Sports

With Rams-Saints, Patriots-Chiefs, the NFL scorm machines remain


The Saints will again need a great offensive performance, led by Michael Thomas, left, and Drew Brees when they beat the Rams in the NFC title game. (Photo by DAN ANDERSON / EPA-EFE / REX) (Dan Anderson / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

NEW ORLEANS – It just had to be like that. And now, it is in this way. In an NFL season that was completely out of the question, the four scoring machines of the league remain.

The four division play-offs of the sport last weekend were relatively short on drama and devoid of disruptions, as the top two seeds in each conference won home on the heels of their first round byes. But while the weekend was missing in the large football theater, this produced the most appropriate result.

The four highest scoring teams of the NFL from the regular season play in the conference championships on Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs will host the New England Patriots in the AFC and the New Orleans Saints will be at home against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC, with spots in the Super Bowl two weeks later in Atlanta at stake.

"Interesting stat," said the quarterback of Saints, Drew Brees, after the 20-14 victory of his team at the Philadelphia Eagles in the Superdome. "You have to score points to win, but you also have to stop people from winning, so I think the defense works deserve to be discussed, but play-off football is what we all strive to do. have to play. You look at both sides of the bracket, AFC and NFC, it is the [Nos.] 1 and 2 seeds, right? So I think in many cases it is probably the guys that everyone would find here for some reason. & # 39;

Brees was nice. No one will want to talk about the defense of these four teams this week.

The Chiefs, Rams and Saints each scored more than 30 points per game during the regular season, making it the fourth season in the history of the league – after 1948, 1949 and 2011 – with three teams playing the 30 points per game. to overtake Mark. The Patriots were fourth at 27.2 points per game.

It is an indication of how the game is being played now. The 1371 touchdowns scored the highest score in a single year in NFL history this season. The 11,952 points scored were the second highest ever. This season saw a confluence of factors – from brilliant quarterbacks, young and old, to innovative offensive systems borrowed from the college game to shamelessly opposed rules in favor of violations – converting games into widely open scoring fests. Improved TV ratings suggested fans approved this.

Defense-first teams such as the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys reached the playoffs and at least occasionally watched the party crash. But those hypocrites are gone. It's all about who scores the fastest and the most.

Both games from Sunday will be rematches of very entertaining regular seasonal affairs. The Saints beat the rams, 45-35, early November in the Superdome. The Patriots were the Chiefs, 43-40, mid-October in Foxborough, Massachusetts.


All eyes are on Tom Brady while the Patriots play in their eighth consecutive game in the AFC-championship. (Compulsory credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

"Kansas City has had a hell of a year," said Tom Brady, the quarterback of Patriots, after the 41-28 victory of Sunday at the Los Angeles Chargers. "They gave us everything we can handle, what was that, October or November? I can not remember, but I'm sure it will be the same, it's going to be a tough match, they're well coached, they have a good job. attack, they played well defensively [Saturday] against the Colts. It will be nice to go back and play a championship match and try to move forward. "

Much was made of the fact that none of the six best-paid quarterbacks of the NFL achieved the playoffs this season. Yet there is still a lot of quarterback starring power left for the second to the last Sunday of the season. Brady and Brees are all-time greats. The Chiefs & # 39; Patrick Mahomes is probably the MVP of this season in his second NFL season. The third-year pro of the Rams, Jared Goff, has become a fair quarter-final under Coach Sean McVay in his two seasons.

While the Patriots play in an astonishing eighth straight AFC title match, Brady returns to the site from one of the low points in his career. The last time the Patriots played in Kansas City came in week 4 of the 2014 season. Brady played terribly and was lifted by coach Bill Belichick for the then-reserve Jimmy Garoppolo. The Patriots were overwhelmed, 41-14, at & # 39; Monday Night Football & # 39; to suggest that Brady was anything but finished and would disappear from the runway in favor of Garoppolo.

That, as it turned out, three Super Bowl performances (and two Super Bowl victories) were suffered for Brady and the patriots.

"That was a pretty worthless loss that night," Brady said Sunday. "We've had a few more, I think we've shown a lot of perseverance, a lot of strength, this team is showing it, we've also suffered heavy losses this year, but you're just fighting, that's what football is about. is a season, not one game or four games or eight games, 16 games and you get a chance to be in this position. "

Brees said he felt when the Saints suffered the Rams during the regular season that a postseason rematch might be in store.

"We have a great team that comes to town," said Brees. "You go back to our regular season competition with those guys, I just had a feeling, I knew what our goals were and we were hoping to be in this position, I felt like they would be."

Read more:

The biggest takeaways from the 41-28 of the Patriots win the Chargers

Tom Brady seems to think that & # 39; everyone thinks we suck & # 39;

NFL playoffs bracket and diagram

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