This particular Super Bowl is actually a matchup of old as well as also brand-new: The 66-year-old Bill Belichick will be coaching against the 33-year-old Sean McVay. The 41-year-old Tom Brady will be starting his ninth Super Bowl, while the 24-year-old Jared Goff will play in his first.
A year after being upset in a Super Bowl that will set an N.F.L. record for total yards, the Patriots will be looking for a record-tying sixth Lombardi Trophy, while the Rams, having only recently moved back to Los Angeles, will be looking to earn the franchise’s second.
brand-new England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. | Television: CBS | Streaming: Free on CBSSports.com
When the Rams hold the Ball
There is actually more uncertainty to the Rams’ approach to This particular game than you would likely expect, as well as also that will uncertainty centers on the readiness of running back Todd Gurley.
No single player has benefited more coming from McVay’s tenure in Los Angeles than Gurley — not even Goff. Gurley, a former Georgia star, went coming from the verge of being called a bust for averaging an ugly 3.2 yards a carry in 2016 to becoming perhaps the N.F.L.’s most well-rounded running back.
In 29 games under McVay, Gurley has 3,924 yards coming from scrimmage as well as also 40 touchdowns. A lot of that will is actually Gurley’s versatility as a runner as well as also pass-catcher, however he also benefits coming from a system in which plays are cleverly disguised. Gurley is actually surrounded by a solid group of skill players, as well as also that will helped him face eight men inside box on only 8.2 percent of his carries This particular season, which was the third-lowest figure among qualified running backs, according to the N.F.L.’s Next Gen Stats database.
however Gurley sustained some knee inflammation in Week 15. that will forced him to miss two games as well as also most likely torpedoed his chance to be named the N.F.L.’s most valuable player. The Rams had to adjust on the fly inside playoffs, relying a great deal on C.J. Anderson, a veteran backup who was cut by both the Carolina Panthers as well as also the Oakland Raiders This particular season.
Anderson, often running the ball with protection coming from two tight ends, has already far exceeded expectations, as well as also inside divisional round, both he as well as also Gurley thrived. inside N.F.C. championship game, however, Gurley essentially disappeared, blaming his lack of reps on his “sorry” play rather than his balky knee.
The Patriots’ disciplined approach does not lead to a lot of mistakes, so for Los Angeles to be productive on offense, its success will probably have to come in large part coming from the running game. that will makes Gurley’s health even more important.
Belichick has been known to focus his defense on eliminating the player he sees as the biggest threat, however with the uncertainty surrounding Gurley, the Patriots could go in a different direction as well as also work on shutting down the Rams’ top wide receivers. brand-new England is actually intimately familiar with both of them: Brandin Cooks played for the Patriots last season, as well as also Robert Woods began his career inside A.F.C. East playing for the Buffalo Bills.
The Patriots’ defense played with fire a bit This particular season, allowing an average of 359.1 yards a game, which was 23rd inside N.F.L. however they were able to prevent teams coming from turning yards into points, allowing opponents just 20.3 points, which ranked seventh. that will could be a very dangerous formula against Los Angeles when one considers both Gurley as well as also Anderson’s ability to punch the ball into the end zone.
When the Patriots hold the Ball
In these playoffs, the Patriots have made a point of starting strong. They scored on their opening drive against the Chiefs inside A.F.C. championship game, as well as also on their first four possessions against the Chargers inside divisional round.
brand-new England’s formula for success is actually not hard to decipher, however the idea has proved mostly impossible to stop. the idea all centers on moving remarkably fast, with Tom Brady alternating between short throws as well as also handoffs in an approach best described as death by a thousand cuts.
Numerous times per game an opposing defense will appear to have brand-new England stopped, only to have a swing pass to James White or a second-effort by Julian Edelman keep things going. Depending on one’s perspective, the idea is actually either infuriating or inspiring, however either way the idea works.
The differences coming from last season to This particular one are Brady’s having cooled off some in terms of throwing the ball deep (that will’s largely a personnel issue rather than an indication that will Brady’s arm has aged) as well as also the Patriots’ having developed Sony Michel, a rookie running back, into a player who would likely be an every-down back on any team that will didn’t like to mix things up as much as brand-new England does.
that will familiar approach will be going up against a Rams defense that will produces a lot of game-changing turnovers however also features a propensity for giving up huge amounts of yards as well as also points. Wade Phillips, the Rams’ defensive coordinator, has often proven to have a magic touch, as well as also he certainly features a talented group of players, however there is actually a sense that will they have yet to reach their potential. The unit’s reliance on exploiting mistakes could be an issue against an opponent not known for doing them.
How the idea Will Play Out
Thanks to the extended rest, Gurley should be ready to go, as well as also that will could make all the difference for Los Angeles. Establishing his versatility early inside game will open up everything else as well as also allow Goff to get points on the scoreboard. that will should keep the Rams coming from falling into the same hole the Chiefs as well as also the Chargers did.
the idea is actually tempting to believe Brady can keep up even if the game turns into a shootout, however Aaron Donald, the Rams’ standout defensive tackle, is actually perhaps the perfect disrupter for brand-new England’s offense. If Donald can generate consistent pressure up the middle, forcing even mild mistakes coming from Brady, then McVay, a coaching mind who has already been hailed as the future of the N.F.L., would likely be ready to be crowned king of the league’s present. The game will undoubtedly be close — the Patriots always seem to make the idea close — however the Rams should win.