NFL Football

Super Bowl berths on the line in conference title games

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Rams are back inside the stadium where they lost for the first time this season, looking for retribution and a Super Bowl berth as they face the New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship game.

The Superdome is coming alive for the last time this football season as predominantly Saints fans arrive for just the second NFC title game to be held at the site of seven Super Bowls.

The previous time the Saints hosted a game this late in a season, they pulled out a hair-raising overtime triumph over Minnesota en route to their first Super Bowl appearance - and championship.

That was the 2009 season. Some nine seasons later, coach Sean Payton and 40-year-old, record-setting quarterback Drew Brees are back with a largely different cast, one victory away from the team's second trip to the NFL's biggest event.

When these teams met in Week 9, running back C.J. Anderson had not yet joined Todd Gurley in the Rams' backfield and Los Angeles cornerback Aqib Talib was not healthy enough to play. Their availability puts the Rams in a stronger position than they were in back on Nov. 4, when they fell to New Orleans 45-35.

This is the first NFC title game for Rams 32-year-old, second-year coach Sean McVay and his 24-year-old quarterback, Jared Goff.

On the AFC side, the New England Patriots are in their eighth consecutive conference championship game and trying to reach the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five seasons and the ninth time overall in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era.

The Kansas City Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, are hosting the AFC title game for the first time at Arrowhead Stadium, and are trying to get to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1969 season.

One thing that is unusual is that the Patriots are a slight underdog against the top-seeded Chiefs.

"We're going against a team that's the No. 1 seed in the league," Brady said after the team's final practice on Friday. "I'm sure there's a lot of people that are thinking they're going to win. Everyone can have their own opinion. We certainly have an opinion, and we've got to go out there and execute our best in order to accomplish that."

The winners that emerge from the conference championship games will meet in Atlanta on Feb. 3 in the Super Bowl.

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Updated January 20, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
NC State   Sat 12:00pm
Boston College  
Duke   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia  
North Carolina   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
Teams Score Time
Pittsburgh   Fri 7:00pm
Syracuse  
Ohio State   Fri 8:30pm
Northwestern  
Auburn   Sat 12:00pm
Arkansas  
Clemson   Sat 12:00pm
Louisville  
Florida   Sat 12:00pm
South Carolina  
Georgia Tech   Sat 12:00pm
Miami  
NC State   Sat 12:00pm
Boston College  
Purdue   Sat 12:00pm
Iowa  
West Virginia   Sat 12:00pm
Oklahoma  
Wisconsin   Sat 12:00pm
Illinois  
Duke   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia  
LSU   Sat 3:30pm
Mississippi State  
Minnesota   Sat 3:30pm
Rutgers  
North Carolina   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
Oregon   Sat 3:30pm
Washington  
Temple   Sat 3:30pm
SMU  
Tulsa   Sat 3:30pm
Cincinnati  
UL Monroe   Sat 3:30pm
Appalachian State  
Baylor   Sat 4:00pm
Oklahoma State  
Missouri   Sat 4:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Arizona State   Sat 6:00pm
Utah  
Kentucky   Sat 6:00pm
Georgia  
Kansas   Sat 7:00pm
Texas  
Florida State   Sat 7:30pm
Wake Forest  
Michigan   Sat 7:30pm
Penn State  
Tennessee   Sat 9:00pm
Alabama  
Boise State   Sat 10:15pm
BYU  
Teams Score Time
American League
Houston   8:08pm
New York  
Teams Score Time
Miami   7:00pm
Orlando  
Atlanta   8:00pm
Chicago  
Minnesota   8:00pm
Milwaukee  
Portland   9:00pm
Denver  
Dallas   10:30pm
Los Angeles  
Teams Score Time
Kansas City   8:20pm
Denver  
Arizona   Sun 1:00pm
New York  
Houston   Sun 1:00pm
Indianapolis  
Jacksonville   Sun 1:00pm
Cincinnati  
Los Angeles   Sun 1:00pm
Atlanta  
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
Buffalo  
Minnesota   Sun 1:00pm
Detroit  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
San Francisco   Sun 1:00pm
Washington  
Los Angeles   Sun 4:05pm
Tennessee  
Baltimore   Sun 4:25pm
Seattle  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Chicago  
Philadelphia   Sun 8:20pm
Dallas  
Teams Score Time
Minnesota   7:00pm
Montreal  
New York   7:00pm
New Jersey  
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Boston  
New York   8:00pm
Winnipeg  
Vancouver   8:00pm
St. Louis  
Detroit   9:00pm
Calgary  
Nashville   10:00pm
Arizona  
Ottawa   10:00pm
Vegas  
Buffalo   10:30pm
Los Angeles  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT TALLADEGA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 12 Ryan Blaney 9
2 6 Ryan Newman 13
3 11 Denny Hamlin 40
4 10 Aric Almirola 5
5 34 Michael McDowell 22
6 3 Austin Dillon 20
7 32 Corey Lajoie 33
8 9 Chase Elliott 1
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 7
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT DOVER
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 00 Cole Custer 3
2 7 Justin Allgaier 8
3 22 Austin Cindric 2
4 11 Justin Haley 11
5 98 Chase Briscoe 1
6 1 Michael Annett 16
7 9 Noah Gragson 7
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 17
9 8 Zane Smith 10
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT TALLADEGA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Spencer Boyd 25
2 4 Todd Gilliland 6
3 51 Riley Herbst 7
4 24 Brett Moffitt 8
5 52 Stewart Friesen 10
6 16 Austin Hill 13
7 17 Tyler Ankrum 2
8 88 Matt Crafton 1
9 2 Sheldon Creed 5