With a yard between the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas end zone halfway through the fourth quarter, Sean McVay decided to go straight ahead.
No smart actions for this high-flying attack. No complicated schedules from their inventive coach.
CJ Anderson walked directly to the left while his line cleared a road. He tumbled into the end zone with 7:16 left to the final points of the Rams in their first play-off victory in 14 years, 30-22 over the Cowboys on Saturday night in the division round.
LA Rams & # 39; CJ Anderson (35) celebrates with teammates after he scored on a fourth-down game
We always talk about offensive success, never afraid of failure, & # 39; said McVay about his reasoning behind the simple call. We wanted to come out here and try to play fearlessly tonight. & # 39;
The ground game of Los Angeles is to be feared after winning a franchiseplay-off record of 273 meters from the opening to Anderson's final first down-run.
Anderson raced to 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Todd Gurley ran 115 extra yards and another TD to send the second seeded Rams (14-3) to the NFC championship game for the first time in 17 years.
That is also the most permissible in the & # 39; postseason & # 39; by the five-time Super Bowl-champion Cowboys, who played in their NFL-record 63rd postseason-game.
& # 39; It feels good, just let the ball run as we did & # 39 ;, said quarterback Jared Goff after his first win in the playoffs. & # 39; Two 100-yard Rushers, that's rare, and it starts with those five guys in front. & # 39;
Next weekend, the Rams will face the winner of the other division playoff game in New Orleans between the top Saints and the defending Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles.
The long-wrestling Rams had won only one postseason game since their last trip to the Super Bowl in February 2002, but the 32-year-old McVay added his first play-off victory to his spectacular two-week franchise win. Los Angeles is one victory away from another Super Bowl trip after McVay largely clung to the football basics of yesteryear, with its unlikely backward tandem and an offensive line determined to prove its superiority.
Looking back Anderson (R) celebrates with quarterback Jared Goff after scoring a touchdown
As the veteran offensive row of the Rams broke through the holes in the Cowboys' defense, Gurley and Anderson became the fourth group of teammates in NFL history to defeat 100 yards each in a post-season match, an unlikely development only a few weeks ago . Gurley is the offensive center of the Rams and one of the elites of the NFL, but Anderson is a seasoned veteran who only played his third game with the Rams after he signed last month when Gurley struggled with a knee injury.
& # 39; It's scary & # 39 ;, Anderson said about his new collaboration with Gurley. & # 39; We have two different styles and we can keep teams out of balance. … Playing on the pitch with Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, I'm just trying to make my statement and put my stamp in this game. & # 39;
The Cowboys (11-7), who last week largely closed the Seattle front runners' initiative, had not allowed two 100-yard rushers in a play-off game since the merger between NFL and AFL. Los Angeles grabbed more yards than the Cowboys had allowed on the ground throughout the season.
& # 39; We are defeated, & # 39; said the defensive end of Cowboys, said Tyrone Crawford. & # 39; As I said in (the locker room), it is a scar that you will wear the rest of your life. You can look at your scar and run off, or you can look at your scar and remember it, and hit somebody in your face. So hopefully our boys use this as ammunition for next year. & # 39;
LA Rams linebacker Dante Fowler (R) avoids Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (C)
Elliott hurried to a TD and Amari Cooper caught an early TD pass for the Cowboys, who still have not won a playoff game on the road in 26 years. After winning the NFC East and defeating Seattle last week, Dallas lost in the play-off round division for the sixth consecutive time and ran short of his first trip to the NFC championship game since January 1996.
Dak Prescott passed 266 yards and raced to a TD with 2:11 to play, but the Cowboys could not climb out after falling into a 23-7-hole mid-way through the third quarter. Elliott drove only 47 yards on 20 carriers while Dallas lost for the second time in their last 10 games.
"They are a physical football team," said Dallas coach Jason Garrett about the rams. & # 39; There is a bit of a misconception about how the Rams attack football with the run. They do an excellent job. & # 39;
LA Rams who walk back Todd Gurley (C) wins some yardage against the Dallas Cowboys
Goff passed for 186 yards and spent a good deal of the night, but the lanky quarterback scribbled 11 yards unlikely for a first down with 1:51 to play, basically packing his overwhelming victory. It was also the first victory after the season for the anchor of that line, the 37-year-old left tackle Andrew Whitworth and the veteran defense line Ndamukong Suh.
Anderson and Gurley ran with equal strength, while Dallas gave up 200 meters for the first time in a play-off game because Eric Dickerson did it for the Rams in 1986. Anderson became the third Rams player with more than 100 yards and two rushing TD's in a game, joining Dickerson and Marshall Faulk.
The Rams chewed the ground and the clock on four long scoring discs in the first half. Anderson reached the final zone seven minutes before the break on a one-yard dive – and only 3 1/2 minutes later, Gurley broke through the middle and went 35 yards before his touchdown of the first careers appointment, which put the Rams up 20-7 halfway .
Elliott scored on a 1-yard dive and the Cowboys got a 2-point conversion to trim the lead of the Rams to 23-15 in the third quarter, but the Rams made a decisive 12-play, 65-yard drive in the fourth capped by Anderson's bold 1-yard TD dive in fourth place.