The date is September 15th 2018, everyone and their mother is talking about how the Pats just cant do it this year, how they just aren’t good anymore. Well, it is currently Super Bowl Week and the Patriots are very much STILL HERE. This past Sunday the Patriots were able to get by with a win in Kansas City that did not come easy. This was a terrific game start to finish, I mean hats off to Mahome’s for how he handled the pressure in what was probably the biggest game in his career thus far. Although the better team did come out on top, if I’m a chiefs fan then I wouldn’t be too mad about this loss, you got a second year player who threw for 50 TD’s in his first year as a starter so don’t be too frustrated Chiefs fans, hell be back. Anyways, lets take a look at what to expect in this Super Bowl.
Rams offense Pats defense
It was a pretty shaky year for the Patriots defense during the regular season but after these past two games I can honestly say I’m not as worried about this Rams offense as much as I should be. The first thing I want to address about this rams offense is their quarterback. Goff has played outstanding this year and will now have to face his biggest opponent on the biggest stage of them all. Now Goff is a really good quarterback and I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you that but since losing Cooper Kupp to an ACL injury he hasn’t been the same guy. Take a look at Goffs numbers before and after the injury to Kupp. (Kupp went down in week 10)
Goff before losing Kupp
- 3,134 yards
- 22 TD’s
- 6 interception
- 110.15 passer rating
Goff after losing Kupp
- 2,037 yards
- 11 TD’s
- 7 interceptions
- 84.73 passer rating
It’s never good when a player goes down with an injury like that but with no kupp and the way our defense has been playing I wouldn’t be so so worried, especially when you realize that the chiefs offense is a bit more scary than them. I still think Goff is terrific at what he does, I mean the dude outplayed Brees in the dome. This is just something that gives us a little edge on the defensive side of the ball. Rams receivers are not big, they kill you with their speed and ability to gain separation in order to produce. But without one of those guys, whoever it may be, then it does make your offense less flexible. When you have three speedy receivers who are all capable of taking over a game it puts you in a very good spot while running that offense but once one of those guys gets hurt then its much easier to play the other receivers, especially when you’re not getting nearly the same production you were from prior to the injury.
Put it this way, the Rams are sort of in the same boat as us but it’s not the quite the same thing. The rams and pats don’t really have a big go-to outside receiver, since the pats lost Gordon but the pats do have what we like to call a Brady, a gronk, a Edelman, and a Belichick. As of right now the offense on the rams run through the small guys like Woods and Cooks when throwing the ball, just like the pats run through Edelman. But like I said its different, the Patriots still have the best tight end to ever play the position so the whole outside receiver conversation doesn’t apply to us as much as them.
The Rams receivers can still be dangerous and that’s no surprise but like I said, they are small receivers, speedy but small. With the absence of Kupp, Josh Reynolds has been replacing him but even though he does bring a bigger body all that does is lure Mr. Gilmore in his direction. Reynolds is a solid guy to have as a number 3 option in the passing game but with the highest rated cornerback from this season covering him then I don’t see him being much of a factor in this game.
The way I look at the defensive plan for the receivers is to obviously put Gilmore on the biggest guy like he always is (which is Reynolds), put Jonathan jones on cooks, and then let J.C. Jackson and J-mac cover woods. The reason I look at it like this is really because of Sundays game against the chiefs. Jones was thrown into the fire this past Sunday when he had to cover probably the fastest player in the league, Tyreek Hill. Not only did he do a good job but man did he exceed expectations. One of the most dangerous weapons in football was held catch less the whole game when covered by Jones but lets not forget how the secondary coverage came into play too. The whole game you could see McCourty bringing over extra help on hill so I would expect nothing less if we came up with something like that again. They may not be a dangerous as hill but the speed is what we need to lock down once again.
Now its time to address the biggest threat of them all, Todd Gurley. Gurley hasn’t really been used as much as he usually has been since he aggravated his knee a few weeks ago and even though they’ve been taking the cautious approach don’t let that make you think he’s not going to be a big part of the offense. I think the reason for Gurley not playing so much in those games was just because McVay thought that they were capable of using both of them while still giving Gurley a little extra time off in order to not jeopardize losing him, which did end up paying off. I expect to see a heavy dosage of Gurley in this game, probably about 20 carries and at least a handful of looks in the passing game. Not only do I expect them to use him a lot but I would probably expect this very early on if anything. According to McaVay, Gurley was still 100% healthy last game even though he didn’t see too many snaps so I wouldn’t expect them to waste anytime getting him the ball once they step on the field. Look for the defensive line to try to blow up a lot of plays, bringing pressure early on to Goff is exactly what we need to do in order to get in their heads.
Pats offense Rams defense
Obviously I know how much of a force this defense can really be but lets just start with the Rams D line. So this line consists of 2 pro bowlers (Suh and Donald), a first round pick (Dante Fowler jr), and Michael Brockers who is definitely capable of holding his own. The reason I want to start with the Defensive line is because of how well we protected Brady against the chiefs. You may think that because the chiefs defense wasn’t all that this year that it shouldn’t have been a great task. Well the pass rush was the best thing the chiefs had going for them on defense and even though the Rams are stacked… guys like Dee Ford, Justin Houston, and Chris jones are NOT so easy to contain. Just go back and watch some highlights from the chiefs/colts game, Luck faced heavy pressure most of the game. Not only is our O-line going to be tasked with containing these monsters but I do think getting Sony going early on would be very beneficial. Sony and the O line have been huge parts to the Pats success during this playoff run so I would hope to see Sony get the s he’s got for the past 2 games.
Going into this game Brady has dropped back 90 times, he hasn’t been sacked once. This is what we are going to need to keep up with this whole game in order to win. Now we may not have the biggest names on this o line but they has stepped up big the past two games against two of the toughest pass rushes in the league. It’s all about bringing that same energy from the previous game, if they can do that then we have a very good chance of blocking this scary D line. As long as Brady gets the protection he’s been getting he should have no problem picking a part the defense especially once Bill comes up with his plan. I would expect to see a good amount of jet sweeps and screens in this one, were going to need to keep them on their feet so these monsters don’t blow up the pocket. I still think your going to see a lot of James white in this one, I just don’t expect us to be challenging their corners the entire time.
Last but not least lets take a quick look at the wide receiver/cornerbacks . I’m not really sure how they are going to play us this whole game but if I were to expect anything then they aren’t going to make it easy on Gronk. Gronk was KEY in the win over KC so with a mind like McVay’s then I would expect to see Gronk doubled in more situations than last week. BUT with a mind like Bills he’ll just end up using that to his advantage. If that is the case then I believe Gronk will still be a factor in this, honestly will probably catch a TD but its going to give Edelman, Dorsett, Patterson, and Hogan more and more room to work with. Even with Marcus Peters and Talib playing on the opposite side of the ball this team is still very capable of finding weak spots to exploit. Just look at the offensive post season leaders coming into the Superbowl. I would say that Marcus peters isn’t as much as a threat as Talib so with that being said I would expect to see a nice day out of Edelman.
Passing- Tom Brady 641 yds
Rushing- Sony Michel: 242 yds (aka the Los Angeles chargers daddy)
Receiving- Julian Edelman : 247 yds
Photo-AP Photo/Matt Slocum