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NFL playoffs: Jared Goff v Drew Brees

208   //    16 Jan 2019, 05:35 IST
Jared Goff and Drew Brees

Similar to the AFC, Sunday's NFC championship game will pit a young gun against a savvy veteran under center.

Los Angeles Rams third-year quarterback Jared Goff takes his squad to New Orleans with the hope of defeating Saints QB Drew Brees after the 40-year-old helped his team secure the top seed in the NFL playoffs and best odds to win the Super Bowl.

Brees and the 24-year-old Goff have an age gap of nearly 16 years, which is the third largest between two quarterbacks in postseason history. While much of Goff's history remains unwritten, Brees has sealed his status as a Hall of Famer.

Here, we break down their season to this point and what to expect from Sunday's showdown.

How they stack up this season

Regular season

Jared Goff
Completion percentage:
Yards: 4,688
Touchdowns: 32
Interceptions: 12
Rating: 101.1

Drew Brees
Completion percentage: 74.4
Yards: 3,992
Touchdowns: 32
Interceptions: 5
Rating: 115.7



Post divisional round

Goff v Dallas Cowboys
Completion percentage:
Yards: 186
Touchdowns: 0
Interceptions: 0
Rating: 74.4

Brees v Philadelphia Eagles
Completion percentage: 73.7
Yards: 301
Touchdowns: 2
Interceptions: 1
Rating: 103.1


Beyond the numbers

While Goff's offense seemed to sputter toward the end of the season, Brees' only got better, and it could be argued that his supporting cast gave him the edge.

Yet, the Saints could be slowed by the Rams' dominating defensive front led by NFL Defensive Player of The Year favourite Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers.


Getting Goff going

Though the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes stole the show under center during the regular season, Goff was still in the mix for MVP along with Brees, Tom Brady and Philip Rivers. However, Goff's performance cooled down the stretch before igniting once again in the final two weeks before the postseason began. He then put on a lacklustre performance at the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round, leaving his consistency in question entering a crucial rematch in New Orleans.

Los Angeles were the league's lone undefeated team when they visited the Saints in week nine but left with a 45-35 loss after a lopsided outing. That outcome was in line with Goff's overall struggles on the road this season, as he has thrown for 10 touchdowns with nine inteceptions and a 82.7 passer rating away from the Coliseum.


Breesing on through

Brees has been in top form this season, playing as well as ever in his 18th year in the league. While the regular season marked the first time since 2005 that he did not throw for more than 4,000 yards, he achieved three notable milestones through the first 10 weeks of action in becoming the NFL's all-time passing leader while also reaching the second-most passing touchdowns and most career completions.

Furthermore, Brees is an even bigger threat in front of a home crowd as he posted a 133.3 passer rating at the Superdome in the regular season.

Brees' experience gives the Saints an advantage at the game's most important position in most matchups, and Sunday is no exception.