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NFC Championship preview on FOX 53: All-time great QB facing rising star

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An all-time great quarterback facing a rising star is the theme of the NFL's Conference Championship weekend, and that storyline will play out Sunday on FOX 53 in the NFC title game. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are hosting Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams at 3:05, with Fox's pregame coverage kicking off at 2 p.m.

PITTSBURGH -- An all-time great quarterback facing a rising star is the theme of the NFL's Conference Championship weekend, and that storyline will play out Sunday on FOX 53 in the NFC title game.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are hosting Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams at 3:05, with Fox's pregame coverage kicking off at 2 p.m.

High-scoring affair

The matchup features the top two seeds and the top two scoring offenses in the conference, with the Rams (32.9) just edging out the Saints (31.5) in points per game during the regular season. This Sunday will mark the first time in the Super Bowl era the four highest-scoring teams in the regular season have advanced to the conference championship games.

Defensive difference-makers

Don't ignore the defenses, with Los Angeles led by former Penn Hills High School and Pitt Panthers standout defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Donald led the NFL with 20.5 sacks this season and also led the league in tackles for loss (25). In three career meetings against New Orleans he has produced two sacks.

Defense loomed large in last weekend's NFC Divisional Playoff matchups with New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore intercepting two passes and the Rams defense coming up with a key fourth down stop early in the fourth quarter to hold off Dallas.

Down to the quarterbacks

Elite quarterback play has led these sides to the doorstep of the Super Bowl.

Brees threw for 301 yards last week and holds the NFL record for the most 300-yard passing games, including the postseason (123 games).

Meanwhile, Goff ranked fourth in the NFL in passing yards this season (4,688), including a 391-yard performance in Week 9 against New Orleans.

The rematch

Sunday's showdown is a rematch of one of the most memorable regular season games, with the Saints beating the Rams 45-35 back in Week 9. The defeat was the first of the year for Los Angeles after opening the season with eight straight wins.

History at stake

A win for New Orleans will clinch a spot in the franchise's second Super Bowl. The Saints won Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, their only championship. Brees has a chance to join the club of two-time Super Bowl winning quarterbacks.

In the Super Bowl era, the Rams franchise has made the big game three times, winning Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000 behind the Kurt Warner-led St. Louis Rams.


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