Rams vs Saints

Rams vs Saints : The New Orleans Saints will take on the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game on Sunday afternoon, a showdown of youth vs. age, offense vs. defense, the Big Easy vs. The City of Angels, and I’m running out of things to include in this list so I’m just going to stop now.

Sean Payton and the Saints are coming in as hot as any team in football, with their usual juggernaut offense led by Drew Brees complemented by a defense that is suddenly looking extremely tough to beat. The Saints beat the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in the last round, and looked comfortable doing so after some early stumbles, plus one late missed field goal and nail biting final drive, which ended in a Nick Foles interception.

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The Rams enter, somehow, as kind of the lowest key team in the conference championships. They are led by their ferocious defense, which pressures the quarterback as well as any team in the league. The offense, orchestrated by wunderkind coach Sean McVay – who makes me regularly feel awful about what I’ve accomplished by my age – hasn’t been as dynamic this season, but they’ve got one of the best running backs in football and Jared Goff is more than adequate at quarterback. Or, well, adequate. And that might be enough!

New Orleans is a 3-point home favorite on the NFL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. The last 10 games between these two teams have been split with both teams going 5-5 SU, though the Rams hold a slight advantage of 6-4 ATS.

The Saints and their home fans were left shell-shocked last Sunday when the team dropped into an immediate 14-0 hole in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles wouldn’t score another point however, and New Orleans eventually erased the deficit and survived with a 20-14 win.

Since going 5-0 SU and ATS with five straight wins by 10 points or more, the Saints are 1-5 ATS over their last six games with two losses and only one win by more than six points.

In their last 17 games at home, the Saints, the +175 favorites on the updated Super Bowl odds, are 15-2 SU and 8-9 ATS per the OddsShark NFL Database.

AFC Championship Game 2019

AFC Championship Game 2019 : Patriots vs Chiefs NFL 2019 The New England Patriots are once again in familiar territory, as they are playing for a chance to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

The New England Patriots are once again in familiar territory, as they are playing for a chance to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.This marks the eighth straight year that the Patriots are in this position, and the one thing that seems certain about their game with the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium is that they are not likely to be impacted by nerves or anxiety.What they are likely to be affected by is Kansas City’s explosive offensive ability and the big arm and overall talent of second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

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The Kansas City signal-caller has had a brilliant season, and he will likely be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player when that award is handed out February 2, the night before the Super Bowl.Mahomes (318.6 yards per game, 50 touchdowns), wideout Tyreek Hill (1,479 receiving yards, 17.0 yards per catch, 12 touchdowns) and tight end Travis Kelce (103 receptions, 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns) are the keys to Kansas City’s passing attack, and the Patriots are going to have a difficult time keeping them in check.

Aside from the numbers, all three have special characteristics that have helped the Chiefs advance to the No. 1 seed in the AFC.Mahomes combines athleticism, accuracy, creativity and arm strength. Hill is probably the fastest receiver in the league and has improved dramatically in the last two years. Kelce is something of a tank after he catches the ball, much like Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was prior to the 2018 season.

Kelce realizes New England’s experience is a huge factor and that errors must be limited. “You have to play mistake-free football against this team in all three phases of the game. Sure enough, when we play that way, we give ourselves a chance,” Kelce said in the buildup to the game, per Patriots Football Weekly.

Mahomes is envisioning a game where both teams assert themselves for four quarters: “We have to come out with our best effort from the beginning of the game all the way through the end. It’s going to be a dog fight for the entire game if you want to try to come out with the win.”

If the Chiefs are going to win, they are going to have to keep Brady from having an explosive game. His short passing helped the Patriots tear up the Los Angeles Chargers in the divisional playoff game, and he clearly understands what it takes to win championship games.Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston said the key to slowing down Brady is keeping Sony Michel and the New England running game in check. If the Chiefs can force Brady to contend with 3rd-and-long situations, the home team has a better chance.

