【植】
“【我】～【这】【是】～【在】【哪】【儿】?”【伴】【随】【着】【剧】【烈】【的】【头】【疼】，【梓】【墨】【努】【力】【的】【想】【睁】【开】【眼】。 【怎】【奈】【眼】【皮】【像】【是】【有】【万】【斤】【重】，【怎】【么】【也】【抬】【不】【起】【来】，【着】【急】【的】【叫】【了】【起】【来】，【却】【只】【能】【发】【出】【微】【弱】【的】【声】【音】。 “【医】【生】，【病】【人】【醒】【了】！”【有】【个】【清】【脆】【的】【声】【音】，【惊】【喜】【的】【喊】【到】。 【一】【阵】【急】【促】【的】【脚】【步】【声】【由】【远】【及】【近】【传】【来】，【在】【梓】【墨】【的】【跟】【前】【停】【住】，【梓】【墨】【下】【意】【识】【的】【又】【问】【了】【一】【句】：“【这】【是】
【祁】【思】【甜】【出】【生】【在】【京】【都】【的】【初】【冬】。 【雪】【下】【了】【薄】【薄】【的】【一】【层】，【西】【北】【风】【卷】【着】【从】【树】【上】【刮】【落】【下】【来】【的】【最】【后】【几】【片】【残】【叶】【呼】【呼】【狂】【啸】。 【外】【边】【的】【天】【气】【很】【冷】，【私】【人】【医】【院】【里】【的】【暖】【气】【却】【总】【是】【维】【持】【着】【舒】【适】【的】【温】【度】，【总】【让】【人】【昏】【昏】【欲】【睡】。 【荀】【倾】【城】【睡】【在】【床】【上】，【左】【手】【上】【还】【吊】【着】【点】【滴】【瓶】，【祁】【易】【诚】【就】【守】【在】【她】【身】【边】，【时】【不】【时】【分】【个】【眼】【神】【到】【自】【己】【小】【女】【儿】【那】【里】。 【刚】【刚】【出】【生】
“【温】【云】【初】【啊】……” “【我】【又】【遇】【上】【了】【那】【群】【憨】【逼】……【他】【们】【简】【直】【是】【烦】【得】【要】【死】！【打】【又】【打】【不】【过】【我】【还】【天】【天】【跟】【在】【我】【背】【后】，【最】【后】【还】【搞】【了】【个】【老】【管】【家】【过】【来】，【张】【口】【闭】【口】【许】【生】【少】【爷】，【少】【爷】【个】【鬼】【啊】【搞】【得】【老】【子】【做】【什】【么】【都】【不】【是】！” “【我】【都】【想】【把】【阿】【锦】【带】【出】【去】【萌】【死】【他】【们】！【哼】！【这】【样】【他】【们】【就】【没】【法】【跟】【着】【我】【了】！！！” 【许】【生】【又】【一】【日】【外】【出】【回】【来】，【气】【得】【鞋】【都】【没】【脱】