Super Bowl LIII: Patriots vs Rams
February 1, 2019
Brady and Belichick back in Super Bowl
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are in the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years.
The Patriots have a chance to use their fourth-ranked offense to best the Rams’ 20thranked defense. The Rams’ defense has allowed 24 points per game and the Patriots’ offense scores 273 points per game.
Running back Sonny Michel has been running wild this postseason with 242 rushing yards and five touchdowns. The Rams allow 122.3 rushing yards per game, 23rd in the NFL, which the Patriots and Michel can exploit.
The Patriots will need the offensive line to stop the Rams’ defense and keep Brady on his feet.
Brady has 4,355 passing yards and 29 touchdowns on the season. Brady has performed well this season and has a history and playoff success. The Rams rank 14th in passing yards allowed per game
The Patriots can use the Rams weakness on play-action dropbacks to win the game. The Rams have allowed opposing quarterbacks to be 91-of-121 for 1,153 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions. The Patriots rank third in the NFL in play action attempts and Total quarterback rating (QBR).
The Patriots’ defense has held opponents to 20.3 points per game, seventh in the NFL. They did very well against the run, ranking 11th, holding opponents to 112.7 yards per game. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy leads the team in tackles with 92 and is key to stopping the run.
The Patriots will want defensive ends Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise Jr. to pressure Goff, as they lead the team in sacks with 7.5 and 4.5 respectively. New England will look to intercept Goff; the Patriots have 20 interception in the regular season including four by safety Duron Harmon.
The Patriots will have Stephen Gostkowski doing the kicking duties. The 35-year-old kicker was 27-32 on field goals in the regular season and made all three attempts in the postseason.
Goff leads charge
The Rams’ 33-year-old head coach Sean McVay will bring his high-scoring offense to the game to beat the Patriots.
The Rams rank second in the NFL in points (32.9) and yards (421.1) per game. Quarterback Jared Goff went from a poor showing in his 0-7 rookie season and people worrying he might be a bust to becoming a two-time Pro Bowler and leading the team to the Super Bowl.
Goff will have to find his top two receivers Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks to pass the Patriots. They each had over 1200 receiving yards and 80 receptions on the season.
The Rams have to get the ball into running back Todd Gurley’s hands as anytime he gets over 15 touches (11-0), over75 rushing yards (9-0), or over 125 scrimmage yards (7-0), the Rams are unbeaten. He also is third in the NFL in rushing yards with 1251, only behind Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. Gurley is also an option in the passing game as he is third on the team in receiving yards with 580. Gurley struggled in the game against the New Orleans Saints but had 115 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. The rushing game for the Rams this postseason has been led by C.J. Anderson who has 167 yards on the ground.
The Rams must continue their domination in the second quarter this postseason. They have scored 27 of their 56 points this postseason in the second quarter and the defense has allowed zero points.
The Rams defense has one of the best defensive players in the league with defensive Aaron Donald, who led the league in sacks with 20.5.
This playoff, the kicker has played a crucial role. Greg Zuerlein is seven-of-eight this postseason on field goals including a long of 57 yards. In the season he is 27-31 on field goals, making all attempts under 40 yards. Zuerlein was listed as questionable for practice on Wednesday and it would be a big blow if he cannot play.