NFL

Superbowl LIII Preview – Can the upstart Rams upset the Patriots?

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia will host its first ever Superbowl, where the dominating New England Patriots, lead by superstar Quarterback Tom Brady, will face off against the Los Angeles Rams, making their first Championship game in well over a decade.

Here we take a look at both teams that will contest one of the most watched sporting events across the world every year, and attempt to predict whom will ultimately prevail.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (AFC Champions – Regular Season Record : W11 L5) 

All eyes will be on Tom Brady – widely regarded as the best Quarterback ever to play the game – as he chases his record sixth Superbowl ring in his ninth appearance, as he lead the Patriots to their eleventh Superbowl and fourth in the last five years. Brady has been again superb despite his advancing years, seeing off the LA Chargers and then the much vaunted Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs, amassing 78 points in those two games alone. However, the Patriots are not a one man band. Running Back Sony Michel has thrust himself into the limelight, notching up 242 yards and 5 TDs in those two games, whilst the Patriots defense were able to hold the Chiefs in check for much of the game – and stood firm when it truly mattered. Head Coach and mastermind Bill Belichick will once again have a game plan for the Rams and the Patriots hold favouritism going into the game which cant be argued with, considering their vast experience and familiarity of the biggest of NFL occasions, in comparison to their upstart opponents. If Brady gets into his rhythm and unleashes those quick, short dart like passes, it could be a very long game for the Rams – notwithstanding his ability to mount famous game winning drives when behind.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (NFC Champions – Regular Season Record : W13 L3)

For all the wealth of experience that Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has to count on, opposing Head Coach of the Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay could not be much different. McVay is just 30 years old, becoming the youngest HC in Superbowl history and in this is his first taste of the Championship game. Being a second year Coach, McVay has already lead the Rams to the playoffs, where they were beaten by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2018 Wild Card round. But this year he has proved that was no one season wonder, leading the Rams to a first round bye and then overcoming the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints – although that win was tainted by a hugely controversial ruling when it looked almost certain the Saints would take the game. But fortune favoured the Rams – for once, their long beleaguered fans would say. The Rams are talented on both sides of the ball. Young QB Jared Goff has shown a calmness when pressured that has got himself out of some tricky situations, whilst RB Todd Gurley has crushed opposing defences with his bull dozing runs – although he has recently found himself a little out of favour. Defensively the Rams are a solid group – often being able to stuff the run if a little vulnerable to the pass. Talented they are, and theres no doubt that this could be the first of many Superbowls for this young team…how they handle the pressure could well dictate their game.

SUMMARY 

Its a fascinating matchup between a team that has been there and done it repeatedly, against one who is just finding their way to the big dance. The Rams, you feel, will need to start quick and come to terms with the game they are playing in, and be physical against a Patriots outfit that will not be phased and just look to go about their business as usual. Points should be plentiful, but as always in these games, it could well end up being a case of who makes the least mistakes that ends up hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy aloft.

PREDICTION : New England Patriots 24 – 17 Los Angeles Rams