Rams or The Patriots – Who Will Win the Superbowl on Sunday Night?
This weekend will see one of the most ostentatious sporting events of the year as the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots battle it out in Atlanta, Georgia in Superbowl LIII. With a half time show from Maroon 5 plus guests, Gladys Knight singing the national anthem pre-game and the two best teams of the year competing to win the sport’s biggest prize, Sunday night will be one not to miss.
Both teams were the second seeds in their respective conferences and both won on the road in the Conference Championship game a fortnight ago to earn their spot at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. For Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, this will be their ninth Superbowl together, with five of those ending in victories. For the Rams, this is their chance to add to their lone Superbowl success back in 1999.
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Fans are excited for the game due to the potent offense on display for both teams, both have notched up some huge points tallies this season and neither team has an over-reliable defence, which all promises to make for an exciting encounter.
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Let’s now take a closer look at both teams competing in the event, how their seasons have unfolded thus far and who the two key players, one on offense one on defence are for both teams. We will then weigh up the pros and cons of both sides before picking our winner in the game.
New England Patriots
- Owner – Robert Kraft
- Head Coach – Bill Belichick
- Home Field – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachussetts. (66,829)
- Regular Season Record – 11-5 (Won AFC West, 2nd Seed in AFC Conference)
- Post Season – Wild Card Round – Bye
- Divisional Playoff – v San Diego Chargers (W 41-28)
- AFC Championship Game – v Kansas City Chiefs (W 37-31 in Overtime)
- Superbowl Wins – 5 – 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017
- Star Man – Tom Brady (Quarterback)
Patriots in 2018
Pre Season – v Washington Redskins (W), v Philadelphia Eagles (W), v Carolina Panthers (L), v New York Giants (W)
Regular Season Wins – Houston Texans. Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills (2), Green Bay Packers, New York Jets (2), Minnesota Vikings
Regular Season Defeats – Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers
Star Man (Offense) – Tom Brady (Quarterback)
What can you say about the incredible Tom Brady? The 40+ year old quarterback has already appeared in eight Superbowls, winning five of them, all alongside Bill Belichick as his mentor and head coach. The team around him may have changed over the years, but Brady’s brilliance as a pocket passer and as a strategist, putting into action his head coaches plays and plans mean he is a genuine contender as the greatest player of all time. If Brady plays well, then New England will likely win the Superbowl.
Star Man (Defense) – Stephon Gilmore (Cornerback)
Although the Patriots defense hasn’t been renowned for its stellar play this season as a unit, Stephon Gilmore has proved himself to be one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Rewarded for his consistency and effectiveness with a place in the Pro Bowl, Gilmore has become one of the top corners in the league and he will likely be tasked with matching up with Brandin Cooks in this game, the outcome of which could have a big impact on who eventually wins the game.
Los Angeles Rams
- Owner – Stan Kroenke
- Head Coach – Sean McVay
- Home Field – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, California (78,467)
- Regular Season Record – 13-3 (Won NFC West, 2nd Seed in NFC Conference)
- Post Season – Wild Card Round – Bye
- Divisional Playoff – v Dallas Cowboys (W 30-22)
- AFC Championship Game – v New Orleans Saints (W 26-23 in Overtime)
- Superbowl Wins – 1 – 1999
- Star Man – Aaron Donald (Defensive Lineman)
Rams in 2018
Pre Season – v Baltimore Ravens (L), v Oakland Raiders (W), v Houston Texans (W), v New Orleans Saints (L)
Regular Season Victories – v Oakland Raiders, v Arizona Cardinals (2), v Los Angeles Chargers, v Minnesota Vikings, v Seattle Seahawks (2), v Denver Broncos, v San Francisco 49ers (2), v Green Bay Packers, v Kansas City Chiefs, v Detroit Lions
Regular Season Losses – v New Orleans Saints, v Chicago Bears, v Philadelphia Eagles
Star Man (Offense) – Todd Gurley (Running Back)
Although he sat out most of the game with New Orleans in the NFC Championship game, presumably due to an injury, Gurley has been the Rams most potent offensive weapon, scoring lots of touchdowns and his running and power opening up the passing game for Goff and his team of talented wide receivers to exploit.
Star Man (Defense) – Aaron Donald (Defensive Tackle)
The Rams defense may not have too many fans in the secondary, but on the line Aaron Donald has had a huge season with over 20 sacks during the regular season. The Rams heavily invested in their line and it has paid dividends with their former first round draft pick being the key man for them this season. The Rams chances of victory may well hinge on how well Donald, along with his team mates Suh and Fowler Jr in particular, can get at Brady and make the veteran quarterback use his legs. If they can do that often, the Rams will win the ball game.
Match Result (Money Line) – Los Angeles Rams to win – 23/20
I think this has all the hallmarks of being a very close game and while I expect both offenses to rack up a fair few points, I think the eventual deciding factor will be the defence on each team and I think here, although they tend to concede more points, the Rams may have the edge.
That’s simply down to their defensive line, which I feel has the quality to put pressure on Brady even when they are outnumbered. If that is the case and they flush Brady out of the pocket, then New England’s main weapon is compromised and that I think is a huge plus for the Rams.
Without Aaron Donald, the Pats win this every time for me, but with him, I just feel his presence and pressure alone will be enough to sway the game the Rams way.
As a little extra side bet, I think Aaron Donald to be MVP of the Superbowl at odds of 16/1 is well worth a small flutter too.