Today, the AFC champion New England Patriots and NFC champion Los Angeles Rams will square off for the Vince Lombardi Trophy- the trophy awarded each year to the winning team of the Super Bowl. This year's championship game has many interesting match-ups that will make for an exciting game.
All five of the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories have occurred during the Belichick-Brady era, and they’ll be looking to win their sixth. Under this leadership, the Patriots hold a 5-3 record in the big game. Meanwhile the Rams haven't been back to the Super Bowl since their one previous match-up with the Pats during Brady's first season, when the Rams fell 20-17 after Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri sunk a game winning field goal as time expired.
Alongside a rematch of Brady’s first Super Bowl, this game presents the battle of young versus old- the Rams are quarterbacked by 24 year old Jared Goff and coached by the youngest NFL coach in Sean McVay. On the other side of the field, the Patriots go into the game with the oldest quarterback to ever play in a Super Bowl at 41, while his coach Bill Belichick is the longest tenured coach in the league.
The Patriots offense has recently been firing on all cylinders. In the last three games New England has been averaging over 38 points and been lethal in the red zone. In fact, New England has found the end zone on 76 percent of its red zone trips during that span. New England’s success on offense can be attributed to the emergence of their run game with rookie running back Sony Michel racking up 242 yards and accounting for five touchdowns in two postseason games. Michel and the rest of the Patriots run game will present an interesting match up to a Rams run defense, which gave up a league-worst 5.1 yards per carry in the regular season. While quarterbacked by Brady, the Patriots are looked at as favorites. With an inconsistent defense who have shown signs of greatness and flaws, the Patriots may have to come prepared for a shootout with lots of points being scored. The offensive line for the Patriots has been solid as of late giving Brady plenty of times to make plays in the pocket. Brady’s protection will be essential to the Patriots success as they face one of the league's best defensive front sevens with the Rams.
With a defensive front seven led by guys like Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, and Dante Fowler, the Rams have the ability of completely shutting down Brady and the passing offense if they can pressure him. The Rams feature big-time play-makers on both sides of the ball. On offense, the Rams are loaded with a lot of young talented play-makers. Los Angeles' backfield features a two-headed monster with Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson. The two backs have been able to control tempos of the offensive side of the ball, relieving pressure off of third year quarterback Jared Goff. Goff has had an outstanding year at the helm of this offense with his passing, but will the big stage be too much for him? Look for the Patriots to send pressure early and often to get Goff off his heels. The Rams run game on offense and pass rush on defense is essential to their success in the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl looks to be an interesting match-up, a game between between old and new, past and present. Will the Rams put the nail in the coffin to the Patriots dynasty or will New England continue its reign among the top of the league? Expect both teams to show up with everything they’ve got. Brady will be Brady while the Rams will look to turn some heads and shock the world.
Tonight, be sure to watch a game that will have a lasting impact in football for many years to come.