Patriots vs. Rams: Predicting this Super Bowl Rematch

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Patriots vs. Rams: Predicting this Super Bowl Rematch

Lincoln Byrd, Author

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Well, this wild NFL season full of controversial calls and questionable rule changes is now coming to a close, and the two final teams have been determined. This year’s Super Bowl will feature the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, who both had overtime wins over their opponents in the conference championships.

In the conference championship games, some horrible calls really changed the outcome of the games. The theme all season for the NFL has been questionable calls, so it is just fitting that the Super Bowl would be determined by them.

In the NFC Championship, the Rams vs. Saints game had a non-called penalty at the end. There was a blatant helmet-to-helmet pass interference call that would have let the Saints run down the clock to hit a game-winning chip shot field goal. Instead, the referee didn’t draw the flag, and this gave the Rams a chance to force the overtime in which they ended up winning by kicking a 57-yard field goal.

In the AFC Championship, there were some calls that clearly favored the Patriots, but the Chiefs still hung in there and forced overtime. But they would lose the coin toss and Brady would lead the Patriots down the field to score the game-winning touchdown.

This will go down in history as one of the most controversial days in all of sports. In the end, all four teams could make the argument that they won.

This year’s Super Bowl will be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI, which was Brady’s first Super Bowl win back in 2002.

The Patriots will be playing in the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season, playing the Rams who haven’t been in the Super Bowl for 17 years, back when they were still in St. Louis.

This will also be the second Boston vs. L.A. sports championship for the 2018 sports season, the first being the Red Sox against the Dodgers in the World Series in October.

The Patriots are no strangers to the Super Bowl, making their third straight appearance (fourth in the past five years), and their ninth under Brady and Belichick, which is unprecedented.

Brady’s experience led the Pats to victory on the road in a hostile environment to advance to the Super Bowl, after quite a rough season. The Patriots had an 11-5 record during the regular season, and all five of their losses came on the road. That isn’t common for this kind of team, but they were able to take care of business during the playoffs.

Nobody really expected the Patriots to make it this far. In fact, the AFC Championship game against the Chiefs was the first time in 67 games where they were an underdog.

For the Patriots to win on Feb. 3, they will need their defense to step up. It is obvious that a Brady-led offense can be relied on to score, but to keep up with one of the best offenses in the Rams, this defense, which wasn’t been particularly good during the season, will need to come through big time.

As for the Rams, they’re led by the young Jared Goff in only his third season. Goff was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, and after going winless (0-7) in his first season, he has led the Rams to back-to-back division titles.

Despite the controversial calls that benefitted the Rams, Goff played amazing football matched up on the road against the future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. To beat Brady on the biggest stage, Goff will need to rise to the task, and the Rams offense must play lights-out like they did all season.

The Rams offense most recently added experienced running back C.J. Anderson, who won Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos. He was added to help out star RB Todd Gurley, and he has been playing amazing in the playoffs, sometimes even getting more carries than Gurley. Anderson has had experience against Brady when he was in Denver, and this is probably an emotional game for him, after being cut twice this season by other teams.

The Rams defense has been good, but their players don’t have much experience, so it will be a tough job for them to try to slow down Brady. The key for the Rams to win is for the defense to help out their offense by shutting down Brady, and for the offense to keep him off the field. The Rams are going to have to control the game from the start, or else they’ll be in a shootout with one of the greatest teams in sports.

No surprise, but I’m predicting the Patriots to win this game. After last year’s Super Bowl loss and making it to the big game yet again after their rough season, it’s hard to see them losing this game to a third -year QB. As for the Rams, I think even if they lose this game, they will be back, and they will be championship contenders in years to come.