Sports fans all over the world will be glued to their television sets when the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams square off in Super Bowl LIII. Super Bowl 53 comes exactly 17 years to the day that the Patriots started this unprecedented run by pulling off a huge upset over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. This year’s version of the Patriots is one of the oldest and winningest teams in football history, while the Rams are a young team that is looking for their first taste of success.
Los Angeles was the better team throughout the regular season, finishing with a 13-3 record and a number two seed in the NFC. The Rams were able to pull off a stunning overtime win over the New Orleans Saints to reach the Super Bowl. New England looked pedestrian for much of the season, finishing with an 11-5 record. The Patriots have turned it on in the playoffs, beating the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. New England is -2.5 over Los Angeles in Super Bowl 53.
All Eyes on Brady
When the New England Patriots take the field on offense, all eyes will be on quarterback Tom Brady. Brady has completed over 71 percent of his passes in these playoffs and has a history of playing great on the biggest stage. Julian Edelman and James White have been his favorite targets so far this postseason, but don’t forget about tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is averaging 14.9 yards on his 7 receptions in the playoffs and will be looking to find the end zone on Sunday.
Bill Belichick has a history of coming up with terrific defensive gameplans, but he is dealing with a great offense in this game. The Patriots gave up just 20.3 points per game during the regular season, but that number has risen in these playoffs. New England has racked up six sacks so far in the postseason, and they will try to get pressure on QB Jared Goff in this came. The Patriots defense might look overmatched, but you can never count out the intelligence of Belichick.
Rams Must Run the Ball Well
If the Rams are going to get some revenge on the Patriots in this game, then they are going to have to run the ball well. Los Angeles has run for 175 yards per game in their first two playoff wins, and need this kind of production again. The dynamic duo of C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley have the ability to extend drives for the Rams and keep Tom Brady off of the field. The Rams offense put up 32.9 points per game during the regular season and might need this type of production to pull off the upset.
Aaron Donald and NDamukong Suh have the ability to wreak havoc on defense, and they must find a way to get to Tom Brady in this game. Donald is the likely defensive player of the year in the NFL and had 20.5 sacks during the regular season. Suh has been known to take some play, and games, off during his career, but he has the ability to win this game for the Rams. Los Angeles has a very weak secondary and they allowed 24.0 points per game during the regular season. If the Rams don’t find a way to sack Tom Brady, then he might throw for 400 yards in this game.
Patriots Win Number Six
This is the third straight season that the Patriots are in the Super Bowl, and they are looking for a record-tying 6th championship. The Rams are a very worthy opponent, and their offense is one of the top offenses in the league. If Los Angeles can run the ball on the Patriots, then they might have a shot, but Belichick will look to take this away from them. The Rams have more talent, but they don’t have Tom Brady. I’m not betting against the GOAT. Take the New England Patriots -2.5 over the Los Angeles Rams.