Super Bowl LIII between the Patriots and Rams is this Sunday! This should be one of the best Super Bowl matchups we’ve seen in recent years. We’ve got the old QB in Tom Brady against the youngster Jared Goff. We’ve got the old Bill Belichick against the youngster coach Sean McVay, two of the greatest minds in football. The Los Angeles Rams are looking to bring their first Super Bowl title to the city of Los Angeles, while the New England Patriots are looking to win their sixth Super Bowl title in the Brady-Belichick era. Who comes out on top? Let’s get into our breakdown and Super Bowl picks.
Super Bowl picks: New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams
Aman: Rams, 39-36
Cullen: Patriots, 34-30
Mickayeen: Rams, 42-28
Rahim: Rams, 43-42
Joel: Patriots, 31-28
Adam: Patriots, 38-35
Dan: Patriots, 28-21
Dennis: Patriots, 30-24
Jon: Patriots, 31-14
Jeevan: Patriots 34-31
As mentioned above, Bill Belichick and Sean McVay are two of the greatest minds in football right now. However, the way their minds work are very different. That means we’ll probably get two very different game plans or styles. Bill Belichick has always been one of the best at planning for a specific team. He does a good job of getting his team to take away what their opponents do well. He also does a good job of getting his team to attack their opponents areas of weakness.
Sean McVay on the other hand, does his best work with the offensive play-calling. As I’ve explained in previous articles, McVay does a great job of confusing defense’s by running multiple plays off the same formation. One play could be a run from a specific formation. If the defense sees that formation again, more often than not, they’re going to think it’s the same run play. That’s when McVay and the Rams get em. It’s actually a pass play. Or maybe it’s a run, but it’s a run to the other side. McVay’s style of play-calling is what makes the Rams’ offense incredibly hard to defend.
If both coaches have one of the best minds in football, which mind will work the best in Super Bowl LIII? As you can see from our Super Bowl picks, seven out of 10 of us are picking the Patriots to win this game. Most of us are going with Belichick. I won’t blame you if you pick McVay.
Obviously one of the key factors in this game will be how the QBs play. We know Tom Brady is one of the greatest QBs of all-time, if not the G.O.A.T. This will be the ninth time he’s played in a Super Bowl. He’s won five, and will be looking for that sixth victory. Tom Brady is a proven performer in the Super Bowl. In his eight Super Bowl appearances, Brady has completed 65.8% of his passes for 2,576 yards. That comes out to about an average of 322 yards per game. He’s thrown 18 TDs to just five INTs, and his average passer rating is 98.0.
Then there’s the young QB Jared Goff, who despite winning two playoff games and helping his team get to the Super Bowl, still has to prove he can be a consistent performer in the biggest games. In the Rams’ two playoff games this postseason, Goff has completed 58.8% of his passes for 483 yards, one TD, one INT and a passer rating of 79.5. Goff’s postseason numbers are even worse if you factor in what he did against the Falcons last postseason. Goff did get better from game one to game two of this postseason. Will he get better on the NFL’s biggest stage?
The pressure here will be on Goff. He’s the young, third year QB who hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Brady is the old, experienced QB who has won five. There’s no pressure on Brady to win this game. Even if there was, he thrives under the pressure. If Goff has another mediocre performance in the Super Bowl, the Patriots are taking this one. Our Super Bowl picks reflect our confidence in Brady over Goff.
A big factor in how well these QBs play will be how well their RBs play. Both teams have multiple RBs who can hurt a defense in many ways. The Patriots have Sony Michel, who is the primary RB. Michel can add something in the receiving game occasionally, but he’s mostly the workhorse RB who keeps the chains moving on the ground. Then there’s Rex Burkhead, who can do a little bit of both rushing and receiving. Finally, the Patriots have James White, who can kill a defense as a receiver out of the backfield. The Patriots use these three RBs very well. They get them to play to their strengths and force a defense to have to worry about each of them.
On the other side, the Rams have Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson. Todd Gurley is one of the best RBs in the league. However, he’s been banged up this postseason. With a little time off, Gurley should be back to full strength. The Rams will need Gurley’s best performance in Super Bowl LIII. Or will they? C.J. Anderson has done a fantastic job of complementing Gurley or filling in for him when he’s been hurt. Because Anderson has played so well, it allows the Rams to keep their RBs fresh. With two RBs who are kept fresh throughout the game, it makes it tough on the defense.
Which defense will do a better job of stopping these RBs? For those who picked the Rams in our Super Bowl picks, I will assume the RBs for the Rams were a big reason why.
I’m not going to cover the defense here. Why? I personally feel like this will be an offensive game. I’m hoping it’s a shootout. As much as I’ve enjoyed watching some defensive games this season, I don’t really want to see that in this Super Bowl. I don’t expect it to be like that anyway. As you can tell from our Super Bowl picks, most of us are thinking this will be an offensive game. The majority of our score projections were in the high 20 to 30 range. Some of our scores go into the 40+ range.
Of Tom Brady’s previous eight Super Bowl appearances, he’s won five and lost three. All three of his Super Bowl losses have come against teams from the NFC East. He lost twice to the New York Giants, and once last season to the Philadelphia Eagles.
New England Patriots or Los Angeles Rams? Who are you picking to win Super Bowl LIII? Let us know your Super Bowl picks in the comments below!