Here is is, the best time of year for NFL football fans around the world. The Super Bowl is every die hard football fan’s second Christmas. It’s a special time of year when the league’s best men standing face off for one of the most coveted trophies in all of sports. I’m extremely excited to break this down so I’ll jump right into it.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS LOS ANGELES RAMS
Tom Brady vs Jared Goff, Bill Belicheck vs Sean McVay, Michel vs Gurley. This game is shaping up to be very exciting. Can Brady and company make the Patriots 6 rings strong and write another page in the history books in the Patriots favor? Or will Goff and Gurley usher in a new dynasty? Goff has faced so many questions about just how good he is. He was once thought to be a total bust, now he’s on the verge of being considered a top QB in this league. Gurley is looking to prove he’s the best in the league, while Michel is looking to prove he’s not just another cog in the Patriots crowded backfield. The Rams have an awfully impressive offense capable of running away with any game. Goff has a multitude of weapons in Gurley, Anderson, Cooks, Woods, Higbee, and much more. This offense is just flat out dangerous, having the 2nd best offense this season and one with balance at that. The rushing offense finished 3rd and the passing game finished 5th. This offense is scary and thrive off the play action attack. The Patriots have Brady and that seems to be more than enough for them. Brady has been picking defenses apart with quick routes over the middle, then taking shots when the defenses leave things open deep. This team has a variety of weapons, boasting the leagues 5th best offense. They also have a very balanced team, with the 8th ranked passing attack and the 5th ranked running attack in the league. They thrive on tempo control and quick crossing routes. The Rams defense isn’t the best in terms of yards allowed but they certainly make up for that with turnovers and physicality. They also happen to have one of the best defensive minded coaches in the league on their staff in Wade Phillips. He’s known for creating physical defenses that force turnovers. They rank 3rd in the league in turnovers and will lean on that tomorrow for sure. The Patriots have a similar defensive blueprint, as they struggle on defense but are better against the run than the pass and create a lot of turnovers. In terms of what the teams each need to do to succeed, the Pats need to force Goff to play well by shutting down Gurley and Anderson. The run game helps give Goff confidence, time, and unpredictability. The rush is their spark and ignites the offense to the point that they become almost unstoppable if they have ground success. The Rams key to this game is the defense. Not only do they need to pressure Brady, most importantly they need the corners to be physical. Brady relies heavily on his mental clock. He has the timing of his receivers’ routes on a mental stopwatch, if that timing is thrown off, he tends to struggle and will hold the ball a little longer, leaving him open to the pass rush. If the Rams can jam the Pats receivers and be physical, the Rams can very well win this game.
PREDICTION: When it comes to the keys of the game, i see the Rams defensive physicality disrupting Brady’s timing being more likely than the Pats run defense shutting down Gurley and Anderson. The Rams offense is just to dangerous and diverse for the Pats to slow down enough to make a difference. The Rams corners already play physical, in your face defense so that will come naturally. So long as the Rams cover Gronk with the right personnel (Mark Barron/Dante Fowler Jr w/ safety help), the Rams should take this in a close one. RAMS 27 PATS 23.
MVP: Michael Brockers – With the Pats receivers getting jammed at the line, Brady’s mental clock will be rendered useless. The Pats o-line will do focus on stopping Donald and Suh from causing too much trouble, and let Brockers slip in one too many times. Brockers will make a few clutch plays and the one that seals the win in Brandon Graham like fashion.
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