Rams vs. Saints on FOX: Bayless, Sharpe, Whitlock preview Sunday’s big match up

Two of the perennial NFC Super Bowl picks, the 8-0 Los Angeles Rams and the 6-1 New Orleans Saints, go head-to-head on Sunday, and there is no lack of story lines or predictions from the FOX Sports analysts on what will happen come game time.

The Rams are currently 1-point favorites going into Sunday, although the Saints started as the favorites favorites, only amplifying the discussion on how such similar caliber teams, albeit in very different ways, can pull off the win.

Shannon Sharpe has the Saints moving on all the way to the Super Bowl, and pointed out that their offensive line has done a tremendous job protecting their star, quarterback Drew Brees.

“Brees has only been sacked nine times in seven games,” Sharpe said on Undisputed, “but they got a hell raiser coming to town in [the Rams’] Aaron Donald. The dude has been double teamed in 70 percent of the snaps, but he leads the league in sacks. That’s unheard of.”

Despite the mismatches, though, Skip Bayless remains confident the Saints can pull this one out, saying, “I believe this is a must win for the Saints, and I believe they will win.”

Cousin Sal, on the other hand, has a unique prediction for a double-digit Rams victory.

Both the betting line and experts predict a much closer game between the two teams most likely to win the NFC than Cousin Sal does, who is focused in on Rams running back Todd Gurley‘s recent performances.

“He’s the first running back in the modern era to have 15 plus touchdowns in eight weeks,” Sal said on Lock It In, “how is he not the MVP?”

Although the Rams do tout the second best rushing attack in the league, the Saints have the number one rush defense. Not to mention, the Saints’ only loss came in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a game where Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Despite their hot streak, however, the  Saints will end their season against the Carolina Panthers, then the Pittsburgh Steelers and then the Panthers again, which makes Nick Wright think “they better have some wins stacked.”

“I think it’s very close, but I think the Saints have the edge,” Wright said on First Things First. “If they want any shot of having the one seed in the conference, this is a must win game.”

One of the most interesting components in this game is also the relatively new power combination of Sean McVay and Jared Goff versus the long-standing Sean Payton and Drew Brees combination, which Jason Whitlock, Marcellus Wiley and Greg Jennings debated in-depth.

Greg Jennings holds firmly that the Rams still have a better chance of winning the NFC, as he loves what Coach Sean McVay has been able to do with Goff and the rest of the team. He also points to the Saints’ weak overall defense, ranked 13th in the league, against the Rams number one offense, saying he thinks the Rams will pull it off and remain undefeated.

See how it all goes down on Sunday at 1:25p on FOX.