Rams overcome raucous Superdome crowd in NFC championship win

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton had a specific request for fans in the Superdome for Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Make some noise.

And not just normal gameday noise. Payton asked fans to start cheering and yelling when the Rams were on offense as soon as the previous play ended so the coaching staff would have trouble relaying plays to quarterback Jared Goff.

It gave the Rams fits throughout the game, but they overcame the challenge in a 26-23 win to earn a trip to the Super Bowl.

Noise in the Superdome made an impact on the Rams offense as they struggled to communicate on the field. (Getty)
Noise in the Superdome made an impact on the Rams offense as they struggled to communicate on the field. (Getty)

Saints game plan includes crowd noise

“What’s important for our fan base is understanding when that crowd noise needs to begin differently this week than normal weeks,” Payton said Thursday. “That crowd noise needs to begin prior to 15 seconds [on the play clock].”

Request granted. A stout Saints defense aided by a raucous home crowd providing a constant wall of sound when the Rams had the ball flustered a normally potent L.A. offense for much of the game.

Rams forced to adjust early to noise

The Rams were almost immediately forced to make an adjustment to the speaker in Goff’s helmet in the first quarter to help him hear plays coming in from the sideline.

Running back C.J. Anderson expressed his frustration on the sideline, presumably about not being able to hear plays in the huddle.https://twitter.com/nflnetwork/status/1087090038855294978

At times, Rams offensive linemen were forced to step out of their stance to get closer to Goff to hear adjustments at the line of scrimmage. In the fourth quarter, Goff was forced to run from under center to relay the play to tight end Gerald Everett, who was lined up wide.

The Superdome scoreboard displayed the volume as high as 116.4 decibels.

And a ceiling fan crashed to the floor near the media workroom, according to New Orleans Times-Picayune video producer Julie Boudwin.

How much that fan falling had to do with the noise, and how much of it is due to the Superdome being an old building is unclear but that fan didn’t crash when the building was empty and silent.

Rams offense struggled early

From the Rams calling plays in, to communicating in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage, Saints fans made an impact on the game early as Los Angeles managed just one field goal in their first four drives.

But the Rams fought through the noise to close the half with a seven-play, 81-yard drive that cut the Saints lead to 13-10 at the half and close in on a game that looked to be getting out of hand.

Saints fans kept up the noise in the second half, but the Rams powered through to force overtime, where Greg Zuerlein’s 57-yard field goal set them up with a trip to the Super Bowl.

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