This is the first time in the Super Bowl era that the four highest-scoring teams have reached the conference finals, which is precisely what the league wants. Hands off those quarterbacks, fellas.
This weekend’s games also are rematches of regular-season meetings in which the four teams scored 163 points among them. Judging by the over/unders, Vegas is expecting around 16 touchdowns for Sunday’s two games.
Thus proving the old adage that defense wins championships, but offense sells tickets.
TV: Fox (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers)
Radio: WIP-FM 94.1 (Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Ed Werder)
Point spread: Saints minus-3.5. Over/under: 57.
About the Rams: They last went to the Super Bowl as the L.A. Rams 40 years ago, when they lost to Pittsburgh’s “Steel Curtain” defense. ... They averaged 32.9 points, second in the league. ... They were 4-12 just two years ago. ... Todd Gurley, who slumped down the stretch because of an injured knee, ran for 115 yards in last week’s win against the Cowboys. He and C.J. Anderson (123 yards) give the Rams a potent running game. Anderson won the Super Bowl with Denver after the 2015 season. ... DT Aaron Donald had 20.5 sacks in the regular season. Saints quarterback Drew Brees was sacked just 17 times.
About the Saints: They beat the Rams in Week 9 in New Orleans, 45-35. ... They averaged 31.5 points, third in the league. ... The Saints are 6-0 at home in the playoffs in the Drew Brees/Sean Payton era. ... Payton hit a nerve after the first meeting when he said the Saints were thrilled with the matchup of star wide receiver Michael Thomas on Rams corner Marcus Peters. Thomas, who smoked the Eagles secondary Sunday, rolled up 12 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown against L.A. in Week 9. ... They lost DT Sheldon Rankins to a torn Achilles last week, which could affect the Saints' ability to stop the run. The Eagles didn’t have much of a running game, so Rankins’ injury wasn’t as critical last week. That’s not the case with the Rams.
Quotable: Anderson, the Rams running back who wasn’t even on the roster until a week before Christmas, explained why he’s about 10 pounds over his ideal weight. “I’ve got a baby due in April, got a daughter due in April,” he told The Dan Patrick Show, “so I’m kind of having that man-pregnancy weight.”
Postgame headline: Oh baby, Rams going to the Super Bowl.
Pick: Rams, 35-27.
TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely, Gene Steratore)
Radio: WIP-FM 94.1 (Kevin Kugler, Tony Boselli, Ross Tucker)
Point spread: Chiefs minus-3. Over/under: 56.5.
About the Patriots: They beat the Chiefs in Week 6 in Foxborough, 43-40, on a field goal at the gun. ... They averaged 27.3 points, fourth in the league. ... They are enjoying their role as underdogs, which is borderline ridiculous. Wake us when you’re a home ‘dog. ... The Patriots are 3-5 on the road this season, beating the Bears, Bills, and Jets and losing to the Jags, Lions, Titans, Dolphins, and Steelers, The Lions? ... New England also has lost its last three AFC championship games on the road, all to Peyton Manning and the Colts/Broncos. ... Julian Edelman is two shy of 100 career postseason receptions. Only Jerry Rice (151) has more. Rice played in 29 playoff games; this will be Edelman’s 17th.
About the Chiefs: Andy Reid is 2-6 against Bill Belichick and 0-2 against him in the postseason. ... The Chiefs averaged 35.3 points, tops in the league. ... The game is viewed as a potential passing of the proverbial torch from New England quarterback Tom Brady to K.C. phenom Patrick Mahomes, who has yet to have a bad game this season. He did not have a TD pass in last week’s win over the Colts but helped the Chiefs stay in control. ... It’s expected to be bitterly cold, but dry: light winds, temperatures in the 20s. In other words, January. ... K.C. has never hosted a conference championship game. ... Chiefs DT Chris Jones had 15.5 sacks during the regular season. The Patriots’ leader was Trey Flowers with 7.5. ... Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had his best games this season against playoff teams, including 7-142-3 against New England.
Quotable: “You’re talking about a dynasty, if there is such a thing in the National Football League. They’ve been that,” Reid said of the Patriots. “You’re talking about a head coach [Belichick] that I think the world of him, I think he’s a great coach. He’s done a phenomenal job keeping that thing together.”
Postgame headline: If the Eagles can’t win the Super Bowl, then let Andy Reid
Pick: Chiefs, 23-21.