The tension is building as we countdown to Super Bowl 53. With less than 2 weeks to go, it’s not surprising that everyone is talking about who is most likely to take the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. Now is certainly the time to choose your favorite and place a bet. But, as always, opinions are split, let’s take a look at the facts before deciding if Brady is about to win the Super Bowl for the 6th time, or if the Rams have what it takes to take the crown.
The Rams last faced the Patriots in the Super Bowl back in 2002, then the Patriots were the underdogs with Brady and rapidly rising star.
Brady and Belichick Dynasty
As you probably already know, this was the start of perhaps the greatest quarterback and coach team that the sport has ever seen. Today the Patriots are getting ready for their 9th appearance at the Super Bowl since 2002, but surprisingly, they are still the underdogs; although the odds do keep swinging between the two teams.
The Strength Of the Rams
Sean McVay is a young but exceptionally talented coach. He has produced some impressive offensive plays and is likely to give the Patriots a real issue. The team is well rounded, Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson are running backs at the top of their game. Combine this with great receivers like Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks and throw in the talented defense of Aaron Donald and Marcus Peters and you can see why the Bookies are giving the Rams an edge. Even Brady, potentially the greatest quarterback of all time, is going to struggle against such a well-rounded team.
The Patriots Secret
Of course, Brady hasn’t managed to stay in the game for this many years without being virtually unflappable under pressure. That’s the real issue that the Rams are going to have to deal with. The Patriots are used to building a force field around their star quarterback, so much so that he has barely been touched in the last few games.
There is little doubt that Belichick is a master behind the scenes; there is no defense that he hasn’t managed to rip apart. It’s hard to believe that he won’t be able to come up with a strategy to take the Rams apart.
It seems that McVay trusts Anderson; it’s a good bet that he’s going to see more touches than Gurley; he’s had 40 in the two playoff games where Gurley has had just 23.
Despite being the underdogs (just), the end will be the usual Patriots performance. Brady will have last possession with a game-winning drive and only minutes to spare. This is in keeping with most games the Patriots play, the scores are never that far apart. The ultimate score will be in the region of 34-28.
It’s a good bet that Gronkowski and Edelman will be dominating the field. Their form in the last few games has been excellent; in fact, Edelman led all the receivers in the AFC title game. Of course, the fact that these two have a very well established connection with Brady shouldn’t go overlooked!
The Rams will be under pressure to get Brady off his feet and there’s a good chance that Aaron Donald will be the one to do it. He got 20.5 sacks in the fall and despite having no sacks in the postseason this seems like a good call, Donald needs the opportunity to shine and this is the best one he’ll ever get.
In the End
It’s also likely that Goff will feel the pressure, failing to get properly into his stride until too late in the game to make a difference. This could actually be the deciding factor that gives the Patriots their 6th title and allows them to rival the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl titles.