The Super Bowl being here means that football season comes to a close on Sunday in Atlanta. With the Patriots yet again winning the AFC, and the Rams taking care of their business in the NFC, the matchup is set, and we are excited for the best game of the year…right?
While I personally believe that Super Bowl Sunday should be a national holiday, and it should be a federal law that everyone watches the game, I can understand why you may not be as enthusiastic as me. You might be tired of seeing the Patriots compete in the Super Bowl, or you might be tired of hearing a friend or family member talk about the Patriots going to the Super Bowl.
You might’ve thought that you were hallucinating when you saw the Rams were this deep in the postseason. Maybe you don’t approve of Brady locking lips with his children on his Facebook show. You could be a Saints fan who is still sticking pins in your Nickell Robey-Coleman voodoo doll. Don’t let life distract your attention from what really matters here.
This game represents two organizations with very different histories and storylines. The Patriots have five championships in the last 18 years, and the Rams haven’t been to this game since losing to the first iteration of the Patriots dynasty in 2001. The Rams have young talent, hungry for proper recognition, but the Patriot way has been cruising through the playoffs for two decades.
In Star Wars terms, it’s a Boston Darth Vader trying to suppress a football rebellion taking place in Los Angeles. The longtime kings of the football world are trying to hold off some guys who want nothing more than to take them down.
Something else I love about this game is the disparity in talent, notably the advantage the Rams have over the Patriots. While the Patriots are noted for all of their team success, the Rams have enough individual talent to overcome their weakness of inexperience. On the defensive side of the ball, lineman Aaron Donald is a master at disrupting the quarterback, while defensive backs Marcus Peters and Lamarcus Joyner are proven talent at defending the pass.
On offense, the Rams have a versatile rushing attack, utilizing the speed and craftiness of Todd Gurley, coupled with the bowling ball-esque qualities of late-season addition C.J. Anderson. Quarterback Jared Goff is young and lacks the playoff experience of Brady, but has shown poise and confidence throughout this postseason.
While the Patriots don’t have as many superstar names on their roster, they have a guy in Tom Brady who can turn any average player into a game-changer. He uses his pre-play savvy to find a mismatch and, no matter who the receiver is, if they are open they should expect a ball to come their way.
While Brady can connect with any receiver for a touchdown like he can with his son for a kiss, running backs James White and Sony Michel have also shined this postseason. With White primarily being a receiver and Michel taking the hand-offs, Belichick has a dynamic attack that will be difficult for the Rams to game plan against.
One final thing to watch for this game will be the Rams running backs in the passing attack, being guarded by the Patriots’ slow-as-molasses linebackers. If the Rams can find Gurley in the passing game, and couple his versatility with the downhill running of C.J. Anderson, they have a chance to score a lot of points in Atlanta.
That being said, these are two well matched teams, and whoever wins will have to play a near perfect game. Hopefully this is a high scoring affair that comes down to whoever gets the ball last. With two coaches, two quarterbacks and two organizations all giving it their all for three hours on national television for the chance to become world champions, what could possibly be more entertaining?
I say the Patriots win, 35-31.