But the Giants didn't fall easily. Anderson finished an 82-yard drive with a two-yard TD run late in the third quarter to put New York ahead 13-7. Then the Rams chipped away and chipped away, tying the score with two Lansford field goals in the fourth quarter.
The only leftover from Los Angeles's 1980 Super Bowl team, tackle Jackie Slater, made the next important decision. "Heads," he said when ref Bob McElwee threw the coin up before overtime. Heads it was.
After passing for a pair of first downs in OT, Everett sent Flipper Anderson on a deep slant, and as Anderson dived for the ball, cornerback Sheldon White dived on his back. The play was close. Field judge Bernie Kukar called it interference on White. The Giants called it many things, among them, an uncatchable ball. "Superman couldn't have caught that," said White.
With a first down at the New York 25, Robinson planned to shove Bell up the middle for three plays and then let Lansford try to win the game. But Slater got whistled for a false start, sending the ball back to the 30. So Robinson sent in play 8-44, which calls for Anderson and Henry Ellard, who caught eight passes for 125 yards, to line up way wide on opposite sides and try to attract single coverage. Tight end Pete Holohan is the safety valve. The Rams got what they wanted. Anderson later said he came to the line "trying to seem very nonchalant, so he (Collins] wouldn't know anything was up." Better still, for the first time all afternoon, Collins, who had been playing well off the line of scrimmage, tried to bump Anderson at the line.
"I was glad he bumped me," said Anderson. "He can only touch me for five yards, then it's a footrace. I like my chances in a footrace with anybody."
"I got a good enough piece of him so he never should have caught the ball," said Collins. "I wish it hadn't been a perfect pass, but it was."
After Anderson made the catch, he kept going, through the end zone, past an army of photographers and into the bowels of the stadium. He took a right into the Rams locker room and was still bouncing with glee 15 seconds later when his best friend. Ram wideout Aaron Cox, crashed in and tackled him to the floor, bruising Anderson's jaw. A playful pileup ensued.
Are the Rams having fun yet? They certainly are. Which could mean no fun for the 49ers.