Super Bowl LIII Preview


The Super Bowl is the most viewed sporting event in America, and is a talking point for weeks after it happens.

With the professional football season in America coming to a close, one of the biggest games of the year starts to get hyped up. More and more football fans start to get invested in football and if one of their favorite teams are not in this coveted game, they will decide what team they will support and root for in the big game. This year a common name (owing to its repeat, recent Super Bowl wins), the New England Patriots and a new team in a new city, the L.A. Rams, will be playing for the championship rings in Atlanta, Georgia. Each of these teams have interesting stories of how they got to this position.

The New England Patriots, a team that is mostly hated due to the longevity of their dominance in the league have been in nine Super Bowls since 2000, winning five of them. This could be their sixth victory, now being against the Rams. What’s ironic is that Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl win was against the Rams in 2002, and it is speculated that a win this year could lead to his retirement and Rob Gronkowski’s. With Gronkowski being a big tight end that can catch and make blocks, in combination with Tom Brady, one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, it is a recipe for disaster to any team that faces them.

The Patriots had a bumpy start to the season, losing two of their first three games to sub par teams: the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Due to last year’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, some  had started to lose faith in the Patriots. In addition to this, players like running back Dion Lewis and star cornerback Malcolm Butler both left the team for the Titans this year.

It seemed that the Patriots came back to normal the next six weeks of the season, winning six games in a row with victories over the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs, both of these teams proving themselves to be one of the best in the end of the regular season. The reason for the end of this win streak were the Tennessee Titans who somehow managed throughout the season to upset many great teams such as the Patriots and the Texans at the time.

The concluding eight weeks of the season scared many Patriots fans due to unusual losses. The team lost a big game to Steelers. Patriots fans expressed how angry they were all over social media, many giving up hope and predicting that this year was the end to a great era of Patriots dominance. This was all caused by unusual play by the Patriots defense, letting the Steelers with little time left on the clock march down the field and scored a touchdown for the win.

This game followed another defensive error that gave the other team the win, when the Patriots let the Dolphins on the last play of the game somehow manage to score a touchdown. These two losses cost them home field advantage in the Conference Championship which in contrast to what many people thought, did not matter. The Patriots managed to win the Conference Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs. Their recovery from these two losses was great, having two easy victories over the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.

The postseason went as usual for the Patriots, with their first game being an easy win over the L.A. Chargers. It seemed that their defensive abilities were revived and put a team who many thought would be in the Super Bowl in the dirt. Their next game, against the Kansas City Chiefs was a thriller, with the Patriots leading in the first half by 14 points. Like normal, the Chiefs surged back with a quick drive right after half and a touchdown by Travis Kelce. Patrick Mahomes consistently made plays that don’t even seem possible through out the second half which resulted in pushing the game to overtime. Unfortunately for the Chiefs and their fans, the one thing happened that no one wants to happen while playing the Patriots in overtime. Losing the coin toss. The Pats made it look like a pee-wee game and won with a short three yard run by running back Rex Burkhead.

It seems that pickups like Phillip Dorsett, a smaller receiver from traded by the Colts last season stepped up his game with touchdowns in both playoff games. The backfield for the Patriots was also amazing, with rookie Sony Michel being a fast agile half back that can give momentum to the team. In combination with James White and Cordarrelle Patterson, two receiving based half backs can be used in tricky plays in order  to move the chains. These players shined in the playoffs and will probably be important players in the big game and in the future seasons.

Moving onto the Rams.

Two seasons ago the Rams moved from St Louis to L.A. and changed the franchise forever. Their first season in L.A. the team made it to the playoffs but unfortunately lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the wild card game. The team over this offseason acquired many big names for their defense such as cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Sam Shields, along with the explosive wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

The Rams had a great start of the year, winning their first eight games in fact. Some of these games included wins by 34, which was a shutout against the Arizona Cardinals and a 20 point win against the Oakland Raiders in the first week of regular season play. Some may say that this domination was due to an easy schedule, but the dominance from quarterback Jared Goff and arguably the best half back in the league, Todd Gurley played more of an important factor in their wins.

The next nine weeks were a little troublesome for the team though. With three losses, one to the Saints who they would face again in the playoffs, and two in a row to the Bears and the Eagles. Unlike the Patriots, the Bears’ tricky plays from head coach Matt Nagy caused the Rams to lose in a low scoring game, 15-6.

During these weeks, the Rams were Able to pick up half back C.J. Anderson who served as a great switch up from Todd Gurley for a quick sprint up the field after he found a hole at the line of scrimmage, or just to give Gurley a breather. Also around this time they had clinched a bye for the first round of the playoffs.

To wrap up the season the Rams beat both the Cardinals and the 49ers. The low scores of 13-3 and 12-3 victories were due to the Rams starting backup players to give their stars a rest before the playoffs. This would prove to be very wise decision.

To kick off the Rams playoffs was a fairly easy win over the Cowboys which was a team that most people did not have a lot of faith in; unless for people in Texas. C.J. Anderson played well, picking up 123 yards alongside 2 touchdowns. But, as predicted, the New Orleans Saints put up a way better fight than the Cowboys.

With Drew Brees being one of the best quarterbacks of all time, all sports fans knew there was a great game to be played. Both Teams were neck and neck the whole way, and with little time left in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Saints were going to manage to get a win.

The Saints were no less than twenty yards from the end zone and on a 3rd and short play, a crucial decision by the referees that will stay in Saints fans hearts forever. Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman laid out receiver Tommylee Lewis, when he didn’t even have the ball. It should’ve been at least a pass interference call that would secure a first down and goal, but New Orleans had to settle for three. After this it was all rams, storming down the field and tieing up the game in order to send the game to overtime. In overtime the rams won on a 57 yard field goal by kicker Greg Zuerlein.

This year’s Super Bowl will undoubtedly be a great one. With many fans saying that this year’s championship games were some of the best ever, it is inevitable for a great Super Bowl game. It should be a close matchup, with both teams being strong in their own areas.

The Patriots have been dominant in the late regular season leading into the playoffs, with Tom Brady being almost too good for his age and the defense being able to hold their ground pretty well. Also, with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski getting old, this may be their last season if they win, and will motivate them to leave everything on the field. On the other hand, the Rams have a great backfield and quick receivers that will constantly pressure the Patriots safeties. The Rams special team unit are also one of the best in the league, with kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Johnny Hekker being at the top of the rankings each year.

With the Patriots having so much experience in big games compared to the Rams, who have just moved to a new city with new coaching staff, have an edge over Jared Goff and Todd Gurley’s crew. Both teams have great players that are faces of the league and in this particular game, the advantage will go to the team with more experience; the Patriots. Nevertheless, the game will certainly be action packed and the winner can be argued for either side. What will be for sure is that this game will be a good one, possibly one for the record books.