“We have to do a great job of stopping the run. If it’s 3rd-and-short, the ball’s coming out fast. If you put him in third-and-long situations, then he has to hold the ball a little longer. Hopefully it will give us a little time to get there,” Houston said.

Brady knows that the Chiefs have had an excellent season and will be a formidable opponent.”I mean, we’re going against a team that’s the No. 1 seed in the league. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are thinking they’re going to win. Everyone can have their own opinion,” Brady said, per Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly. “We certainly have an opinion, and we’ve got to go out there and execute our best in order to accomplish that.”

Just as the Chiefs have concerns about Michel and the New England running game, the Patriots have the same concerns about Damien Williams and the Kansas City running attack. If Williams can have consistent success on the ground, it will make life much easier for Mahomes.

The Chiefs had one of the most dangerous running backs in the NFL in Kareem Hunt, but he was released in late November after video was published showing him kicking a woman outside a Cleveland hotel in February. Williams has had much of the work in the Kansas City backfield since Hunt was released.

“Damien Williams, he’s able to get to the edge, able to cut the ball into the defense and lower his pads,” said defensive end Trey Flowers, per the Boston Globe. “There’s a lot of similarities. It’s different people but there’s a lot of similarities.”

NFC Championship Game 2019

NFC Championship Game 2019The Los Angeles Rams have a difficult task ahead of them in Sunday’s NFC title game with the New Orleans Saints. They have a chance to win the NFC earn..

The Los Angeles Rams have a difficult task ahead of them in Sunday’s NFC title game with the New Orleans Saints.They have a chance to win the NFC earn a spot in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta February 3, but they are going to have to beat the league’s most consistent team at the Superdome if that is going to happen.The Rams had a chance to do that earlier this season, but they fell 45-35 in Week 9. The Saints have appeared unstoppable at times this season.

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New Orleans dropped its season opener to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and rested most of its key players in the regular-season finale defeat to the Carolina Panthers. The Saints won 13 of 14 games in between those two losses and proved their dominance nearly every week.The Rams will depend on head coach Sean McVay to force the New Orleans defense into a guessing game with his play-calling. That’s an area that McVay has excelled in during the past two seasons.

“There’s certain moments in games where being a good play caller—you can’t teach it—but there’s certain moments where you have to go for that dagger or you have to pull back a little bit,” Rams quarterback Jared Goff said Friday, per Brett Martel of the Associated Press (h/t the Boston Globe). “There’s just different ebbs and flows in games. I think he’s got a great feel for that.”McVay refused to take credit for his skills in that area, deferring to Saints head coach Sean Payton because of his experience and long-term success in the game.

“He’s been doing it at really high level for a lot longer than I have,” McVay said. “He’s an outstanding coach—clearly referenced by the way that his team is playing this year, how they’ve played over the course of his career when he’s been leading the Saints. So, I don’t think we’re in that category yet.”The Rams are going to have to play better defense than they did in their earlier loss to the Saints. Wideout Michael Thomas had a brilliant season with 125 receptions, and he had 211 receiving yards in the win over the Rams.

Los Angeles cornerback Aqib Talib explained why Thomas is so tough to defend, per Clarence Dennis of TheRams.com: “He’s got a Hall of Fame quarterback (in Drew Brees). Anytime you’re a receiver and you got a Hall of Fame quarterback, that’s going to take you to the next level, man. Then he’s big, he’s fast, he’s got great hands, great body control.”

When the Rams have the ball, they are going to need the 24-year-old Goff to stay calm and not get overwhelmed by the moment. It seems fairly obvious that the 40-year-old Brees can handle himself in a championship game, but Goff has to demonstrate that he can perform at a peak level when it matters most. He is clearly excited by his opportunity.

“It’s always something you dream about growing up is being able to play in the Super Bowl,” Goff said. “Even playing in the NFC championship is a dream come true. We’re excited for it. It’s an opportunity you work for and I think we see it as something that we’ve earned.”