New England Patriots will face Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII

The Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots will square off in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Sunday, February 3.

Posted: Jan 21, 2019 6:50 AM
Updated: Jan 21, 2019 6:50 AM

Los Angeles went more than two decades without an NFL team. Now, it has one playing for a championship.

The Rams never led in regulation, but with a 57-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein in overtime, Los Angeles has advanced to Super Bowl LIII with a 26-23 win, shocking the Saints in the NFC title game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday.

But that's not the only game that needed extra time.

The Rams will face a Super Bowl mainstay in the New England Patriots, who held off the Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC Championship 37-31 in overtime.

Another title game for Brady, Belichick

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are back in a very familiar place.

They're heading back to another Super Bowl, winning on the road at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Patriots join the Buffalo Bills (1990-1993) and Miami Dolphins (1971-1973) as the third team to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls. They also extended their NFL record for Super Bowl appearances to 11.

It will be the ninth time in the big game for Belichick and Brady.

Belichick has won five Super Bowls as a head coach, the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach in NFL history. Should he win a sixth, he would join George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only NFL coaches with six championships since the league began postseason play in 1933.

Brady is the only quarterback with five Super Bowl wins. The only other NFL player to have won that many is Hall of Fame defensive lineman Charles Haley.

This was the Chiefs first appearance in the AFC championship game since 1994. Their lone Super Bowl title was in 1970, at Super Bowl IV.

Zuerlein kicks into history

The Rams' franchise, which originated in Cleveland in 1937, played in Los Angeles from 1946-1994 before leaving for St. Louis for 21 seasons. During that stretch, they reached two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXIV against the Tennessee Titans in Atlanta at the now-demolished Georgia Dome.

The location of this season's title game on February 3 happens to be where the Rams last won: Atlanta. And while it's not at the same site, the venue, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is right next door to where the Dome once stood.

"Our team demonstrated great mental toughness," Rams head coach Sean McVay said to Fox Sports. McVay, who turns 33 on Thursday, is the youngest head coach to lead a team to the Super Bowl.

Zuerlein's kick was the longest game-winning field goal in playoff history.

"I really wasn't thinking much," Zuerlein said. "I just looked up and saw it was going straight and I was happy. I knew it was going to be long enough because I thought I hit it pretty well."

A trembling Superdome in New Orleans

It didn't start off well for the visitors, as the Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead and had the throaty Superdome crowd on their side. The noise the fans made was so thunderous that reporters could feel and see the stadium quaking.

According to Julie Boudwin with NOLA.com, it appeared that part of the ceiling fell near the media workroom after Saints linebacker Demario Davis intercepted Rams quarterback Jared Goff in the first quarter.

Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate posted video to Twitter showing bottles of water shaking in the press box because of the crowd.

"The press box desk I'm working on is physically moving because the crowd is going so wild here at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome," NFL Network reporter Jane Slater said in a tweet. "Unreal."

Saints' Payton on controversial play: 'They blew the call'

But the Rams adjusted, and a 6-yard touchdown run from Todd Gurley II made it 13-10 just before halftime. The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 20-17. A Los Angeles field goal by Zuerlein with 5:03 remaining tied it at 20.

There was plenty of time for Saints quarterback Drew Brees to orchestrate a final drive. But it stalled with a controversial no-call from officials on an incomplete pass to Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis. The crowd wanted a flag for either pass interference or helmet-to-helmet contact on a defenseless receiver by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. It wasn't thrown.

"It was simple; they blew the call," Saints head coach Sean Payton said, who called the league office after the game for an explanation. "(The NFL) said it should never have not been a call. They said not only was it interference, it was helmet-to-helmet."

The Saints settled on a 31-yard field goal by Wil Lutz with 1:41 remaining. The Rams tied it up with 15 seconds left in regulation with a 48-yarder by Zuerlein to make it 23-23.

In overtime, Brees was intercepted by safety John Johnson III, which led to Zuerlein's game-winning kick.

"I felt like early on there, that place was loud," Rams quarterback Jared Goff said to Fox Sports after the game. "They were loud early. We had some stuff we had to deal with early, but we fought through it, man. We fought through it. This group is special, and I'm happy to be part of it."

Since returning to Los Angeles in 2016, the Rams have now reached the playoffs twice.

The Rams' last Super Bowl appearance was the 2001 season, when they lost Super Bowl XXXVI to the Patriots, giving a young quarterback named Brady his first title with head coach Belichick.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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