The New Orleans Saints are advancing to the NFC Championship Game, and they can thank a pair of former Ohio State players for making that happen.
Michael Thomas and Marshon Lattimore both had huge games to lead the Saints to a 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, as Thomas caught 12 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown while Lattimore intercepted two passes for the Bayou Buckeyes.
With the Saints down 14-0 early in the game, Lattimore's first interception proved to be the turning point in the game's momentum that got the home team back on track.
Thomas' touchdown catch proved to be the difference-making score in Sunday's game, as it gave the Saints a lead late in the third quarter that they would not relinquish.
Thomas also made a 22-yard catch on a 3rd-and-long situation in the fourth quarter that helped keep the Saints in front.
Still, the Eagles ended up with one more shot at a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, but Lattimore snuffed out that opportunity by picking off another pass.
Thomas finished the game as the leading receiver; the NFL's official account posted a highlight reel of all 12 of his catches.
Ted Ginn also had three catches for 44 yards for the Saints. Defensively, a trio of former Buckeyes – Lattimore, Eli Apple and Vonn Bell – each recorded four tackles for the Saints' secondary, while Kurt Coleman also had one tackle.
The Eagles' former Buckeyes also performed well in a losing effort. Former Ohio State defensive back Malcolm Jenkins had a team-high 10 tackles with two tackles for loss, while former Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston had five punts for an average of 48.2 yards per punt
The Saints will host the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday at 3:05 p.m.