The 11-5, New England Patriots will travel to Atlanta to take on the 13-3, Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. New England is a 2.5 point favorite. Defense no longer wins championships. The past 6 Super Bowl winners have averaged 34 points per game in their victories.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are heading to their 9th Super Bowl over the past 18 years. In their two playoff games, Brady has taken 179 snaps and he has not been sacked once. He has thrown for over 700 yards and has only been knocked down twice over the past two weeks. Sony Michel has been the best running back in the post-season. He has rushed for 242 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. James White caught 21 passes against the Chargers and Chiefs. I expect White to continue to be Brady’s safety valve. Defensively, the Patriots have been “bend but don’t break.” They let up 28 points to Los Angeles but were up 35 to 7 at halftime. Against Kansas City, they gave up 31 points but held Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to 4 total catches.
At the start of the season the Rams were considered a finesse team. All that changed over the past month of the season. The Rams have rushed for 344 yards over the past two weeks. CJ Anderson, who joined the team over a month ago, is averaging over 6 yards per carry. Anderson has been playing so well, Todd Gurley has been reduced to a roll player. Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods have 25 catches over the past two weeks and Josh Reynolds came up big against the Saints. Reynolds had 4 big receptions for 74 yards. The Rams defense only had 3 total sacks in 2 playoff games but they have the ability to disrupt and put pressure on any quarterback.
The Rams have a more talented team, on both sides of the ball. Jared Goff is 14-3 on the road for his career. He will outplay Tom Brady. I expect a very close game but the Rams will come up with a few turnovers and that will be the difference.
Take LA in a slight upset…
Rams 37 Patriots 31.
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