Rams’ NFC championship game opponent: New Orleans Saints

Rams (14-3) at New Orleans Saints (14-3)

Date: Sunday, 12:05 p.m., Fox/11

Last meeting: In one of the most thrilling NFL games of the regular season, on Nov. 4 at the Superdome, the Rams entered with an 8-0 record but had their dreams of an undefeated season dashed with a 45-35 loss. The Rams appeared to be on their way to a blowout loss when they faced a 35-14 deficit late in the second quarter, but then stormed back to tie the game 35-35 late with less than 10 minutes left in regulation. The Rams, quite reasonably given how the game went, seemed to run out of gas on defense and allowed 10 points over the final 7 minutes. Saints receiver Michael Thomas was nearly unstoppable, with 12 receptions for 211 yards and one touchdown.

Saints at a glance: It’s easy to look at the obvious and think that the Saints have an unstoppable offense, with Drew Brees, a future Hall of Fame quarterback, throwing the ball to Thomas and handing it off to Alvin Kamara, one of the league’s most dynamic all-around backs. The Saints are great, but they’ve also been a bit puzzling over the past few weeks. They scored only 20 points in their divisional-round victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, and they failed to score more than 14 points in three of their final five regular-season games. On the other hand, the Saints played some extraordinary defense against the Eagles, and didn’t allow a point after Philadelphia scored on two early touchdown drives.

The big question: It’s still all about Thomas. He got the better of Rams cornerback Marcus Peters in the first meeting, but now veteran corner Aqib Talib is back from an ankle injury and figures to draw that assignment.

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