Super Bowl LIII: Preview and Predictions
It is now down to the final two teams. The Los Angeles Rams are the NFC Champions. The New England Patriots are the AFC Champions. One of these teams will be crowned the Super Bowl Champions. Super Bowl LIII (53) will take place Sunday, February 3rd at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, Kickoff is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on CBS. This game will be a great one. This is the second time the Rams and Patriots will meet in the Super Bowl. The Patriots defeated the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI (36), which was in 2002. Who will be the last team standing? Lets explore this match-up and find out who will win the game.
TALE OF THE TAPE
2019 Playoff Stats
Offense Points Per Game Total Yards Passing Yards Rushing Yards
Los Angeles Rams: 28.0 418.5 243.5 175.0
New England Patriots: 39.0 511.0 345.5 165.5
Defense Points Allowed Total Yards Passing Yards Rushing Yards
Los Angeles Rams: 22.5 299.0 250.0 49.0
New England Patriots: 29.5 312.5 282.5 30.0
The Patriots have the better offense overall. They were able to impose their will against the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Patriots rookie RB Sony Michel has been a revelation. He ran for over 100 yards in both playoff games and set a new rookie record for rushing touchdowns with five. The Patriots are known for their passing attack. They are more formidable when they can run the ball.
The Rams have the better defense overall. They were able to stifle the Dallas Cowboys’ and the New Orleans Saints’ rushing attack. Both of those teams finished in the top 10 in the NFL in rushing. The Rams passing defense stepped up, contained Saints QB Drew Brees. They limited his passing yards to 249, which is lower than his season average of 266. Also, Brees only completed 65 percent of his passing, which is under his average of 74.4. The Rams offense received a huge boost from veteran RB C.J. Anderson. His physical running style is a welcoming sight, relieving pressure from young QB Jared Goff and MVP-candidate RB Todd Gurley II.
KEYS TO VICTORY
New England Patriots
The Patriots run defense has been great this postseason. However, they are going up against a Rams offense who is among the best at running the ball. They have to contain both Gurley II and Anderson. If the Patriots can hold the Rams under 100 yards rushing, they will have a greater chance of winning. On the other side, Michel has to continue to shine. He has been the key to the Patriots success on offense. Michel has to be on point to throw off a Rams defense. Also, RB James White’s pass-catching abilities will be needed to neutralize All-Pro DT Aaron Donald.
Los Angeles Rams
The key for the Rams defense is to hit Tom Brady early and often. Brady’s three losses in the Super Bowl are tied to the defense pressuring him, especially in critical moments. It has been proving Brady’s play is worse when he is sacked or knocked down. Donald will be the main focus. He will command double teams. The rest of the defensive line, which contains Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers, must step up. On offense, Goff must be effective in the passing game. The Rams will implement play action given that Gurley II will command a lot of attention. If Goff can complete passes, especially on third downs, the Rams could be the winners.
AND THE WINNER IS….
The Rams and the Patriots are a good match-up. Both teams play well on offense and defense. Both head coaches, Sean McVay (Rams) and Bill Belichick (Patriots) are master game planners. Odds placed the Patriots as the favorite to win. The Rams, for the most part, are an inexperienced team. Also, it is hard to imagine QB Tom Brady and the Patriots losing back-to-back Super Bowls. This game will be close. It will come down to the fourth quarter. The experienced will find a way to contain the youth.
Patriots over Rams 28-24.