NFL playoffs: X-factors for each game on Championship Sunday

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With only four teams remaining in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy, who are the main x-factors for each game?

Hopefully the Conference Championships will be fun, high-scoring and close to the end.

This weekend, we get the four best teams in the league going against each other for the right to play in Super Bowl LIII. For three of them, getting to Super Sunday would be a rare moment, while for the other, it would be its third consecutive trip.

So who is going to influence the end results more than anybody else? Let’s look at our x-factors for the games:

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints 

X-factor: Sean McVay 

This game should be a very high-scoring affair. The four teams who scored the most points per game this season are all still alive. The Rams come into this weekend as one of the youngest teams. The Chiefs would be the only other squad with such young talent all around. Many would love to see a rematch in the Super Bowl from the regular season.

Our x-factor is head coach Sean McVay. You have a young coach with a young team traveling to the Superdome to battle a head coach and quarterback who have already won on the biggest stage. McVay will have to keep his youthful team under control and focused throughout this game.

This squad has never been to this stage before, and the head coach that everyone claims to be a football wizard needs to step up and not allow Sean Payton to outcoach him.

We love this matchup for the Rams. They won’t have to deal with the elements of any weather, they can gameplan accordingly to what suits them and what their strengths are. McVay will have to come up with a great defensive scheme to keep Drew Brees from piling up the yards and points on his defense. The good thing about the Rams defense, though, is they have a lot of veterans with playoff experience.

We will get to see if all those big acquisitions in the offseason will pay off on Sunday. This one has the makings of being a bonified slobber knocker if Los Angeles can meet its defensive potential. McVay will have to come up with some of his best stuff of the year to win this game, something he couldn’t do back in Week 9 when the Saints beat the Rams, 45-35.

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