Rams are ‘a different team’ heading into NFC Championship Game against Saints

Step aside, Hercules, there’s a new ‘boy wonder’ in town.

When the Los Angeles Rams took care of business Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys, they weren’t just setting franchise history.

Sure, they became the first Rams team since 2001 to go to the NFC Championship and had two players go over 100 yards rushing in a single playoff game for the first time in franchise history, but they also set a league mark, too.

With the victory, 32-year-old Sean McVay became the youngest head coach in NFL history to win a playoff game and Colin Cowherd believes that was the true storyline that evolved during the trashing at the Coliseum.

“That was about Sean McVay — a kid — out-coaching Jason Garrett,” Cowherd said on The Herd Monday. “This doesn’t happen in the NFL.”

While McVay’s rapid success has taken the league by storm– with four of the eight vacant head coaching positions being filled with guys connected to the offensive guru– McVay deflects all the credit toward his players, and rightfully so.

Entering Saturday, the Cowboys had allowed just three 100-yd rushers the entire season and just four 70-yd rushers. Both Todd Gurley (115) and CJ Anderson (123) eclipsed the century mark, and hit the 70 tally in the first half alone, for the Rams. The last time the Rams had two players go over 100 yards rushing in a single game was back in November 2001, when Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and Trung Candidate did it. It had never been done in the playoffs.

“It was old style football we haven’t seen all season,” Cris Carter said on Speak for Yourself. “It was good to see the Rams adapt that.”

In combination with the potent rush attack that tallied 273 yards, Jared Goff and the pass game complimented perfectly.

Despite not throwing a touchdown and recording his fourth-lowest passer rating of the year, Goff meticulously operated across the entire field without taking unnecessary risks against a Cowboys unit that was seventh in the league in total defense throughout the regular season. He was able to do so thanks to a standout performance by his offensive line, which only allowed one QB hit and no sacks.

PHOTOS: Rams run past Cowboys for first shot at NFC Championship since 2001

Defensively, the Rams did something no other team was able to accomplish throughout the season: stop All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The NFL’s leading rusher was held to just 47 yards on 20 attempts— less than half his season average.

So now the Rams carry all the momentum on both sides of the ball into the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints for a shot at their first Super Bowl appearance since 2001.

It’s a showdown of the No. 2 and No. 3 scoring offenses (Rams- 32.9, Saints- 31.5), but two teams that relied on their defenses to propel them through the divisional rounds. Cumulatively, they gave up just 558 total yards of offense (279 each) over the weekend.

The two will square off in NOLA Sunday at 12:05p. on FOX.