Split decisions on who will win Super Bowl LIII
There were plenty of differing opinions among the Xpress Sports staff on what the outcome of Super Bowl LIII would be, as the Los Angeles Rams look to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history while Tom Brady and the New England Patriots look to win their sixth Super Bowl since the turn of the millennium.
Devon Haripal: With Tom Brady making the ninth Super Bowl appearance in his storied career, it’s hard to bet against the future Hall of Famer. Any time you go against him he just proves you wrong, but I’m doing just that and picking the Rams to win Super Bowl LIII. The Rams simply are the better team when all is said and done; a better offense, a better defense and — when it matters the most come crunch time — they have the NFL’s best kicker in Greg Zuerlein. Todd Gurley may be downplaying a potential knee injury, but the Rams and former Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson seem to have found one another at the perfect time, with Anderson back in the Super Bowl for the second time in his career. I’ve got the Los Angeles Rams downing the Patriots 30-27, getting their revenge after the 2002 Super Bowl loss to New England and picking up their second Super Bowl in franchise history, after the 2000 win against the Tennessee Titans.
Ildar Sabirov: The LA Rams, led by injured do-it-all running back Todd Gurley, are the team that ought to win the Super Bowl this year. Tons of cap space went into getting this stacked squad that includes one of the best journeyman players of the past three years in wide receiver Brandin Cooks, the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history i Aaron Donald, the tank that is Ndamukong Suh and an elite playmaking corner in Marcus Peters. That said, the No. 2 total offense in the NFL will face one of the most dangerous forces in the modern NFL, a playoff Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Even after an 11-5 season that brought up questions as to whether this is the same Patriots franchise that has been the AFC Super Bowl bulwark for most of the last two decades, the Patriots still took care of business, and are back in the Big Game for the third straight season. While Patriots far from impressed with their No. 21 total defense during the regular season, it has been a day-and-night difference in the postseason so far, jumping to the No. 4 total defense in the playoffs. It is a wonder whether the defensive resurgence will continue onto the grandest stage, but I believe the Patriots defense will stifle and frustrate the Rams with its adaptive scheme, while the Patriots No. 5 regular season total offense and some Brady Magic will win it 28-14.
Brandon Tanguma: Despite all of the drama at the beginning of the year with Brady, Belichick and owner Robert Kraft, the Patriots are in another Super Bowl, This time New England goes up against Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. Belichick has been coaching longer than Sean McVay, 33, has been alive and McVay’s success in his two years in Los Angeles has seen teams from around the NFL hiring people with any link to the young head coach. The Rams were a popular preseason Super Bowl pick and with all the star players on offense and defense, it is easy to see why. This game has a lot of Bay Area talent with San Mateo’s Tom Brady set to face Novato’s Jared Goff and Oakland’s Marcus Peters. Vallejo native C.J. Anderson might be a difference maker since the status of Todd Gurley is in question. But it’s the Super Bowl — if Todd Gurley can run, he will play.
The Patriots defeated a similar style of offense in the Kansas City Chiefs to advance to the Super Bowl, but the Rams beat the Chiefs in the Monday night thriller that was easily the best regular season game this year. Even though Los Angeles’ defense allowed 51 points against the Chiefs, it was the three interceptions that made the difference. It’s fitting that possibly Brady’s last Super Bowl appearance is against the Rams — his first Super Bowl opponent — and the next generation of football has to go through the most dominant NFL dynasty we have ever seen. It is hard to bet against Brady and Belichick, but the Rams have too many skilled players on offense and have the defense to keep Brady in check. Los Angeles wins 27-23.
Sam Chavarria: With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft, the New England Patriots decided to give it a go with the 22-year-old quarterback from San Mateo. Now, Brady is making his ninth Super Bowl appearance with the heavy narrative of GOAT (Greatest Of All-Time) and, some may argue, greatest cheater of all time. The Los Angeles Rams make it to the 2019 Super Bowl following a very controversial call against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game.
Regardless of what is said between these two teams, they have both reached the mountaintop — however, there is only room for one. I’m going to have to pick the Rams, solely based on how they have played throughout the season. LA boasts a 13-3 record compared with New England at 11-5. All season long and throughout the playoffs the Rams have brought their A-game. Now they hope it will be enough to take down Goliath. Los Angeles wins 28-14.
Robert Juarez: The last time the Rams were in the Super Bowl, they lost to Drew Bledsoe’s backup — Tom Brady. It was Brady’s first appearance in the Big Game, and he’s been back eight times since. No. 9 will be played Sunday when Brady and the Rams reunite after all these years. The Rams will be featuring their newest version of the Greatest Show on Turf with Todd Gurley ready to run straight through the Patriot’s defense.
That is the key for the Rams: Gurley must have a productive game if they want any chance of winning. If Gurley can shoulder the load and keep the ball out of Brady’s hands, the Rams have a chance. The problem with that is, is that it won’t happen. That’s because Bill Belichick is the master of neutralizing an opponent’s best weapon.
Therefore, the real question is, will Jared Goff be able to get it done on the biggest stage, with his best weapon being taken out of the game? The answer is no, Tom Brady and the Patriots will raise the Lombardi Trophy once again with a final score of 24-20. The Rams fall just short but are just happy to be there, because that was pass interference.
Alejandro Navarro: It can be argued that Super Bowl LIII has no protagonist.
Another year, another Super Bowl appearance for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. It is New England’s third-straight Super Bowl appearance and fourth out of the last five. The 20-year dynasty has the best quarterback and the best coach in Bill Belichick.
The “good guys” should be the Rams, who haven’t made it to the Super Bowl since 2002 when they lost to the Patriots 20-17. The Rams won the NFC Championship in controversial fashion when Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman did not get called for an obvious pass interference call that in all likelihood cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to Atlanta.
Regardless, the game will have a winner. My prediction is the New England Patriots will win 24-21.
Every Super Bowl that the Patriots have been in has been decided by one score. I see this being a close game with 41-year-old Tom Brady withstanding Aaron Donald and the Rams’ tough defense.
Despite all the accomplishments, the narrative around the New England Patriots is that Tom is a cheater, old and a system player. Never have we seen a player so accomplished use anything as fuel and treat themselves as underdogs.
Mason Bissada: I’ll be honest with you, the Super Bowl, along with maybe one random playoff game a year if it’s on at a friend’s house or in a bar, is the only time I expose myself to NFL football. I treat the big game as more of an excuse to socialize, get drunk while the sun is up and, during commercial breaks, ask fellow sports fans who they think will win the NBA MVP award this year.
Having said that, as an LA native, I’m kind of excited this year! It feels good to see the collective pride of my city for a team that only recently returned to us. It’s also too poetic that we’re playing New England, given the Dodgers’ recent loss to the Red Sox in the World Series and the historic Lakers/Celtics rivalry in the NBA Finals. In addition, I’m morally opposed to a lack of parody in sports (and in life, I guess?), so I’m happy that I get to root against the five-time champion Pats and their rich, old, white, possibly Trump-supporting quarterback who refuses to just die already.
In conclusion, I’m picking the Rams off no concrete evidence or statistical data, just like your annoying cousin who’s willing to bet 100 bucks on the outcome. Please take advantage of his ignorance. GO RAMS!
Alonso Frias: As an average fan of the game, it’s hard for me to choose a winner for this Sunday’s game, but if I had to pick a winner, I would go with the Los Angeles Rams.
The reason why I pick the Rams is because of their outstanding defense and how well they have played this season. According to NFL.com, the Rams defense held opponents to an average of 287 pass yards, ranking fifth in the whole league. They also held opponents to an average of 139 rush yards per game, placing them third in the league. This defense, which includes the likes of Marcus Peters and Ndamukong Suh, has the capability to not stop but slow down Tom Brady’s offense enough to win the game.
The Rams defensive line will be putting a lot of pressure on Brady, and with Aaron Donald leading the defense in sacks, he will surely be all over Brady in the pocket. This will allow Jared Goff to attack the not-so-great Patriots defense and do enough damage to be able to win a close game. It will come down to the defense because both offenses can score. In football, defense not only wins game, it wins championships and the Los Angeles Rams have what it takes to lift the Lombardi Trophy.