Super Bowl Predictions Post Conference Championships
Sunday 2/3 6:30 PM (ET),
Hopefully you took our advice, visited some of the top betting sites, and made your pockets a little fatter. We’ve been preaching since late December that the Rams and the Patriots would be facing off in Super Bowl LIII. Low and behold, here we are, as Sean McVay’s Rams will try their best to stop Tom Brady from hoisting his sixth Lombardi Trophy.
Our Super Bowl predictions came true, albeit with a little help from the referees. Los Angeles escaped New Orleans, and comes in riding their best two game defensive stint of the season. Throughout the playoffs they’ve held Ezekiel Elliott, Mark Ingram, and Alvin Kamara to a combined 93 yards on the ground. They will have their hands full in the Super Bowl vs. Sony Michel. Michel ranks 30th in NFL history in playoff rushing touchdowns, yet has only played in two playoff games. Michel has also eclipsed 100+ yards rushing in both games.
Los Angeles’ front seven has stepped their game up throughout the playoffs, most notably Ndamukong Suh. Suh has anchored the run defense and also chipped in with 1.5 sacks vs. New Orleans. While their pass rush is ferocious, Suh and company may need to find other ways to disrupt the Patriots passing game. New England’s o-line has played ridiculously thus far this postseason. On 90 dropbacks, Tom Brady has yet to be sacked, while being pressured a measly three times. If the Rams can’t disrupt the Pats passing game with their pass-rush, they may be in for a long afternoon. Marcus Peters and LaMarcus Joyner have been beaten on multiple occasions in the month of January, and if Brady gets time in the pocket, he will surely help push that trend into February.
Next up is the precarious play of Todd Gurley in the conference championship. Was he hurt? Did he just mentally not have it that day? The honest answer is probably a little bit of both. Gurley, who has been dealing with knee inflammation, has carried the ball 16+ times in a game just once since October, and will benefit from the added week of rest. Yet, it is very telling that in the most important game of the Rams season, Sean McVay went with a less dynamic, overweight CJ Anderson to carry the load, and kept possibly the best offensive player in football on the sidelines. Anderson and Gurley play well off of each other. One is more of a slasher, and the other, a between the tackles runner. Without Gurley in the game plan, the Saints were able to hone in on Anderson, holding him to just 2.8 ypc. Gurley has to be, and likely will be, a greater part of McVay’s game plan come Super Bowl time. The problem is, Bill Belichick knows that as well, and he gets two weeks to devise a plan to stop him. If the Pats can take Gurley out of the game, the Rams once high-powered offense becomes a regular run of the mill unit.
Los Angeles is without Cooper Kupp, and their best wideout and top offensive playmaker, Gurley, is coming off of a ten yard rushing performance. Meanwhile the Patriots haven’t allowed a gust of wind to touch Brady since the start of the playoffs. Los Angeles struggled mightily vs. New Orleans in covering the slot. Expect Brady, with a clean pocket, to attack the seams and the middle of the Rams’ defense with Edelman and Gronk. So while our Super Bowl matchup prediction remained the same throughout the season, our pick for which team is crowned World Champions has not.
Super Bowl LIII Champions: New England Patriots (1.71 Favorites to win Super Bowl LIII)