LA Rams at NO Saints: NFC Conference Championship Preview
Sunday 1/20 3:05 PM (ET),
Two of the most prolific offenses in all of football face off on Sunday to determine who will represent the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl.
The Rams, known for their high flying offense pivoted their usual game plan a week ago and slashed Dallas with a dominant run game. Todd Gurley looked like his usual reigning NFL OPOY self, returning from injury after a month off. While CJ Anderson continued his unsuspecting tear on the league, topping 100-yards rushing for the third consecutive week.
The Saints got off to the worst start imaginable vs. Philly a week ago, but rebounded thanks to a gutsy fake punt call on their own side of the 50. The Saints continued their impressive defensive stint. The Saints held the Eagles to just 14 points a week ago, a regularity for a New Orleans defense that has held opponents to under 18 points in seven of their past nine games.
A major key in this game will be the production of Michael Thomas. Thomas put up an absurd stat line of 12 receptions for 211 yards in New Orleans’ week nine win over LA. Rams corner Aqib Talib was not available for that game due to injury. Yet since returning to action in week 13, Talib and company have allowed opposing wide receivers to reach 62 yards receiving just twice.
New Orleans will try to push their streak to 26 games straight without allowing a 100-yard rusher on Sunday. They will have to do it without stud defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, who was lost to an Achilles injury a week ago. All streaks must come to an end, and what better week than this one. The Rams are just a game removed from having not one, but two running backs eclipse the 100-yard barrier. As a team, Los Angeles has averaged an astonishing 232.2 ypg in their last three contests.
Score prediction: Rams win 30-27:
The loss of Sheldon Rankins in the Saints’ front seven is a major blow that hasn’t been publicised enough. Aqib Talib’s presence in the Rams secondary should help slow down Michael Thomas, leading Brees to look for other options in the passing game. New Orleans has tried and failed to find a reliable second receiver all season. The Saints are just 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
We may not get the same 80 point total we got back in week nine between these two teams. Yet both teams rank in the top four of total offenses in the NFL, and have more then enough firepower to hit the OVER. The OVER has been a popular trend in NFC Title games as of late, as the past four NFC conference championship games have all hit the OVER.
Head to Head
The Saints and Rams put on an offensive show in week nine of this season. The Saints left victorious, defeating LA 45-35. New Orleans and Los Angeles have split their last ten meetings down the middle.
Los Angeles is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games.
Los Angeles is 14-3 SU in their last 17 games.
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Los Angeles’ last 6 road games vs. New Orleans.
New Orleans is 10-5 ATS in their last 15 games.
New Orleans is 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games vs. Los Angeles.
- New Orleans is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.