The Patriots yet again find themselves in another Super Bowl. Somehow at age 41, Brady still knows how to get his team through the grueling NFL schedule and all the way to the end. And in this Super Bowl, Brady is again playing the Rams, the team he beat in Super Bowl XXXVI, when he took over the starting job from Drew Bledsoe.
Beginning with the 2002 victory, the Patriots have appeared in eight Super Bowls and won five of them. This kind of dynastic run is unprecedented. Fans and experts alike continue to wonder when it might end. Each year could be Brady’s last but yet again, he’s taken his team to the Super Bowl.
41 is indeed old for a quarterback. But Brady doesn’t play like most quarterbacks. He typically throws short passes, which cuts down on wear and tear on his arm. He seldom runs the ball, which means he isn’t getting his as much as other quarterbacks. And Belichick has always provided him with a strong offensive line that gives him good protection.
But Brady’s longevity doesn’t matter much in one game against the Rams. Do he and Patriots have what it takes to bring home Super Bowl championship number six?
Who’s Your Pick?
Belichick and Brady could not be more opposite to the head coach and quarterback combination of the L.A. Rams. Back when the Patriots were winning the Super Bowl in 2002, Sean McVay (the Rams’ head coach) and Jared Goff (their quarterback) were both kids. So this matchup is certainly a meeting of the old and the young. But does it mark the turning point or the continuation of dominance for an old dynasty?
One of Brady’s first concerns may be Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald. He led the league with sack this year with 20.5 and is widely considered to be the best defensive tackle in the NFL. If Donald can get a few good hits in on Brady, things could head south for the Patriots.
Running backs Sony Michel and James White also need to watch out for Donald. But Patriots are extremely successful when they have a player rush for over 100 yards. In fact, they haven’t lost a post season game in which one of their guys has done so. So if Michel and White can step it up, the Patriots are in good shape.
The Rams’ Offense
The Rams have had one of the best offenses in the league this year. This is due in part to their variety of options. Wide receivers Cooks and Woods have both had over 1,000-yard seasons. C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley fill out the backfield for L.A. providing a strong running game.
The Rams may have more options on offense and if utilized properly just might be able to confuse the New England defense enough to get an advantage. But the Rams are a young team in general with only a few guys with Super Bowl experience. Players’ mental fortitude is really put to the test in situations like a first time Super Bowl appearance.