In Super Bowl 53, the Rams and Patriots will face off in an intriguing matchup between old and new. Los Angeles has the young head coach-quarterback duo of Sean McVay and Jared Goff while New England will return to the Super Bowl for the third straight season with the infamous duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. On paper,these two teams are even, which makes this game extremely difficult to predict. While it may not be what football fans (outside of fans of the Patriots and Saints), I believe Brady and Belichick will come away with their sixth Super Bowl title. Here’s why.
Reason #1: Rams Won’t Be Able To Stop James White
In the NFC Championship Game against the Saints, the Rams allowed running back Alvin Kamara to catch eleven passes out of the backfield for 96 yards. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, they now have to match up against James White, who had 87 receptions this season. The linebacking core of the Rams is definitely their weak link, and Brady will likely attack that matchup with White similar to how Brees did with Kamara. While Los Angeles got away with that against New Orleans, the Patriots are a completely different animal, and if White has a big game, New England will likely win as well. White is the linchpin of the Patriots offense, as they go as he goes, so it’s definitely trouble for the Rams that they don’t have the players necessary to limit his impact in this game.
Reason #2: Rams’ Inconsistentcy vs Patriots’ Reliability
In that game against the Saints, the Rams displayed their inconsistency. Up to the two-minute warning off the first half, they looked out of sync and score three points. After that, they were unstoppable and put up 23 points. One week, running back Todd Gurley went from averaging 7.2 yards per carry against the Cowboys, to being benched in the NFC Championship Game. Gurley may be the key to this game, but he definitely can’t be counted on. Meanwhile, New England has scored over thirty points in their last three games, while Tom Brady has been a consistent force for them. If there’s anything you can count on, it’s that the Patriots and Brady will come to play for the big game, but will the Rams? That remains to be seen.
Reason #3: Experience
By far the most obvious reason to pick the Patriots in this game is experience. Brady and Belichick are in their ninth Super Bowl and their eighteenth season together, while Goff and McVay are in just their second season. While Goff and McVay looked overwhelmed at times at New Orleans, Brady and Belichick looked unfazed against the NFL MVP in an extremely tough environment in Kansas City. It may take time for the young Rams to get going in the type of game that most of them haven’t experienced, while for the Patriots it’s just another game. If Los Angeles falls behind early, they won’t be able to comeback against the Patriots, who are as good as defending leads as any one else, like they did against the Saints.
Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady
In this hypothetical Patriots win, the deserving MVP is White, who is bound for a huge game in which he eclipses 150 yards from scrimmage. However, White had three touchdowns, including the game winner, in New England’s last Super Bowl victory against the Falcons and still didn’t win Super Bowl MVP over Brady. The same goes for corner Malcolm Butler, who had arguably the biggest play in Super Bowl history when he picked off Russell Wilson at the goal-line to seal a Super Bowl 49 victory over the Seahawks. If New England wins, Brady will win MVP no matter what, but there’s still reason to believe he’ll have a big game. Los Angeles has holes in the secondary, especially with corner Marcus Peters. The Rams can’t afford to play man to man with Peters, but Brady will pick them apart if they play zone. This is a terrific matchup for Brady, and he’ll definitely take advantage in quest of his sixth Super Bowl title.
Stat Prediction: 74.7% Completion Percentage, 317 Passing Yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
1st Quarter: Patriots 10 Rams 0
2nd Quarter: Patriots 14 Rams 7
3rd Quarter: Patriots 7 Rams 3
4th Quarter: Patriots 3 Rams 7
Final Score Prediction: Patriots 34 Rams 17
No, Brady won’t retire if New England wins, so the rest of the NFL shouldn’t get their hopes up.