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- The NFL’s final four square off Sunday for the right to go to the Super Bowl. First, the Los Angeles Rams face the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game. Then, the New England Patriots meet the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
- The Rams earned a return trip to the Superdome thanks to their strengthening ground game. In week 9, the Saints shut down Todd Gurley, en route to a 45-35 win. Last week, however, both Gurley and running-mate CJ Anderson rushed for over 100 yards, in their win over the Cowboys.
- Professional athletes don’t tend to be lacking for motivation, especially come playoff time. Saints coach Sean Payton may have provided some additional incentives by wheeling in $225,000 in cash and the team’s 2010 Lombardi Trophy, as part of a pre-playoffs speech. In dethroning last year’s champions last week, it’s safe to say the demo worked.
- Quarterback Patrick Mahomes wasn’t born the last time his Kansas City Chiefs either played for the AFC title or won a home playoff game. His 5,097 passing yards (2nd in the league) and 50 touchdown passes (first) are a big reason why the Chiefs are a game away from their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
- The New England Patriots come in to Kansas City as rare 3-point underdogs. They’ll be greeted by an arctic blast, and more than 76,000 frigid fans hoping to make their jobs more difficult. A certain quadragenarian quarterback with five rings doesn’t want to hear about it.