CLOSE\n Sunday\u2019s NFL action included an absolute beatdown in Foxborough and saw Nick Foles\u2019 Eagles run out of magic. Trysta Krick breaks it all down.\n USA TODAY SportsLOS ANGELES \u2013 Bring on the gumbo.Sean McVay is taking his team back to the Big (Not So) Easy for the NFC title game, which is just the way it should be for the Los Angeles Rams in trying to earn a ticket to Super Bowl LIII.Handle the unfinished business or go on home.All week, the Rams will be reminded of what happened in Week 9 \u2013 when their perfect record went up in flames in a 45-35 shootout loss at the raucous Superdome and they couldn\u2019t guard Mike (Thomas).And we can\u2019t forget the fire that Rams cornerback Marcus Peters spoke with in defeat. His\u00a0rough day in man-to-man coverage resulted in Thomas (whose Twitter handle is @Cantguardmike) burning L.A. for 12 catches, 211 yards, a back-breaking 72-yard TD and one in-your-face flip phone celebration.Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas hauls in a touchdown catch that went over the head of Rams cornerback Marcus Peters (22) in the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 9.\u00a0(Photo: Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports)When someone mentioned after that game how Saints coach Sean Payton crowed about liking the matchup that had Peters assigned to his all-pro receiver, the cornerback promised the Rams would see them again, and he looked forward to chatting with the coach over gumbo.\u00a0\u00a0More columns: Read more commentary from columnist Jarrett BellNow what?There\u2019s seafood gumbo, chicken gumbo, andouille sausage gumbo ...\u201cIt\u2019s going to be a great challenge, especially just having to deal with that atmosphere and that environment with those fans going crazy,\u201d McVay said during a media conference call.At least they know what\u2019s coming ... and what it would take to silence the place.McVay didn\u2019t specifically address Peters\u2019 state of mind. But he talked up the mental toughness his team demonstrated in battling back from a 21-point deficit against the Saints to tie the game at 35 in the fourth quarter, and the response in the ensuing weeks \u2013 if not Peters\u2019 classic response in the immediate aftermath.But that was then. Yes, accounting for Thomas will still be an issue, evident with his 12-catch, 171-yard, 1-TD statement against the Eagles in the divisional playoff. But two words may illustrate how different the Rams defense might be this time around: Aqib Talib.Talib, the veteran cornerback with a Super Bowl ring on his decorated resume, wasn\u2019t on the field in early November when Drew Brees blistered the Rams for 346 yards and 4 TDs (zero picks). Now he\u2019s back in the flow of Wade Phillips\u2019 defense.\u201cYeah, it\u2019s a big difference,\u201d McVay said, alluding to Talib\u2019s veteran presence and impact on the secondary\u2019s communication.\u201cWhen you get your two guys out there on the edges, I think that will enable us to do some different things coverage-wise, be a little more flexible. What a great job Michael Thomas did affecting that (divisional playoff) game ... and he\u2019s going to be a big focal point for us to be aware of where he\u2019s at.\u201dLast week, the Rams heard so much about a spotty run defense that allowed an NFL-worst 5.1 yards per carry in the regular season, with rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott coming to town. Well, they handled Elliott on Saturday night (47 yards, 2.4 per carry).\u00a0\u201cOf course, it was a lot of talk in the media,\u201d Talib reflected on Saturday night, \u201cbut we just said, \u2018Man, it\u2019s postseason. Nothing else matters but this game.\u2019 \u201dSame deal now. Another one-game season.In finishing off Dallas, the Rams rolled with another dimension \u2013 a 1-2 backfield combination -- that underscored how the ebb and flow of a grueling NFL season can impact a team. Todd Gurley is still arguably the NFL\u2019s best running back, but as he missed the final two regular-season due to knee inflammation, the Rams\u2019 discovery of veteran castoff C.J. Anderson turned into a boon.With Gurley and Anderson both striking triple-digits, the Rams set a playoff record with 273 rushing yards against Dallas (even quarterback Jared Goff got into the act, with a game-sealing, 11-yard scramble) that demonstrated a completeness that is the essence of playoff football.Of course, the Saints have this, too, with the Alvin Kamara-Mark Ingram tandem. But the Rams didn\u2019t have this a month ago. Now Anderson has a streak of three 100-yard games to complement the electric Gurley, with an ultimate test looming against a Saints defense ranked No. 1 against the run.\u201cI guess it was a good thing I got hurt,\u201d Gurley joked. \u201cC.J. got me, was able to come in and do his thing. I mean, he\u2019s been doing his thing his whole career. The last three weeks have been phenomenal, 100 yards each time, so we\u2019ve just got to keep it going.\u201dAdd it to the list of potential swing factors for yet another rematch in these NFL playoffs.Or maybe the difference comes on fourth downs. On Sunday, the Saints found momentum when Payton called for a fake punt, then capped their first TD drive with Brees throwing on another fourth-down from the 2. On Saturday night, McVay dismissed a chip-shot field goal attempt, too, that would have made it a two-possession game in the fourth quarter. Instead, he gambled \u2013 and won -- with Anderson ramming it in from the 1. That, after his defense stuffed Elliott on a fourth-and-1.\u201cWe always talk about attacking success and never fearing failure,\u201d McVay said of his fourth-down call. \u201cI think that really just personifies our team mindset and mentality.\u201dWhen the Rams and Saints met in Week 9, Payton was 2-for-2 on fourth-down calls, while McVay was 0-for-2, including a faked field goal attempt when the holder, punter Johnny Hekker, was ruled short of the first down marker as he stretched before landing out of bounds.Ah, Week 9. That was then. This is now, when in Gurley\u2019s words, \u201cEvery team is Super Bowl or bust.\u201dAnd especially these two teams, with the gumbo on full blast.Follow USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell on Twitter\u00a0@JarrettBell.AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideIf you love talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. 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