The Rams have made their way through a tough regular season and through the NFC Side of the playoffs. They now have a date with the New England Patriots in Superbowl 53 and they are attempting to win their second Superbowl in franchise history. Los Angeles comes in with a ton of talent on their roster to go along with almost the same amount of doubters in regards to them winning this game. On Sunday we will see if those people are right or if the talent rises to the occasion.
Keys To The Game:
The simplest formula would be for the Rams to run the football and use play action passes. Too bad you can’t be simple versus Bill Belichick. With the Patriots expecting a dose of Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson, the Rams should try a few extra misdirection play early. Draw plays, reverses, Jet sweeps; any of those plays that gets the defense going against the grain and has them struggling to locate the ball. The Patriots have allowed at least 150 yards rushing yards in four out of their five losses and over 100 yards in every loss this season.
Los Angeles has to walk a thin line of taking chances deep and not turning the ball over. The Patriots have forced at least one turnover in 14 out of their 16 regular season game but that shouldn’t deter the Rams from forcing the issue a bit. Like in the NFC championship they will have to take a chance or two to keep the disciplined Patriots out of a routine.
They have to use the wide receiver combination of Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks to their advantage. Either they will garner double teams, giving you open receivers underneath or they will get single coverage where they should have a leg up on their New England counterparts. I asked Woods if he thought anybody in the Patriots secondary could guard him one on one and he had this to say: ” No I don’t think so, I think the biggest thing is to study em and play my game.”
The Rams offense has obliterated defenses all season and they shouldn’t get away from their philosophy in this game. One thing that is very important is to try and play from ahead when going against new England. It not only gives your team confidence going into halftime and the fourth quarter but it will also give Bill Belichick some extra adjustments to have to worry about.
On defense Los Angeles will have their work cut out for them. When talking to Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels he said very clearly “We are going to play our game.” That means plenty of Tom Brady and quick short routes from the wide receivers, tight end and running backs. The Rams will have to disrupt that short pass game, by jamming the wide outs at the line of scrimmage and chipping the running backs out of the backfield.
I asked defensive coordinator Wade Phillips specifically about James White coming out of the backfield here’s what he had to say, “We got different coverages for different guys in different situations but James White can take over a game receiving.” The Rams will be focused on not letting those underneath passes turn into big plays and it will be a big help if they want to come out with a victory.
Unlike the offense side on defense they have to stay disciplined. The game officials are human and it isn’t be a farfetched notion to believe they will favor the Patriots in calls. They must keep a cool head if a call is missed or misdiagnosed. They must stay away from silly penalties like offsides or encroachment and avoid the huge pass interference or roughing the passer penalties.
Prediction: To say the New England Patriots will lose in the Superbowl is almost blasphemous but that feat is definitely not unprecedented. The Rams talent should rise to the top and give them the victory. I will say 27-23 will be final.