The Los Angeles Rams will travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints this Sunday afternoon in the NFC Championship game. Both of these teams are coming off home victories in the Divisional round of the playoffs last week. There will be a new Super Bowl Champion this year as the Saints beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 to advance. They were trailing 14-0 after the first quarter but shut the Eagles out the rest of the way while scoring 20 unanswered points. Starting defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins tore his ACL in the first quarter and will not be available against the Rams. Los Angeles beat the Dallas Cowboys 30-22 and will be looking to make their first Super Bowl appearance since 2001. The Rams dominated the time of possession as they had the ball for over 36 minutes while the Cowboys had possession for just 23 minutes and 47 seconds.
The Saints defense led the way against the Eagles on a day where Drew Brees did not have his best game. Brees finished with a quarterback rating of 65.8 as he completed 28 of 38 passes for 301 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. His favorite target was Michael Thomas who had a huge game with 171 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions. The team rushed for 137 yards on 23 carries, which is an average of 4.4 yards per run. Alvin Kamara led the team with 71 yards while also catching 4 passes for another 35 yards. Defensively, they held the Eagles to just 250 yards of offense including just 49 on the ground. They intercepted Nick Foles twice, but didn’t have any sacks or tackles for losses.
The Rams had 459 yards of offense against the Cowboys with 273 of them coming on the ground. CJ Anderson and Todd Gurley each rushed for over 100 yards with Anderson scoring 2 touchdowns and Gurley scoring 1. Jared Goff finished with a quarterback rating of 56.5 as he completed 15 of 28 passes for 186 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Robert Woods who 8 catches for 69 yards. Defensively, they were not able to force a turnover and sacked Dak Prescott once. They did shut down Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys run game as they gained just 50 yards on 22 carries which is an average of 2.3 yards per rush.
The Saints will have home field advantage and are favored by 3.5 points. Everyone talks about the Saints powerful offense but they have allowed their opponents to average just 17 points per game during the second half of the season. The Rams have won their last 3 games and their offense has averaged over 36 points per game during the streak. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a loud and scary place to play for any team not named the Saints. These 2 teams combined for 80 points when they met in New Orleans in Week 9 with the Saints winning 45-35.
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