The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will be meeting at the Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta this Sunday for the Super Bowl. Both of these teams survived in overtime in their Conference Championship games to make it to the big game. Los Angeles trailed 13-0 after the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints but played great defense the rest of the way to secure the 26-23 win. The Rams also got very lucky when an obvious pass interference call was missed on cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman with less than 2 minutes left in regulation. The Saints had to settle for a field goal, which gave the Rams offense enough time to tie the game with a field goal of their own with just 15 seconds left. The Patriots blew a 14-0 halftime lead over the Chiefs when they allowed Kansas City to score 24 fourth quarter points to tie the game and force overtime. The Patriots almost lost in regulation when a Tom Brady interception with less than a minute left was overturned by an offside penalty on Dee Ford.
Los Angeles beat the Saints despite just 13 yards from scrimmage by superstar running back Todd Gurley. Gurley did have touchdown run in the first half but his 10 rushing yards were easily the fewest he had all season. Jared Goff finished with a passer rating of 83 as he completed 25 of 40 passes for 297 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His favorite target was Brandin Cooks who had 7 catches for 107 yards. The offensive line did a good job protecting Goff as he was sacked just once. The team combined to run the ball 26 times and gained 70 yards, which is an average of 3 yards per carry. Defensively, they limited the Saints to 297 yards of offense and intercepted Drew Brees once. They completely shut down the Saints running game as they had just 48 yards on 23 carries.
The Patriots offense outplayed the leagues best in the Conference Championship as they produced over 520 yards. Tom Brady played well despite having a passer rating of just 77. He completed 30 of 46 passes for 348 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. His favorite target was Julian Edelman who had 7 catches for 96 yards. They had a lot of success running the ball as the team gained 176 yards. Sony Michel led the team with 113 yards and 2 touchdowns on 29 carries. Defensively, they shut the Chiefs out in the first half and sacked Patrick Mahomes 4 times. They did not force a turnover but did limit the Chiefs to just 41 rushing yards.
This is a matchup between a dynasty and a team looking to build their own Dynasty. Bill Belichick has 30 playoff victories while Sean McVay has 2. The Patriots are playing in their third Super Bowl in a row as the Rams are playing in their third in franchise history. This is the first Super Bowl where both Conference Championships went into overtime. The Patriots are considered 2.5 points favorites and both teams have had 2 weeks to prepare and get healthy.
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