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Super Bowl LIII Preview

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

Super Bowl LIII Preview
(Phoyo by denverpost.com)

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

Super Bowl LIII Preview
(Photo by theintelligencer.com)

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.

Brady and Belichick could very well end the dynasty the way they started it, by beating the Rams in the biggest game of the year. Although Tom Brady has said there is “no way” this will be his last game, we’ll see whether a sixth ring changes his mind.
On the other side is Sean McVay, a veritable wiz kid who could cement his place as one of the best coaches in the game (if he hasn’t done that already) by defeating the Evil Empire.
The storylines are rich and numerous. The vaunted Rams pass rush versus the offensive line who are all but allergic to having someone touch Tom Brady (he hasn’t been hit without a penalty flag in his last 90 dropbacks). The young gun who has had his career turned around in Jared Goff, versus the old hand who will now have played in nine Super Bowls, in a potential passing of the torch. A mad scientist versus an evil genius calling the shots on the sidelines. Brandin Cooks potentially becoming the Anderson Varejao of the NFL by potentially playing on the losing team two years in a row. The aforementioned avenging of that St. Louis loss, or continued dominance over the entire league by the Patriots.
The list goes on and on, but, eventually, someone has to win.
The Rams defense is good, not great. They have flashy players who go for the “home run” play. Trying to pick off passes and sack quarterbacks for big losses. If they can somehow shake that urge, then they will be a force to be reckoned with, even for Brady. But that seems extremely unlikely considering this is the biggest game of the year. That’s what you get when you essentially hire NFL mercenaries to stack your defense.
That urge to be the hero will be their undoing. The Patriots thrive on mistakes, and if a Rams corner goes for the pick and not the deflection or the tackle, you can bet your life Brady will turn it into six points. Add to that the fact that Todd Gurley does not seem to be completely healthy, and the Patriots running backs can both carry the ball and destroy teams in the passing game.
McVay is smart, and rest assured he will be back in the big game, as long as he continues to coach well and sign incredible talent. But expect Belichick and the Patriots to outcoach him by just a bit. The dynasty continues. Everyone outside of New England (and possibly St. Louis) is bored.” Patriots 31 Rams 27- Ben Hendricks

“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

 

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