Super Bowl LIII Preview
By Garrett Glaeser, Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Rams will take on the New England Patriots for Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta on February 3. It will be a tale of two teams in diametrical opposition to one another in coaching, play style, and culture.
In the NFC title game against the New Orleans Saints, the Rams played from behind the entirety of the game until their kicker, Greg “the Leg” Zuerlein, nailed a 48 yarder to send the game to OT. Zuerlein followed it up with another from 57 on the Rams first possession of OT to win the game.
The stage is set for the Rams and Patriots in Super Bowl LIIIUnfortunately, the Saints fell short yet again a little over a year after the Minneapolis Miracle. However this time they are justifiably upset after a missed pass interference in the Red Zone with just 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
On the other side of the bracket, the New England Patriots are champions yet again of the AFC, despite having an underdog mentality. Though the story of the year for the AFC was MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes and the dynamic Chiefs, the veteran closers prevailed once again.
Since 2001 the Patriots have played in the AFC title game 13 times and this past Sunday was their 8th straight. This will be their third straight trip to the Super Bowl where they will look to avenge last year’s loss to the Eagles.
The ever-youthful Tom Brady isn’t putting up the same numbers as he has in the past but he is still leading his team to one victory after another with flawless 2-minute drills.
Just about the only thing that is similar between the two Super Bowl teams is that they won their respective conference title games in overtime. Other than that, these teams are polar opposites in how a professional sports franchise is run.
For the Rams, they are a player-oriented team, embodying the flashy celebrity culture of the city they relocated to for the 2016 season. For the Patriots, they are a team about the collective, embodying a blue-collar work ethic that has earned them white-collar prestige.
The Rams are led by head coach Sean McVay who has transformed the league and how offenses operate. His success at the helm of the Rams has caused a chain reaction around the NFL with teams searching for their own young special play caller.
McVay is just 33 whereas tenured Patriots coach Bill Belichick is double his age at 66. Rams quarterback Jared Goff is a 24-year-old former first round pick who has transformed into a steady presence after a rocky first year. And Tom Brady is 41 and largely considered to be one of the best to ever play the game.
It seems as of late that playing in Super Bowl for the Patriots really isn’t all that special. At this point it is to be expected by the team that has largely dominated the AFC for the past 20 years. But for the Rams, a chance to win the title just two years after going 4-12 is nothing short of incredible.
For the 30 other NFL franchises watching at home, this game is an opportunity to see what works in terms of building a championship caliber team. The national trend has been to replicate the Rams high tempo youthful style, but if the Patriots win a sixth Super Bowl, general managers might take a second look.
Tune in on Sunday February 3 for Super Bowl LIII at 6:40 on CBS and look forward to a great finale to another