The aftermath of Sunday’s NFC Championship Game was centered on the officiating, but there was a lot that went on before Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman ran into Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis late in the fourth quarter.
Among those things was Rams head coach Sean McVay’s decision to try a fake punt from his own 30-yard-line early in the second quarter. The Rams had thrown an interception and gone three and out on their first two drives and trailed 13-0 when McVay told punter Johnny Hekker to throw a pass.
Hekker completed his toss to cornerback Sam Shields for the team’s first first down of the day and the Rams went on to kick a field goal that began their comeback. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth said after the game that McVay “knew we needed to do something to get things going our way” and the coach confirmed that was the case after the game.
“It goes back to the confidence in the players,” McVay said, via ESPN.com. “At that point, I felt like we needed a little bit of momentum.”
McVay was less aggressive in the fourth quarter when he opted to kick a game-tying field goal from the New Orleans 1-yard-line, but everything worked out to make McVay the youngest coach to take his team to the Super Bowl.