The St. Louis, I Mean, Los Angeles Rams

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I love the sports teams here in Boston.  Three of the 4 major franchises have incredible histories that date way, way back.  And the fourth is currently in the midst of the greatest dynasty in sports’ history.  An article talking about said dynasty may be on bostonsportssyndicate.com.  I’m just saying.  Boston’s fans have been built over generations and generations.  All four organizations have supplied fans with many incredible moments. 

photo courtesy of sports.yahoo.com







And don’t forget the championships.  Eleven times a sports team from Boston has hoisted its leagues’ championship trophy.  Since I was a teenager I have had the chance to attend ELEVEN parades.  I don’t think I will ever fully understand how astonishing that is. 

Not all fans can be as fortunate.  Just a few seasons ago, the Rams organization was located in St. Louis.  Imagine having your home team get up and relocate.  I don’t know if I could continue rooting for that team once they left.  What would you do?

If you have been living underneath a rock, the Rams are squaring off with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.  I think we can all expect a very good football game.  I would highly recommend watching this Sunday night.  And hey if the game doesn’t provide the fireworks that I think it should, than you can always enjoy the commercials. 

I imagine that most readers believe that I will just trash the Rams.  My track record with the Boston Sports Syndicate would support that belief for sure.  I am a Patriots fan that lives in Massachusetts, so there is zero chance that I think that the Rams have a chance…right?  Wrong!  I think LA is a very good football team.  They have talented players on both sides of the ball.  If the Pats are going to win their sixth title in franchise history they will have to earn it.  No doubt about it. 

Los Angeles’s head football coach is Sean McVay.  McVay is young, only 33, and is already one of the best offensive minds in football.  McVay is even changing the head coach landscape as a whole.  If you have ever had a conversation with this guy, then you got an interview to be a head coach.  He is definitely an innovator, I can’t argue that.  Since he took over the organization in 2017 this offense has cooked.  He could be the league’s next great head coach.  Who knows?  But can he beat the league’s greatest head coach ever?  Tune in on Sunday evening to find out.

If you have watched LA at all this year than you know they have a high octane offense.  McVay has installed an elite scoring machine.  The Rams’ offense has been great all season.  In 2018, they had the second best offense in the entire NFL.  The Patriots were fourth.  I had to just state that.  Sorry, but this is still an article written by a Patriots fan.  The Rams scored more points than anyone this year except for the Chiefs.  And Pats fans saw firsthand how good that offense can be.  But it also showed football viewers that great offenses can be defeated. 

It is not a wonder why this offense was so good this year.  Los Angeles was led by super stud Todd Gurley.  He is one of the most talented players in the NFL.  The Rams have Jared Goff at quarterback.  Goff was the number one overall draft selection just a couple years ago.  Goff’s receiving weapons aren’t too shabby themselves.  Remember Brandin Cooks?  He was on the Patriots last year, and he’s pretty good at football.  And his teammate, Robert Woods, may be even better.  Both guys had really good years, and they were almost identical.  Both receivers had over 1200 receiving yards.  Cooks had 80 catches and Woods had 86.  The duo will be tough to cover.  

What New England does have going for them is that this offense is down a key receiver.  Cooper Kupp is usually this offense’s slot receiver and he has been out for a while with an injury.  As a fan of New England, this isn’t the worst thing.  With or without Kupp, I have no doubt that the Pats’ defense will have their hands full trying to stop the Rams. 

Jared Goff looks like Ryan Gosling.  Well kind of.  Either way, he just fits the part.  Jared Goffling is a California kid with blonde hair playing QB for the Los Angeles football team.  His likeness to the famous actor isn’t all that he is known for.  Goff is also a pretty solid player.  After having a rough rookie campaign, Goff has really begun to display why he was the top selection of the 2016 NFL draft.  You could argue that his rookie season was weighed down by his head coach, Jeff Fisher.  Ever since Sean McVay took over the program, the two have developed a really good thing.

