Fowler started on the left side of the Rams D-line, bulled his way into the middle, then spun free of Saints right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, into Brees' face. Fowler hit the quarterback upon the release, sending the ball fluttering into the air. The blow caused the pass to come up well short of its intended target and land in the grasp of L.A.'s safety John Johnson as he was falling to the turf.
"Drew Brees still had the ball in his hand and was looking downfield, which he always does -- good quarterbacks always do," Fowler said of how the play unfolded, via the team's official website. "But I think he didn't see me -- he saw me last minute. He tried to throw it and I saw his hand -- it was too late."
Johnson deserves credit for corralling the floating pigskin, but the ball isn't a wayward duck if not for Fowler's pressure.
The pass rusher compiled five tackles, 0.5 sacks, two QB hits and a tackle for loss in Sunday's win. In the Divisional Round, Fowler added the Rams only sack to go with a tackle for loss and a QB hit. After a mostly disappointing regular season in L.A. (two sacks in eight games), Fowler surged in the postseason.
"These are big stages. I've been here last year (with Jacksonville) and I watched these games growing up and I just knew what it took. I just know the blueprint, just to really get to the quarterback, guys like these," Fowler said. "I played (Tom) Brady last year, I knew that I had to get to him -- which I did good in the first half, but I didn't in the second half and that's when they won. This second half, I told myself that wasn't going to happen again and I was able to get the opportunity in overtime and I just came up with it. I was happy that I could make the play for this team."
He made one of the biggest plays of the game in overtime which set up the Rams to kick a game-winning field goal after gaining just 15 yards.
With Fowler and Ndamukong Suh playing their best games of the season the past two weeks, the Rams' sometimes porous defense has firmed, creating a dangerous game-wrecking front. Sean McVay's team will need a repeat performance from the duo in two weeks in the Super Bowl. Perhaps Fowler can exact revenge on Brady for last year's playoff falter.