For the second consecutive season, an Ahmad Brooks backfield tackle of Drew Brees proved paramount in the San Francisco 49ers clash with the New Orleans Saints.
Last year, the linebacker brought down the star quarterback for a sack and forced fumble that gave the 49ers a huge turnover late in the contest. But the game-altering play was nullified as referees deemed the hit illegal.
The Saints kept the ball and proceeded to tie the game before winning on a last-second field goal.
This time around, however, Brooks' dramatic effort in the Bayou would not go in vain.
Midway through overtime, with the Saints backed up on a 2nd-and-15, Brooks sped around left tackle Terron Armstead and stripped the ball away from Brees.
Chris Borland jumped on the fumble, and Phil Dawson promptly booted a 35-yard field goal as Brooks became one of many heroes in the 49ers 27-24, win.
"It kind of is poetic justice that he made the play there," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "The referees got it right this time."
Officials reviewed the turnover to determine if Brees' arm was moving forward before the ball came out, but the ruling on the field was upheld and Brooks got his payback.
"It's ironic," Brooks said. "One of my teammates came up to me on the sideline after the play happened and said, 'Karma is real.' And I'm like, 'I don't believe in karma.' You know what I mean? But that play was real similar to last year in a sense."
Rushing wide of his opponent, Brooks didn't expect to get to Brees before he could throw. The tight coverage downfield, however, forced the signal-caller to wait.
"I was really surprised. I was running and thinking to myself, 'Dang, is he going to throw the ball yet?'" Brooks said. "And he didn't thankfully."
What did Brees see on the play?
"We had vertical routes called and they were soft," Brees said. "I was trying to get it to the back (Travaris Cadet)... but he was on the ground so I brought it back. Then I tried to throw again as he started to get up. There was nobody around him, he could have run forever. I got hit as the ball was coming out."
For Brooks, Sunday's big play wrote yet another chapter in his long history of epic moments with the Saints quarterback. Remember, the linebacker recorded a 50-yard pick-six of Brees in 2012.
"I think I'm Drew Brees' Kryptonite, man," Brooks told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I really do."