Super Bowl LIII preview

Photo+modified+by+Austin+Cleveland%2C+photos+courtesy+of+Google+under+Creative+Commons+license+
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Super Bowl LIII preview

Photo modified by Austin Cleveland, photos courtesy of Google under Creative Commons license

Photo modified by Austin Cleveland, photos courtesy of Google under Creative Commons license

Austin Cleveland

Photo modified by Austin Cleveland, photos courtesy of Google under Creative Commons license

Austin Cleveland

Austin Cleveland

Photo modified by Austin Cleveland, photos courtesy of Google under Creative Commons license

Super Bowl LIII is set for Feb. 3 between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Atlanta on Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Both conference championship games featured thrilling overtime magic, as Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein iced a 57-yard field goal to top the New Orleans Saints, and Tom Brady continued to cement his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, holding off rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Patriots are the slight favorites to win, according to betfirm.com. The over/under on total points scored is set at 58, which would make it the 12th highest scoring Super Bowl.

 

Lines: New England (-1.5, over/under 58)

Money line: Los Angeles (+106), New England (-124)

 

My gut reaction coming out of the AFC championship was that the Patriots still have it. For the Patriots, success comes from balance and persistence. It’s not a spiky new take on coaching or playcalling. Belichick and Brady are going to continue to use their effective play action and the quick passing strategy It seems that the doubters have been looking at the aging of Brady and Belichick as if they were milk, soon to spoil and sour. Yet, the duo is more comparable to wine, gaining more complexity and value the older they get. When Belichick and Brady won their first Super Bowl together in 2001, Rams coach Sean McVay was 16, and their quarterback Jared Goff was 7. The headlines of Brady’s age and the faults of the Patriots are just fabricated storylines from beat writers searching for hot takes on the most persistent franchise in sports over the past two decades. Tom said it himself. They’re still going to be wearing the crown come Feb. 3.

What it takes for the Rams to win:

For the Rams to take down the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, RB Todd Gurley needs to perform. In the NFC championship, Gurley had career lows in touches from the line of scrimmage (five) and in total yards (13). The poor performance left many to wonder if the knee inflammation that sidelined Gurley for the last two games of the regular season is still lingering. Gurley and the team insist it isn’t, but even without his presence the Rams still pulled off the victory against the Saints.

“Just to be able to get another opportunity, I’m so grateful, so grateful,” Gurley told ESPN.

What it takes for the Patriots to win:

For the Patriots to win their third Super Bowl in five seasons, Sony Michel and James White need to be valuable players for the Patriots offense. ESPN reports that since the beginning of the Brady-Belichick era in 2000, they are 11-0 in the postseason when a player rushes for 100 yards, and 51-1 in the regular season.