How the Rams Got There
The Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead with a dominant first quarter, but the Rams’ defense held tough to keep New Orleans to a pair of short field goals early on. Things tightened up in the second half, and a 24-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 5 minutes to go tied things up at 20-20. That’s when New Orleans had the ball and was driving. One more first down could have put them in position for a game-winning field goal attempt.
That’s when this happened: QB Drew Brees threw a wheel route to WR Tommy Lee-Lewis, who was leveled by CB Nickell Robey-Coleman. No flag. Everyone is calling it the most obvious blown call in NFL history, because this is a unanimous penalty for not only the pass interference, but the hit to the head. After the game, even Robey-Coleman admitted that he was trying to commit the foul. “Hell yeah” it was pass interference, he said, done so in order to prevent the touchdown.
the pass interference that will be played over and over pic.twitter.com/JQbOuHkXWj— J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) January 20, 2019
The Saints settled for a field goal to go up 23-20. Zuerlein was clutch for the Rams, hitting from 48 yards out at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime. In overtime, Brees was picked off when he was hit as pressure came to him — and the defender caught the interception as he laid on his back on the ground. A few plays later, Zuerlein absolutely drilled the game-winner from 57 yards out.
GREG THE LEG FOR THE SUPER BOWL!!! pic.twitter.com/KxpDuVfkt0— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 21, 2019
Pro Football Talk has tried to stir up headlines that technically, Roger Goodell has the authority to restart the game from the spot of the controversial non-call. We know that would never happen with all the marketing and such, but I’m sure some fans are dreaming of that.
How the Patriots Got There
What a game! The Patriots got off to a dominant start, shutting out the Chiefs 14-0 in the first half. When the second half started, we knew right away that we had a ballgame, as Patrick Mahomes quickly led the Chiefs downfield for a touchdown. New England led 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter, and that is where things went bonkers.
The Chiefs scored back-to-back touchdowns, the latter of which came with 7:45 to play, to take their first lead of the game at 21-17. From then on forward, it became a question of, “Can Tom Brady lead a game-winning touchdown drive?” He did, but with 3:45 to go. Then it was, “Can Mahomes lead a game-winning touchdown drive?” He did, but with 2:03 to go, to give the Chiefs a 28-24 lead.
But then the Patriots responded again, getting a walk-in touchdown from RB Rex Burkhead with 0:39 to go to take a 31-28 lead. 39 seconds? No problem — Mahomes quickly got the Chiefs into field goal range, and K Harrison Bukner drilled the 39-yarder to send the game to overtime at 31-31. Two overtime Championship games in one day; heaven for football fans.
Unfortunately in overtime, we didn’t get to see the magic of Mahomes have a chance to respond. The Patriots won the coin toss and Brady was money on several third down conversions. As New England got closer and closer to the end zone, Andy Reid just had a look of defeat on his face. “Do something! Call a timeout!” I was screaming at the TV. No. Instead, he just watched Burkhead rumble in for the game-winning score from 2 yards out.
We’ve Got You Covered
The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 3, 2019, televised on CBS, with the game starting at 6:30 PM ET. The magic of Tom Brady started in February 2002 against the Rams (then in St. Louis), so this counts as a rematch of sorts. This is the third straight year that the Patriots have made the Super Bowl. Isn’t there any other worthy competition in the AFC? That’s where the Browns come into play next year.
We’ll have a ton of Super Bowl coverage here at Dawgs By Nature throughout the next two weeks, so stay tuned.
Here’s all the information you need to know about the big game.
Date: Sunday, February 3, 2019
Time: 6:30 pm ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
TV Channel: CBS
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (color analyst), Tracy Wolfson and Evan Washburn (sideline reporters)
Odds: SB Nation Odds Page
Halftime show: Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi
Referee: John Parry