The New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams were the two best teams in the NFC all season. Now, the two teams will meet in Sunday's NFC Championship Game with a Super Bowl LIII berth on the line.
The Saints handed the Rams their first loss during the regular season, when New Orleans beat Los Angeles, 45-35, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 4. The two teams will again be playing in New Orleans on Sunday.
Both teams received first-round byes to open the playoffs. In the divisional round, the Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, then the Saints topped the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Below is a look at information for the NFC Championship Game, as well as previews and predictions for the matchup.
NFC Championship Game Info
Date: Sunday, Jan. 20
Time: 3:05 p.m. ET
Odds (via OddsShark): Saints -3.5
Brees Looks to Return to Super Bowl
Many players on the Saints' roster haven't previously played in the NFC Championship Game. However, veteran quarterback Drew Brees has.
New Orleans is making its first appearance in the NFC Championship Game since the 2009 season, which was the year that Brees led the Saints to a Super Bowl XLIV victory. Brees also played in the NFC Championship Game in the 2006 season, but New Orleans lost to the Chicago Bears that year.
The Saints had been eliminated in the divisional round in their three previous playoff appearances—the 2011, 2013 and 2017 seasons—prior to beating the Eagles on Sunday.
Brees may be turning 40 on Tuesday, but the Saints quarterback continues to play well. He completed 74.4 percent of his pass attempts during the regular season, breaking his own record for a single season.
The veteran also has numerous elite weapons on New Orleans' offense, including running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Michael Thomas.
Brees isn't surprised that his team will be playing the Rams for the NFC title.
"I had a feeling we'd be seeing those guys again," Brees said, according to Brooks Kubena at The Advocate.
Rams Ready with Two-Headed Rushing Attack
When Todd Gurley missed the final two games of the regular season, the Rams turned to C.J. Anderson to fill in at running back.
Gurley returned for Los Angeles' divisional round matchup against Dallas, but Anderson still factored into the Rams' offense. In fact, he played a major role.
Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams' win, while Gurley had 115 yards and a touchdown on the ground. That took some of the pressure off 24-year-old quarterback Jared Goff, who was playing in his second career postseason game.
The Saints allowed the second-fewest rushing yards (1,283) among NFC defenses during the regular season, so having two running backs contribute could help the Rams mix things up to solve New Orleans' defensive front.
"Having both of them is special, because it gives you a real dual threat of backs," Goff said, according to the New York Times' Scott Cacciola.
These two teams can both put up a large number of points, and it wouldn't be surprising to see another high-scoring matchup between the Saints and Rams.
Although New Orleans is back home, don't expect a repeat result from the last time these teams played at the Superdome.
Gurley and Anderson will pace Los Angeles' offense, and the Rams will advance to their first Super Bowl since the 2001 season with a narrow victory.
Pick: Rams 44, Saints 41