Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta, Georgia features two NFL heavyweights that consist the model of consistency New England Patriots versus the high-flying offense of the Los Angeles Rams.
This is not the first meeting between these two teams as they both have matched up before at Super Bowl 36 in 2002. The New England Patriots played the then heavily favored St. Louis Rams. This would lead to becoming one of the greatest upsets in sports history, as a second-year backup quarterback by the name of Tom Brady defeated, the greatest show on turf.
From there, Brady has continued to engineer a first ballot Hall Of Fame resume starting from being a backup QB to having 5 Super Bowl rings and 4 Super Bowl MVP awards to go with them.
A lot has changed since then. When the Rams moved back to Los Angeles in 2016, the NFL buzz in Los Angeles didn’t quite catch on at first for the Rams. After finishing 4-12 the Rams decided to part ways with 4-year head coach Jeff Fisher, this was the first of many changes.
The Rams were highly criticized when they hired the youngest coach in NFL history at 30 years old to become their head coach. The Rams removed most of the gold from their uniforms and dawned the blue and white helmets that were worn in the 1960s.
The 2017 season under Head Coach Sean McVay’s first year at the helm, the Los Angeles Rams improve from 4-12 to 11-5 and an NFC West title. Talk about Hollywood drama for the Rams in their first two seasons back in LA. Unfortunately, their 2017 season came to an end as they lost at home in the Wild Card Game against the Atlanta Falcons 26-13.
Ironically, the Super Bowl will be held at the home stadium of the team that ended their season last year. This year has been something special and brought even more changes than before. The Rams added high profile names such as Ndamukong Suh, Aquib Talib, Marcus Peters, Dante Fowler Jr., and late season addition C.J. Anderson.
Those moves paid dividends for the Los Angeles as they are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since 2002. There is added narratives in this Super Bowl for the Rams, as the head coach and their All-Pro running back Todd Gurley are both from Georgia.
The Rams will feel the nostalgia when they take the field and don the Blue and gold uniforms worn in Los Angeles from the 1970s through the 1990s and back playing in Atlanta where they won their first Super Bowl 20 years ago.
The Los Angeles Rams have a legitimate shot at bringing a Lombardi Trophy home. They have arguably the best interior lineman in Aaron Donald and ranked first in interior pressure in the NFL.
Tom Brady vs Interior Pressure this season has a QB rating of 63.1, which is not good. The Rams offense has averaged 35 PPG and that trend should continue if running back Todd Gurley is running at 100 %. New England carries strong experience at this stage, but Rams head coach Sean McVay has instilled a “we not me” attitude and these Rams seem ready to Hoist up that trophy.
Adam’s Score Prediction
Los Angeles Rams – 31
New England Patriots – 26
Super Bowl MVP – Aaron Donald
On the other hand:
Witnessing further history by Tom Brady and the Patriots.
This is the Super Bowl rematch from 17 years ago, a mismatch on paper back then and to some a mismatch on paper this year as well. The 2002 Super Bowl ended with a New England Patriots 20-17 victory over the then St. Louis Rams. 17 years later they meet again, with both paths back at the Super Bowl. Since 2002, New England has reached an NFL best 8 Super Bowls, winning 4 of them, while the Rams have reached none.
The experience levels alone make this Super Bowl a possible mismatch from the start and then add arguably the greatest coach and quarterback to ever play, the Rams are in for a tough challenge.
Coming off an 11-5 season, a down year to the Patriot’s high standards, they’ve turned up their play in January. This is something they tend to do year in and year out. The Patriots soared out to a 35-7 halftime lead over the Chargers in the Divisional Round and cruised to victory.
The AFC championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs was a classic. After holding one the NFL’s best scoring offenses scoreless in first half, the Patriots and Chiefs ended regulation all knotted up at 31 and then Tom Brady led yet another postseason game-winning drive to send himself and the Patriots to a third straight Super Bowl appearance.
New England is the better-coached team. In addition, Coach Belichick has two full weeks to prepare a game plan to stop the Ram’s potent offense and pass rush (Aaron Donald specifically). He was outcoached last year in the Super Bowl by Coach Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles head coach, and will not allow that to happen two years in a row. Expect Coach Belichick to take away the Ram’s running game, which has been their strength this postseason and make them feel young.
The inexperienced in quarterback Jared Goff will be uncomfortable reading the Patriots secondary, which has experience in big games and experience against the Ram’s wide receivers. We have also seen what Coach Belichick can accomplish with an extra week of preparation, as we have seen in the Divisional Round against the Chargers.
New England also has the greatest player to date that no other team including the Rams can duplicate, Tom Brady. Preparing for his 9th Super Bowl, the 41-year-old has been playing his best football of the season these past two weeks.
He has completed 71% of his passes and has passed for an average of 345 yards per game. An already 5-time Super Bowl Champion and 4-time Super Bowl MVP, no moment is too big for Brady. Not even a 28-3 3rd quarter deficit in the 2017 Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons.
Jacob’s Game Prediction:
New England Patriots – 34
Los Angeles Rams – 27
Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady