2019’s Super Bowl sees 5-time champions the New England Patriots face the Los Angeles Rams, in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz stadium on Sunday night. In a battle of experience vs. youth, 66-year-old coach Bill Belichick, paired with his right-hand man, 41-year-old QB Tom Brady, will take on the youngest coach to ever coach in a Super Bowl, Sean McVay (33), and his 3rd year QB Jared Goff. Whatever the result, it will either be the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl, or the oldest.
Whilst the Patriots are Super Bowl veterans – with a record 11 appearances, and a 5-3 win-loss record in the Belichick-Brady era – they will still be hurting from their 41-33 defeat this time last year to the Philadelphia Eagles. Whereas, this will be the Rams’ first Super Bowl in 17 years; their first since a devastating last minute loss to – yep, you guessed it – the New England Patriots, with Belichick and Brady at the helm.
Although we are unlikely to see any of these players win the MVP award, don’t let that fool you; these teams are stacked with talent. Los Angeles’ running back Todd Gurley led the league in rushing touchdowns, with 17, with an additional 4 receiving touchdowns, despite missing two games due to injury. The Rams’ wide receiving corps is one to be feared too, with Robert Woods and former New England Patriot, Brandin Cooks, catching a combined 11 passes in the end-zone. Furthermore, Jared Goff has pinned down his franchise quarter-back role in LA, after throwing for 4688 yards, the 4th highest this season.
However, Goff couldn’t be going up against a better quarter back than Tom Brady, who, in his tenure in New England, has thrown 18 Super Bowl touchdown passes – more than any other QB in history. And yet, Tom Brady can only be as good as his wide receivers. Julian Edelman, since returning from a torn ACL this season, has proven to be the man that Brady can rely on, catching 6 touchdown passes for 850 yards in just 12 games. Edelman, coupled with versatile back James White, who has proved to be a weapon in the passing game catching it out of the backfield, and the fourth quarter monster that is tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Rams defence will have a lot to contend with. Even more worryingly for the Rams, rising star Sony Michel, the rookie running back, has shown his quality throughout the regular season, and was electric in both of the Patriots’ playoff wins against the Chargers and Chiefs.
Aaron Donald, the Rams’ defensive lineman, who lead the league in sacks (tackling the quarter back), with 20.5, will be pivotal in stopping the tour de force that is Tom Brady’s offence. In doing so, he will certainly be hard to ignore when choosing the Super Bowl MVP, a title which Brady himself has won on 4 occasions.
By rule of thumb, you should never bet against the Patriots in an NFL game, certainly not in the Super Bowl. However, this year they may have their work cut out for them. From the start of this season, it was clear LA were going to be a team to watch. Sean McVay’s coaching abilities rival that even of fabled coach Bill Belichick, making it one of the most exciting match-ups of the season.
With one of the league’s most successful teams, the Patriots, playing the talent-packed Rams, it will surely be a must-watch game.
By Morgan Edwards