NFL Conference Championship Games (Jan. 20) Preview: Time Start, Channel, Stats, Players To Watch
The NFL playoffs are coming to a close this weekend, as both the AFC and NFC Championship Games will be held on Sunday, and here is everything you need to know.
Saints Host Rams, Patriots Visit Chiefs For Conference Games
First, the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints will face off, and then the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs will play each other to see who will advance to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Feb. 3.
Rams at Saints (Sunday at 3:05 p.m. EST on FOX)
Both these teams finished as division leaders and ended the regular season 13-3. In Week 9, the Saints beat the Rams 45-35 in New Orleans to end the team’s eight-game winning streak to open the season.
With regards to the Rams, the team has been noticeably better when cornerback Aqib Talib is healthy. The 32-year-old five-time Pro Bowler was one of Los Angeles’s top acquisitions last year. Talib suffered an ankle injury in Week 3, had surgery and didn’t return until Week 13. On offense, Pro Bowl running back C.J. Anderson has been one of the team’s biggest stars.
Aqib Talib? More like A-need Talib.
The @RamsNFL CB changes the game when he’s on the field pic.twitter.com/0cLDWU1XZ1
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) January 17, 2019
Meanwhile, the Saints finished as the NFC’s top team of the 2018 regular season. Quarterback Drew Brees was outstanding, especially in the second half of the season. In Week 11’s victory against the Falcons, Brees tied a league record — set in 2016 by Atlanta QB Matt Ryan, ironically — by throwing touchdown passes to 13 different teammates during the season.
The Rams are seeking their first Super Bowl appearance since after the 2001 season.
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Patriots at Chiefs (Sunday at 6:40 p.m. EST on CBS)
The Patriots, who ended the regular season 11-5, are seeking their third straight Super Bowl appearance and fourth in five years. The Chiefs, who went 12-4, astounded this season under the leadership of QB Patrick Mahomes, who finished with 50 touchdowns and 5,097 yards during the regular campaign.
Amid rumors of Tom Brady‘s possible impending retirement, this matchup will surely be an exciting one. If Kansas City focuses on its passing game, it could hurt the dominant Patriots, who allowed a whopping 3,943 passing yards and 29 touchdowns through the air this season.
The Chiefs last played in the Super Bowl in January 1970 (Super Bowl IV), when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7.
Prediction: the Saints and Chiefs will advance to the Super Bowl this year.
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