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.
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!
Here’s a look at the impact players who will decide this game:
Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Todd Gurley and more will be the difference makers.