The NFC Championship Game was everything you could want from NFL playoff action until the officials killed it and the Saints were in control until they weren’t.
There has been and will be a lot of talk and scrutiny about the way the New Orleans Saints lost the NFC Championship Game. By now you all know the play, the No-Call, being spoken of and have seen and heard numerous takes on it. There is universal condemnation for the lack of a call there. There have been several people even throwing out conspiracy theories to go along with it. Let’s break down this entire scenario.
The part that was on the Saints
The Los Angeles Rams had pulled into a tie with the Saints at 20-20 with 5:03 left to play in the game. Running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram came out running well to open the second half, but for the most part the Rams stymied our running game pretty well. This was the point in the game where the rushing attack is really needed. For us it really wasn’t readily available.
The Saints opened up what we hoped would be a final drive leading to the game winning score with a few passes. They were very typical of what Sean Payton likes to call, short passes that substitute for a running game thrown in the hopes that you’ll loosen up the front for a rushing attempt.
After we gained a first down, we tried a rushing attempt and got thrown for a loss. Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald didn’t play well in our first meeting with the Rams, but they both lived up to their billing in this game, causing havoc everywhere.
After that loss, the Saints decided to take a shot. Drew Brees dropped into the pocket and threw downfield for Ted Ginn, Jr. It was a play they’d been looking for all day, but due to the pressure they just couldn’t connect on it. It was a jump ball type pass, which is probably not what Brees was trying to do but he was throwing over pressure. Ginn came down with it and we were in business at the 13-yard line with two minutes left to play.