METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints shut down the Los Angeles Rams' vaunted running game, which ranked third in the league in 2018, in a Week 9 matchup, holding Todd Gurleyto 79 total yards (68 rushing) en route to a 45-35 win.
Sunday's matchup, however, presents a double-trouble threat for the Saints with Gurley and C.J. Anderson, as each player totaled 100-plus yards in the Rams' 30-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Round.
"That's impressive," Saints running back Mark Ingram said. "They got after them. That's a good defense the Cowboys have and they got after them. When you run the ball like that, you have a high chance for success."
"I think he's been a great addition," Saints coach Sean Payton said of Anderson. "Man, he's come in there and he had a fantastic game last week. He's a physical runner. If he gets into the second level of your defense, he's a tough guy to tackle. So, when you partner him with Gurley, those guys looked real good last week."
With Gurley healthy and Anderson's emergence, the Saints' defense knows it has its hands full defending the run in addition to dealing with the Rams' fifth-ranked passing offense in the NFC Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"I think when you got two dynamic running backs, you don't have to worry about when you're calling to call runs," Saints linebacker Demario Davis said. "They can call runs all game and don't got to worry about somebody wearing down. If they're having success, they can call 50, 60 runs in a game, so it's our job to stop it. They're tough and they can pose a matchup problem for defenses, so we got to be locked in."
Still, the Saints will have to figure a way to slow down Gurley and Anderson without defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, who suffered an Achilles injury in last week's win Eagles.
Rankins won't be easy to replace, and the Saints are likely to utilize a three-player rotation with Tyeler Davison, David Onyemata and rookie Taylor Stallworth.
Davison believes Onyemata and Stallworth are up to the task given the two defensive linemen were already part of the rotation throughout the season.
"They're going to be ready, they're going to be prepared," Davison said. "They've been preparing all season long for a situation just like this."
"We know how Gurley likes to run it, we know how Anderson likes to run it," Davison said. "We know Gurley is probably going to get a lot of the screens, but Anderson will get some, too. It's just basically knowing the situation, kind of taking all the factors together."
"It's football," Davis said. "They're a well-coached team, got some very good guys on offense, great offensive line, two really good running backs, probably one of -- if not the best running back in the league. Great play caller, great quarterback. It's going to be a tough challenge for us."