Super Bowl 53 Preview

We’re only a few days away from Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta, Georgia.

All eyes will be on Mercedes-Benz Stadium when the New England Patriots and the L.A. Rams duke it out in the biggest stage the NFL has to offer.

The Patriots and the Rams. Old school vs. new school. We know the headlines. The Patriots are in their third straight Super Bowl, the Rams are in their first in awhile. Bill Belichick has all the experience. Sean McVay has only coached three postseason games as the Rams’ head coach. Tom Brady is going after his 6th ring, while Goff seeks his first. Yet, none of that seems to be phasing either side. Both have high respect for one another and are preparing as if the other is a longtime rival.

The Rams started off 8-0, before losing to the New Orleans Saints. However, last week in the NFC Championship game, the Rams went into the Bayou and stunned the Saints, punching their ticket to the Super Bowl. The Rams struggled down the stretch, losing to the Bears and Eagles, but they played their best when it mattered most.

Meanwhile, for the Patriots, they started 1-2, and we heard the same stories again. It’s over. Brady and Belichick are done. The dynasty is coming to an end. So what did the Patriots do? They finished 11-5, clinched a first round bye, and then beat the Kansas City Chiefs IN Arrowhead to prove to the doubters that they still got it. Belichick continues to draw up fabulous game plans for the team. Brady is an ageless wonder and he’s probably the best quarterback to ever play the game. But right now, this is Belichick coaching his team. He brings out the best in his players and teaches discipline. For example, the Patriots defense is ranked 21st in total defense, but still takes away the best weapon on the opponent’s offense. Why? Because Belichick designs a game plan they can execute. It’s the same thing on offense. He runs the ball 30 times a game with his stable of running backs, so when Brady does drop back to pass, it catches the defense off guard and Brady can hit his quick dump off pass. We know Brady can still throw the ball at a high level, but right now Belichick is making this team fire on all cylinders.

However the Rams present something not many teams have against the Patriots this season, a defense. Yes, they rank 19th in total defense, but this is a fierce bunch led by Aaron Donald. Donald finished with 20.5 sacks and if there’s someone who could get to Brady quickly, it’s him. The secondary is starting to play better and the defense could slow down the Patriots running game. They fly to the football and create turnovers.

Meanwhile, on offense, the Rams are hoping to get Todd Gurley going this week after having only 4 carries last week. C.J. Anderson is able to do the job, but Gurley is clearly the stud out of the two. We’ll also have to see how Belichick tries to slow down quarterback, Jared Goff. Goff played well last week throwing for almost 300 yards.

If the Patriots can capitalize on early possessions and get out to a nice lead, it could make life difficult for the Rams. However, if the Rams can hang around, they could end up giving the Patriots their second straight loss in the Super Bowl. Two top four scoring offenses are set to clash on February third. It’s going to be a good one down south.

(Written by Seth Cohen, a Tailgate writer who also runs @tailgatenflnews on Instagram.)

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