This past season was Jared Goff’s best.  He threw for more than 4600 yards and had over 30 touchdowns.  Even though he still makes mistakes, he can also be the reason the Rams win the Super Bowl.  One other thing that Goff is good at…play action passes.  I think he has completed over 70 % of passes out of a play action in the postseason.  If the Patriots don’t dictate the pace of this game, you may hear that term, “play action pass”, a lot on ESPN in the coming days.

A major key to the Rams winning Super Bowl LIII will be their running back Todd Gurley.  He is going to have to have a great game if they want to defeat the Patriots.  Remember the “play action pass” I just referred to?  A lot of that success will depend on Gurley’s ability to make plays.  The dynamic former first round pick will be crucial in the outcome of this game.  Gurley is one of the league’s best offensive players.  He can run (obviously), he can catch passes, and if McVay dials up a trick play, I’m sure he can pass too.  And most importantly he can make plays.  In 2018, Gurley totaled over 1700 yards from scrimmage.  In 14 games this year, he scored 21 times.  Like I said, dude is a baller.  

BUT - I made it a point to mention the 14 games.  He hurt his knee at the end of the year causing him to miss the last two games in the regular season.  In the NFC championship game apparently Gurley was benched.  I do not believe that for one second.  A player as good as Todd Gurley, you do not bench.  He can score on any given play.  Unless! He is still hurt.  If his knee is an issue in the Super Bowl, the Patriots would benefit greatly.  

Even though the Rams’ defense has players with big names, they haven’t been good this year.  Their defense ranks 20th in this season when you look at points per game.  So, the Patriots rank 7th in that same category if you were wondering.   Don’t get me wrong their defensive tackle Aaron Donald could be the most dominate defender in football.  Google that dude, he is built like the incredible hulk.  Patriots’ fans remember Aqib Talib.  He played in New England for a year and a half.  He’s not as good as he used to be, but he is one tough S.O.B.  Donald’s next door neighbor on the defensive line, Ndamukong Suh, is a lot like Talib.  Suh is very talented, but he has seen his production decrease over the last few years.  He can be a wrecking ball for any given game.  Like I mentioned earlier, this defense has the names but hasn’t been the force that were once thought to be.  

But Brady and company will have to be ready to go.  You can’t give that defense any momentum.  At the end of the day, if the Patriots execute on offense, I don’t believe this defense will be of much resistance. 

I am fully expecting a shoot-out in this year’s Super Bowl.  The Patriots have scored over 30 points in two out of their last three championships.  And in the game that they didn’t score 30, they defeated the Seattle Seahawks and scored 28 points.  Typically New England scores a bunch in the Super Bowl.  This Rams team hasn’t been in a Super Bowl, but they have a very good offense.  It makes a ton of sense that this game will have a high total score.  

Either team’s defense could make a difference by making just one big play.  As a Patriots fan that is what I worry about when it comes to the Rams D.  Even though I think New England will score a ton of points, the Rams D has such talented players.  And if one of them comes up big it could be a game changer.   The Super Bowl last year was essentially decided on one strip sack. Who knows what player is going to step up and make a difference.  I think we are in for a very entertaining Super Bowl. 

Now…it is time for my game prediction.

I believe that this game will look an awful lot like the AFC title game.  The Patriots will be able to establish their game plan early.  Running the ball, converting on third downs, that is what New England will have to do to set the tone.  And I think that they will.  When you sit back to watch Maroon 5 perform, I think the Patriots will have the lead.  Just like the Chiefs matchup, I think the Rams will come out strong in the second half and then the scoring will open up.  When the buzzer goes off and the confetti falls the score will be…

New England Patriots     34
Los Angeles Rams          27


Follow me on Twitter @Matty_wests1de

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Boston Sports Syndicate: The St. Louis, I Mean, Los Angeles Rams
The St. Louis, I Mean, Los Angeles Rams
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