The New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will face off in SuperBowl LIII.
Both teams played in nail-biting conference championship games that went into overtime Sunday, Jan. 20 with the Patriots battling the Kansas City Chiefs and the Rams facing the New Orleans Saints.
This is the first time that both conference games have gone to overtime.
With the Patriots leading 31-28, the Chiefs would punt to tie the game with 11 seconds left in the game. The Patriots earned their third straight visit to the SuperBowl with a touchdown in overtime to defeat the Chiefs 37-31.
Controversy over official calls marred the Rams and Saints game.
Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman made a pass interference when he hit helmet-to-helmet with Saint’s receiver Tommy Lee Lewis before the pass was inside the Rams’ five-yard line. The call would have allowed the Saints to run down the clock and set up for a game winning field goal. The Saints kicked for a field goal and the Rams were able to tie the game 23-23 to go to overtime.
The Rams won the game 26-23 with a field goal.
Saint’s head coach Sean Payton told reporters that he had received a call from the NFL’s senior vice-president of officiating.
“It was simple. They blew the call,” said Payton. “They said it should never have not been a call. They said not only was it interference, it was helmet-to-helmet. There were two calls. They just couldn’t believe it.”
The Patriots and the Rams previously played each other in the 2002 SuperBowl, which the Patriots won.
SuperBowl LIII is Sunday, Feb. 3.