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3 compelling reasons to root for the Rams this weekend

You probably don’t even need three, given their opponent.

Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

You may already be aware of this, but the Rams and Saints will meet up in the NFC Conference Championship Game next week. As a Falcons fan, the prospect of New Orleans playing in Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a Super Bowl remains too awful to really comprehend, so there’s a lot at stake in this one.

If you need convincing—or if you’re one of those fans who, thanks to advanced college football brain poisoning, think you should root for an in-division rival—here are three reasons to print off a Rams logo and slap it on your t-shirt this weekend.

#1: The Rams are actually fun

You have a choice between rooting for the Patriots, who are as inevitable as death and half as fun, or the high-flying Chiefs led by the NFL’s MVP. You have a choice between the Saints, who are dinking and dunking their way to victory with Michael Thomas and 15 gritty UDFAs, and the Rams, who have the league’s youngest head coach and a ton of legitimately fun players. A Chiefs-Rams Super Bowl would be one of the most exciting in NFL history, while Patriots-Saints would be significantly less thrilling and honestly

The Rams have Robert Woods, quietly one of the best receivers in the NFL this year; Todd Gurley and a 500 pound C.J. Anderson rumbling on the ground; Jared Goff and his weekly swings between borderline elite production and falling down under a light breeze, and one of the better offensive lines in the league. They have Aaron Donald on defense and while they’re hardly a world-beater there, Donald’s terrifying ability to disrupt games is worth the prime of admittance alone.

#2: It’ll lead to a more interesting Super Bowl

As I alluded to above, a Patriots-Saints matchup might be a good football game, but it’d be one that fans outside of those two fanbases wouldn’t be overly enthused about. The Chiefs-Rams game earlier this year was one of the great games of the last five or so seasons, featuring pure offensive explosion and a compelling day, and the NFL would surely love to see the ratings boost that would come if those two teams played again.

For perspective’s sake: The Saints have scored 30 or more points just once since the beginning of December, and have both won and lost some ugly, grind-it-out games, the kind the Patriots absolutely don’t mind playing. The Rams, meanwhile, have scored 30 or more four times in that span, and have scored under that number just four times all season. They’re a virtually guaranteed fireworks show, and who doesn’t love those?

There’s also the added benefit that a battle between perhaps the two best passing offenses in the NFL might remind the Falcons that there’s little to be gained by trying to focus on the run in 2019, but I digress.

#3: It means the Saints won’t go

I can’t stress this enough: We don’t want the Saints in the Super Bowl. On the best of days, the New Orleans fanbase is prone to making tired 28-3 jokes, being homers to an extent that no other fans in the NFC South even come close to, and taunting the Falcons regardless of their record. If you don’t like that now, imagine what would happen if they won the Super Bowl in Atlanta’s home stadium.

The Saints have had a great season by any reasonable measure, and I’ve seen some Falcons fans suggest it’d be worth it if New Orleans won because Drew Brees might retire. I’d much rather not even wrestle with that particular debate and just let the Rams, who last went to the Super Bowl way back in 2001, return triumphantly.

I hope you’ll join me in pulling for the Rams, if you care enough to watch this weekend. We’re almost to the point where every single one of us can just focus on the offseason without thinking at all about what’s going on in the postseason, but ideally, that moment would arrive this weekend.