Super Bowl 53 Preview

Story posted January 25, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Jake Starr

The New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday in Super Bowl 53. Jake Starr, Derek Heid, Matt McClure and Andre Magaro preview the matchup. They take a look at how both teams got there, keys to the game and a prediction of who will walk away with the Lombardi Trophy. Will Brady get his sixth ring? Will McVay and Goff start a dynasty of their own? Listen in to find out:

It has been a crazy, exciting NFL season and after an extremely eventful postseason, we are down to the final two teams. The New England Patriots return to the Super Bowl for the third season in a row, and they will take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, February 3, in Atlanta, Georgia.

This will be a matchup of the old guys against the new faces of the NFL. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have been there and done that. This will be the Patriots ninth Super Bowl with Brady and Belichick leading the charge. They are 5-3 in their previous eight appearances.

On the other side it will be the youngest coach in the NFL in 33-year-old Sean McVay and one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in 24-year-old Jared Goff. The 17-year age gap between Brady and Goff and the 33-year difference between McVay and Belichick are with no doubt the largest in Super Bowl history.

New England has been the class of the NFL for nearly two decades. When you think of dynasties in NFL history, you think of the 1960s Packers, 1970s Steelers, 1990s Cowboys and the 2000s Patriots. No player or team has had the run of success that Brady and the Patriots have had in a 20-year period.

The Rams, on the other hand, have struggled to find an identity for much of the 21st century. They had some success early in the 2000s, winning a Super Bowl in 2000 and then falling to New England in the championship a few years later.

After years of mediocrity and Jeff Fisher, the Rams dumped Fisher for McVay and dumped St. Louis for the bright lights of LA, and positive results have followed. McVay has revolutionized the league in his two seasons as head coach and this has caused many teams to begin their coaching searches by seeking out the next Sean McVay.

New England comes into this game as the favorite, and rightfully so. But, the Rams might be the more talented team all around. The Patriots have Tom Brady, but outside of him, this may be one of the worst supporting casts he has ever been surrounded by.

The Patriots will need Brady to be his vintage self again as the expectation is that Los Angeles should be able to score points on New England’s defense. Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan, who played lacrosse at Penn State, will be looked at to make plays on offense for the Patriots.

Jared Goff has looked like a top-10 quarterback these past two seasons. How much of that is on Goff, and how much of that is because of the system he is in? That can be debated all we want, but he is having success and that is all that matters. The system quarterback debate becomes invalid when that quarterback has consistent success.

The Rams now have a two-headed monster at running back with Todd Gurley and CJ Anderson. Anderson, who was signed in December, saw the bulk of the carries in the NFC Championship, so it will be interesting to see how McVay divides up the carries in this game.

Goff has a strong crop of pass catches led by Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks, who is playing in his second straight Super Bowl. That and a strong offensive line are a big reason why the Rams are playing on Super Bowl Sunday. Can that group carry them to a win?

Defensively, Los Angeles has a strong defensive line led by Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh and a secondary headlined by Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. If Suh and Donald can get to Brady, then they can slow down the New England offense, but Brady is so good at getting the ball out quickly to neutralize a team’s pass rush.

This has the looks of a game that could be a back-and-forth, high scoring affair. Similarly, to last year’s Super Bowl, this game may come down to which team makes a big play late, and who has the ball last.

The Rams will be in this game throughout, but at the end, Brady and Belichick’s experience will prevail here. Brady will have the ball in crunch time, but this time he will execute and look like his vintage self.

Los Angeles won’t be able to force that late turnover like Philadelphia was able to last season, and in turn, Brady will lead the Patriots on a late drive to go ahead and put the game away for New England. Seems like a script we have seen before.

Final score prediction: New England Patriots 31, Los Angeles Rams 27

 

 

Jake Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jas7954@psu.edu.