The Patriots are favored today, but not by a lot -- a Rams upset is certainly possible. Perhaps the key will be a guy who wasn't even on the roster two months ago, No. 2 running back C.J. Anderson.
Anderson barely played the first half of the season in Carolina, and was unceremoniously released after Week 10. (The Panthers went on to lose seven straight games before beating a Saints team that rested players in Week 17; coincidence? Hmm.) But he signed with the Rams, and they won their last two games with him leading the way. They also won two playoff games, again with Anderson the main back.
It's just like back in 2015, when Anderson was the main running back for the Denver Broncos. They two won a pair of playoff games, went to the Super Bowl, and won that two.
|ANDERSON POSTSEASON GAME LOGS, 2015-PRESENT|
|2018||at N.O.||W, 26-23||16||44||0|
The Rams of course have Todd Gurley as their starter, and Sean McVay said earlier in the week that Gurley would have a major role.
But Ian Rapoport said this morning that Gurley won't be a workhorse. The traditional Rapoport inaccuracy crops up -- he says the two split carries in the NFC Championship, when in fact Anderson outcarried Gurley 16-4 -- but the gist is that Anderson will still have a healthy workload.
McVay says Gurley is 100 percent, and that the knee that bothered him late in the season isn't an issue. No reason to question his health.
But sounds like the Rams will use plenty of Anderson. That helped the Broncos win a Super Bowl three years ago. Maybe it will make a difference today, too.