Super Bowl LIII Preview

The Rams and Todd Gurley better have their heads on straight for Super Bowl LIII if they want to win.
Photo Courtesy: Christina Van Meter

By Da’Vince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams
Sunday – February 3 – 5:30 p.m.
TV: CBS
Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA

There are so many story lines surrounding this year’s Super Bowl. What were the odds (check them out at oddshunter.ca) at the start of the season that it would come down to the Patriots taking on the Rams for the title. We can talk about how these same two teams were favored to play in the game and how both teams made it to the Super Bowl. The AFC and NFC Championship games became the story line leading up to Atlanta. The New England Patriots went into Kansas City and taught the best team in the league a lesson about what it takes to get to the next level. In the NFC Championship, the Rams got a way with a horrible missed call to beat the favored Saints on their way to the big game. Let’s take a look at both teams on offense versus defense and the intangibles to win Super Bowl LIII.

Why shouldn’t watch this game
It’s family day and spending time with the family is a promise you made to bring your family closer. No TV, phones or electronic devices. Just spending time together…

Why you should watch this game
You want to see if they Rams are for real or the Patriots can cement a legit dynasty that has lasted for the past 17 years. Can the new kids on the block rock the cradle of the oldest (coach and QB) tandem ever?
Tune in to get your answers.

New England Patriots
Numbers don’t lie! Tom Brady and Bill Belichick has put up some crazy numbers in the Super Bowl era. For the 11th time in franchise history and 9th game together, the Patriots have a chance to hoist the trophy. They are looking to win their third NFL title over the past five seasons. The Patriots is a team built from castaways, 3rd to 5th round picks and role players with talent that transcend normalcy that the league just doesn’t understand how these guys are winning with the players on their roster. It all start with Tom Brady!

Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are young and talented. Jared Goff won’t blow you away with athleticism or physical presence as a quarterback. He understand reading defenses and making the necessary adjustments at the line of scrimmage. The defense will be the key for the big game. Applying pressure to Tom Brady falls on the shoulders of Defensive Tackles Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald. The Rams are big, fast and physical. Youth versus the wise old men will be the setting for this game.

Rams Offense vs Patriots Defense
When you talk about the Rams offense you talk about the scheme and play calling of one of the best offensive schemes in the game. The “RPO” ( Run-Pass Option) is a scheme that allows the quarterback to make a quick judgment on handing the ball off, keeping it himself or making a pass.

The Rams offense has dynamic pieces to it. Jared Goff can either hand the ball off to Todd Gurley or C.J. Anderson, Jet Sweep with Brandin Cooks or quick pass to Robert Woods. The Patriots defense has to stay in their defensive lanes in order to disrupt the Rams offense. Patriots starting Safety Patrick Chung will be key to reading the offensive set of the Rams. The safety playing center field will contain runs at the line of scrimmage and should limit long downfield passing plays.

Patriots Offense vs Rams Defense
Tom Brady has to be himself. The Patriots offensive line isn’t considered a great line, but pass protection will be key. Julian Edelman will get his touches from the slot. Slot receivers are hard to contain because they roam the middle of the field. Edelman is a chain mover that has the skills to dominate any defense at any time of the game. The key on offense will be Sony Michel. His tough running between the tackles will keep the Rams defense guessing if he gets into a groove with the ball. The Rams defense will have to apply pressure to Tom Brady. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters have to stay disciplined on the corners. You can’t give up big plays on the outside to the Patriots. The Rams defense is very disruptive and playing physical early will establish Wade Phillips’ philosophy of “Hard, smart and physical!” defensive football.

Intangibles
We in the sports media world love to talk about intangibles. Intangibles are described as the aspect of a player’s game or personality which cannot be tracked by statistics. (this usually refer to leadership qualities or enthusiasm for the game). I’m picking one player from each team, The Patriots Tom Brady and the Rams Aaron Donald are my choices. Tom Brady drives this steady offense by having a feel for his offensive team mates. When it’s time to get into their faces and light a spark on the sidelines, the offense responds in a positive way, because it’s his will to win that drives the team. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads by example. This year he recorded 20.5 sacks and lead the league in that category. His play allows Suh to get sacks and batted passes at the line of scrimmage. “Its hard throwing the ball while laying on your back!” Donald said at the Super Bowl press conference the other day. The Rams defense follows his play from start to finish. This will be a great game.

Prediction
ESPN has this pretty close. They have the Rams at a 52.4% chance to win. What’s a 2.4% margin of error? Nothing by my standards. The over/under is 56.5. Take the over, it’s the safe bet. I would use the best casino online.  This game you will need the whole shabang for snacks, drinks and food. Nachos, burgers, chicken wings, chips and dips! I’m taking the Rams by 10.

Final Score
Rams 37
Patriots 27