2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
13-3, 1st in NFC South
AP Photo/John Bazemore
6hMike Triplett

Brees sets sights on 'making another run at it'

Drew Brees, while saying the Saints' NFC title game loss was still fresh in his mind, affirmed he will be returning for his 19th season. "This was a special team and this was a special year," he said.

Seth Walder ESPN Analytics 

Aaron Donald was double-teamed at a higher rate by the Saints Sunday (79% of pass plays) than in any other game this season. He also was held to his second-lowest pass rush win rate (18%) this year. In the regular season Donald recorded a PRWR of 46%, higher than any other qualifying player in the league. PRWR is an ESPN metric powered by NFL Next Gen Stats.

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
5hLindsey Thiry

Gurley: I'm not injured, just played 'sorry' game

The Rams' star running back stood on the sideline with his helmet on throughout most of the NFC Championship Game and hardly appeared in action as backup C.J. Anderson rushed for 44 yards on 16 carries.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
8hMike Triplett

Saints' Payton: Referee chief admitted blown call

Sean Payton said the NFL's head of officials told him the officials "blew the call" by not penalizing the Los Angeles Rams for pass interference late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

Brees: 'Everybody in the world' saw pass interference (0:19)
Lewis on no-call: 'Everybody knows it was obvious' (0:21)
Clark breaks down controversial no-call (1:52)
Clark on Saints: 'This was their chance' (0:34)
Clark: Controversial play was 'clearly a pass interference' (1:05)
Referees miss pass interference call on late Saints drive (0:24)

Brian Burke ESPN Analytics 

Had the refs called defensive pass interference on the 3rd down pass attempt to Tommylee Lewis with 1:45 to play, NO would have been able to kneel the clock down to about 15 seconds with a field goal attempt from around the 10-yard line to essentially win the game. Indoors, that would give them a 98% Win Probability. After the no-call, the Saints' Win Probability was 78%, a difference of 20%.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

A stunning end to a Saints season that felt destined to reach the Super Bowl for most of the year -- and for most of this game. But they couldn't hang on to their early 13-0 lead or their late 23-20 lead before the Rams won it on a 57-yard field goal in overtime. This game will forever be remembered for the controversial no-call by the officials on a potential pass interference against the Saints in the final minutes. And for Drew Brees' overtime interception as he got hit by pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Drew Brees throws just his third interception in the Superdome all season -- in overtime of the NFC title game. Brees was hit as he threw by pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr., and the deep ball fluttered in the air before Rams safety John Johnson pulled it in.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints have hosted two NFC Championship Games in franchise history -- and both of them have now gone to overtime. This one was marred by a controversial no-call on what looked like a pass interference by Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman against Saints WR Tommylee Lewis on third down, shortly after the two-minute warning. The crowd has been booing ever since.

Brees connects with Ginn for 43-yard gain (0:27)

Brian Burke ESPN Analytics 

ESPN's Win Probability (WP) model says the Rams likely made a major error by electing for a field goal attempt on 4th and goal from the Saints' 1-yard line. The WP for the FG attempt would be 43.2%, while the WP for going for it would be 55.3%. The Rams needed a 32% chance of conversion to make it worth the gamble. League average from the 1 is 57%. This is about as big as these errors tend to be.

Seth Walder ESPN Analytics 

Sean McVay's decision to kick a field goal on 4th-and-1 (before delay of game) with about 5 minutes left was extremely costly. The Rams would have had a 55% chance to win by going for it but only a 43% chance to win by attempting a field goal. The Rams needed to think they had at least a 32% chance of success to justify going for it, and league average rate of success in that situation is 57%.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Rams have come all the way back to tie the game at 20-20 with 5:03 remaining -- but the Saints' defense came up with a huge stand inside the 10-yard line. First CB P.J. Williams tackled Jared Goff at the 2-yard line on a second-down scramble. Then the Saints stuffed C.J. Anderson for a 1-yard gain on third down, with DT David Onyemata being credited for the stop. Especially impressive, considering the Saints' best interior d-lineman, Sheldon Rankins, tore his Achilles last Sunday.

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

The Rams have tied the NFC Championship Game at 20 with just over 5 minutes remaining. CJ Anderson has 15 of their 25 rushing attempts; Josh Reynolds, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett have drawn 10 of their 28 targets. Imagine that.

Brees throws short TD to Hill in 3rd quarter (0:23)

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints created short, high-percentage throws for Drew Brees on that scoring drive with Alvin Kamara matched up to LBs in coverage. Option routes, ball to the flat, etc. Can take that all day with Kamara's route running skills.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Drew Brees tied a NFL record this year by completing TD passes to 13 different players. And now he has thrown TD passes to two DIFFERENT players in the NFC Championship Game for a total of 15 on the season. Also, nine of those players were undrafted coming out of college, including today's scorers, TE Garrett Griffin and QB Taysom Hill.

Team Stats

Passing Yards252.612th
Rushing Yards126.66th
Points For31.53rd
Points Against22.1