The Super Bowl is set. The Los Angeles Rams will play the New England Patriots for the title in Atlanta. After a long season, here is how the two teams got to this point.
New England Patriots
New England started off the season 1-2 with losses to the Jaguars and Lions. They then rattled off six straight wins to get their stock up. For the rest of the season, they finished 4-3 to put their final record at 11-5. The biggest knock on the Patriots was their slow start to the season and their 3-5 record on the road.
After their bye for the first round of the playoffs, the Patriots manhandled the Chargers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. For the AFC Championship Game, they were able to hold the Chiefs off for a while, but ended up having to win the game in overtime on the first possession.
The Patriots score the fourth most points per game (27.3), pass for the eighth most yards (266.1) and rush for the fifth most yards per game in the league (127.3). They allow 20.3 points per game.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams started off the season with eight straight wins before losing to the Saints in New Orleans. They then finished the season with five wins and two losses to finish 13-3. Their losses all came to playoff teams with the last two coming to Philadelphia and Chicago. The losses near the end of the season gave some a reason to fear that the Rams couldn’t make it to the Super Bowl.
Los Angeles also had a first-round bye. Their first game in the playoffs was against the Dallas Cowboys. While it was close, the Rams controlled the game and were able to seal it off in the end. In the NFC Championship Game, they got their rematch with the Saints. In a game that was controversial due to the officiating, the Rams were able to win in overtime and secure their spot in the final game of the NFL season.
The Rams score the second most points per game (32.9), pass for the fourth most yards per game (281.7) and rush for the third most yards per game (139.4) in the NFL. They allow 24 points per game.
The Game Haus Staff Predictions
“It is always hard to pick against Brady and Belichick, but the Rams have the recipe to do it. Their offense will be able to move the ball through the air and on the ground, which will put pressure on the Patriots to keep up. With Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh getting after Brady, he will be forced to get the ball out of his hand quickly. The problem will be that the Rams will have good coverage on the back end to help get a few key stops to win the game.” Rams 33 Patriots 27-Joe DiTullio
“For the third year in a row, New England is representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. After looking as vulnerable as ever in the Brady/Belichick era, the Patriots offense came alive in the postseason, scoring 41 and 37 points in their two playoff games. Brady is methodically moving the ball down the field and the Michel/White combo has been lethal out of the backfield. On the other side, New England’s defense is getting pressure consistently through blitz packages. While Aaron Donald and the Rams d-line are a force, Brady is the best at getting the ball out quickly. On the other side, Belichick will take away the Rams running game and force Goff, who has been inconsistent, to beat them.” Patriots 31 Rams 27 -Pranay Malempati
“This Super Bowl has the potential to be as good if not even better than last years. The experienced versus the first-timers, the David-Goliath match-ups between Brady-Goff and Belichick-McVay, and a ferocious Rams defense against the precision-based offense of the Patriots. I expect this game to be close and it will be decided by who wins the turnover battle. Both offenses have the capability to make the other team pay if they repeatedly turn the ball over, and both teams got lucky that turnovers didn’t bury themselves championship weekend.” Rams 31 Patriots 27- Michael Packard
“The last time the Super Bowl was held in Atlanta, the St. Louis Rams won by a single yard. This year, in Atlanta’s shiny new stadium, the Rams have a chance to avenge their last Super Bowl appearance (a loss that came on a last second 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri) against the very duo that defeated them.
“After a thrilling game against the Chiefs it is clear that the Patriots are ready. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have the experience necessary to keep their cool and make the right decisions in this game. Gronk will overpower and Edelman will make another insane catch. This game will be really close but high scoring.” Patriots 42 Rams 38- Rob Hanes