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Patriots square up with Rams for Super Bowl LIII

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Patriots square up with Rams for Super Bowl LIII

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Joe Perry, Sports writer

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A new chapter in the historic battle of experience against talent will be written this coming Sunday, as the decades old, Brady-led dynasty in New England is set to square up against the young, promising Rams from Los Angeles in Super Bowl LIII. In fact, the age differences between these two teams are so extreme that this matchup will set two Super Bowl records before the game is even played, as the difference between Rams head coach Sean McVay and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (33 years 283 days) is the largest between head coaches. Similarly, the difference between Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (17 years 72 days) is the largest between opposing quarterbacks.

This pairing comes after an extremely close, and extremely controversial, conference championship round. In the NFC Championship game, the Saints had led the Rams for the majority of the contest and were in excellent position to make their first Super Bowl appearance since 2010. However, tied at 20 with 1:48 left, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw a pass 11 yards downfield to receiver Tommylee Lewis, only to have Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman slam into Lewis, which would be the center of one of the most blatant no-calls in playoff history. This caused 4th down, which the Saints used to kick a field goal and extend their lead to 23-20. After this drive, Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein took over, nailing a 48 yard field goal to send the game to overtime and won the game on a 57 yard chip shot that shocked New Orleans.

As for the AFC Championship game, Brady and the Patriots played the Kansas City Chiefs and their phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who joined Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to throw for at least fifty touchdowns in a single season. The Patriots took an early lead, going up 14-0 in the first half. They maintained this lead going into the fourth quarter, just as the Saints had done earlier in the day. However, just as the Rams came back, Chiefs running back Damien Williams ran for three touchdowns in the final quarter and, after the Patriots took a 31-28 lead with 0:39 left, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker hit a 39 yard field goal to send the game to overtime. The Patriots won the toss, and the most explosive offense in the league never saw the field again, as Tom Brady led the Patriots downfield and set up a two yard touchdown run by Rex Burkhead to send the Patriots to their third straight Super Bowl and their ninth in the Brady-Belichick era.

The Patriots-Rams matchup poses an interesting question: will the Patriots continue to reign victorious, or are they simply too old to compete on the game’s biggest stage? After all, the Brady era in New England won its first Super Bowl in 2001 against the St. Louis Rams. Since that loss, the Rams have tanked, switched cities, and gradually built themselves back up to contend for Super Bowl LIII, their first since that 2001 loss. Their rebuild has included spending first round draft picks on running back Todd Gurley, quarterback Jared Goff, and defensive end Aaron Donald, all of whom have played key roles in bringing the franchise to the brink of their first championship since 2000. The Patriots, on the other hand, have used their draft picks to keep their offensive line young and strong as well as keep their defense competitive against the increasing strength of modern offenses. This duel between the youth of Los Angeles’ offense and the extraordinary experience of New England’s team is a must watch.

Super Bowl LIII will be held in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the brand new home of the Atlanta Falcons. It will take place on Feb. 3 at 6:30 and will be aired on CBS. The halftime show will be performed by Maroon 5 and the national anthem will be performed by Gladys Knight prior to kickoff.

About the Writer
Joe Perry, sports writer

Joe is a junior at Delphi and is in his second year with Parnassus. He plays tennis, cross country, and track, and he is also involved with Bracketology...

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