Looking at the odds for Super Bowl LIII, it appears as though this one may truly be a classic. Initially, the New England Patriots opened as a one-point underdog, but just days later, became a two-point favorite, to prevail over the Los Angeles Rams. One thing is for sure, there are going to be plenty of fireworks when the two teams meet at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta on February 3rd, with the Lombardi Trophy at stake.
At the most important positions, this is a matchup of wily old vet vs. young lion. Legendary Patriots head coach Bill Belichick vs. young upstart head coach Sean McVay (turns 33-years old on January 24th). At Quarterback, five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady vs. third year QB Jared Goff. At age 41, Brady is older than both the quarterback and head coach of his opponent.
Of course, one of the main keys to victory for New England, will be the ability of the offensive line, to somehow neutralize the devastating pass rush of Rams All-World DL Aaron Donald.
It is important to note, the Belichick/Brady legend began with a 20-17 victory over the heavily favored St Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3rd, 2002. Fast forward, and exactly 17 years later, to the day, comes the rematch.
Many things have changed since that first meeting – Not only was the Rams franchise still located in the Midwest, but current Rams coach Sean McVay was still in high school, and current Rams quarterback Jared Goff was still in Elementary school.
In the storied Bill Belichick era, the Pats have played in eight Super Bowls. They have represented the AFC in the last three seasons. Most recently, they lost a 41-33 thriller to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII; a team which they previously defeated 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. Tom Brady has been the QB through all of it, which easily makes this the most successful coach/quarterback combo in NFL history.
The Rams may very well have all the right stuff to topple the mighty Patriots. At least history may be on the side of the Los Angeles franchise – the Pats have a record of 0-2 in Super Bowl rematches (lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII and again in the rematch, four years later).
During the 2018 regular season, the Rams had the league’s second-highest scoring offense, while the Patriots ranked fourth. Both teams won their respective divisions. In the Conference championship games, New England knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs (highest scoring team in the NFL), while the Rams bumped off the New Orleans Saints. Both the Pats and Rams were road teams, and both championship games were decided in overtime.
Both squads appear primed and ready. Only thing left to do, is sit back and count the days until kickoff and then enjoy the drama. The storyline almost writes itself. This should be one for the ages.