In Brief

NFL Super Bowl LIII: Rams vs. Patriots early predictions

New England quarterback Tom Brady is headed to his ninth Super Bowl

Super Bowl LIII
  • What: Los Angeles Rams vs. New England Patriots
  • When: Sunday 3 February 
  • Where: Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta 
  • Start: 11.30pm (UK time)
  • TV channel: live on BBC One and Sky Sports

The New England Patriots will face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta after the two sides won their NFL conference championship matches.

It’s a third successive Super Bowl appearance for the Patriots after they secured a 37-31 overtime win against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game on 20 January. The Rams also required overtime to edge out the New Orleans Saints 26-23 to win the NFC Championship.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a five-time NFL champion, is set to play in his ninth Super Bowl and for New England it’s also a franchise 11th appearance in the NFL’s showpiece fixture.

Regarded as the greatest of all time, 41-year-old Brady was again the star for New England, who are coached by Bill Belichick. Patriots team captain Matthew Slater said: “I felt pretty good about our chances. Because we have Tom Brady as a teammate.”

The Rams, led by head coach Sean McVay, will play in their first Super Bowl since 2002. Quarterback Jared Goff said: “It’s unbelievable, man. I can’t put it into words.” 

At Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 the Patriots beat the Rams 20-17. Brady was named the MVP.

Super Bowl LIII will take place on Sunday 3 February at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Here we look at the early pundit predictions for who will take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Super Bowl LIII early predictions

David Kenyon, Bleacher Report: “Let’s get this out of the way: Old School vs. New Kids on the Block. Pressuring Brady is a key to beating the Pats. If the Rams can’t, the margin won’t be close. Prediction: Patriots 34, Rams 20.”

Mike Clay, ESPN NFL writer: “Boston vs. Los Angeles. Brady vs. Goff. Belichick vs. McVay. Michel versus... Anderson?! This is going to be fun. I expect a nail-biter of a shootout in the dome in Atlanta, but the Rams win it. Prediction: Rams”

Matt Bowen, ESPN NFL writer: “The Pats will continue to use that old-school approach on offence: power football, play-action and the quick passing game. But don’t forget about Belichick’s defence in this one. It will challenge routes outside versus the Rams’ wide receivers. Prediction: Patriots.”

Scott Rogust, 12Up: “So, you want to know the winner? As football fans, we know better than to ever count out the Patriots in the Belichick-Brady Era. Even with McVay’s innovative playcalling, expect New England to edge out the Rams to secure their sixth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. Patriots 34, Rams 31.”

Randy Chambers, Sport Chat Place: “In a game between two teams that find ways to win at all costs, I’ll always give the edge to Brady and Belichick.”

Zack Rosenblatt, NJ.com: “The Rams defence has played better of late, but they haven’t played Tom Brady in that time. Brady is Brady, and until he gives us any reason not to believe in him, I’m not going to be the one betting against him. I expect a high-scoring affair with the Rams falling short. Prediction: Patriots win 35-28.”

Jeff Smith, Heavy.com: “I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the Rams vs. Patriots Super Bowl will turn into a defensive battle, but it’ll be lower-scoring than most think. I’m also going to give the edge to the Rams, as I think the Patriots offence and the question marks at receiver after Julian Edelman could lead to issues putting up enough points to get a win. Prediction: Rams 27, Patriots 24.”

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