The conference championships have come to a close and we have the matchup for Super Bowl LIII finalized. The Los Angeles Rams will be taking on the New England Patriots, a championship game that last happened in 2001 when the Rams were based in St. Louis.
The Rams and the Patriots didn’t meet in 2018, but this should be a fun game given the potential of the offenses and the weaknesses of both teams. Many of you aren’t fans of either team being in the Super Bowl, but it should be a fun game nevertheless. It will be a rematch from when the then-St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots faced off in 2001 at Super Bowl XXXVII—the game where the legend of Tom Brady began.
Los Angeles Rams
A very, very good NFC championship game may have been ruined in the final minutes thanks to an awful pass interference no-call that could have won the Saints the game had it been flagged. Ironically, the Rams were petitioning for the officiating crew of the NFC Championship to be removed because of bias against the Rams. I’d say that can be tossed in the trash.
While the Saints took an early lead and looked to be routing the Rams, the Rams bounced back with a touchdown at the end of the first half to cut the Saints lead to just three points. In the second half, long Rams drives and a hit-or-miss Saints offense let the Rams get the game tied up. The a Drew Brees interception in overtime along with some key yardage-chewers from the Rams sealed the deal for a 26-23 victory and punched ticket to the Super Bowl.
New England Patriots
The AFC Championship started somewhat boring then turned to flat-out bizarre. The Patriots held a small lead over the Chiefs for most of the game. The craziness happened almost halfway into the fourth. After a flubbed muffed punt call that would have given the Chiefs a touchdown, Tom Brady threw a crucial interception that led to a quick Damien Williams touchdown a couple plays later..
From there, a strange roughing the passer call and an upheld catch challenge helped put the Patriots into the redzone and back and forth we went with lead changes, touchdowns, and bizarre calls. The game almost was put away in the Patriots’ final drive during regulation, but Dee Ford lined up offsides during a Tom Brady interception that left the Patriots on the field. After the eventual touchdown and with 31 seconds left, Mahomes led the Chiefs down the field into field goal range to put the game into overtime.
The Patriots won the toss and converted several third downs to get into the redzone and win with a Rex Burkhead run near the goal line. The Patriots won 37-31.
It’s a game many are not thrilled to see, but it at least is two teams that haven’t met in the regular season with strengths and weaknesses that could compliment each other for something entertaining. I’m going to it with an open mind, we’ll see.
Super Bowl LIII
Matchup: Los Angeles Rams vs. New England Patriots
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Date: February 3rd, 2019
Time: 3:30 p.m. PT
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play) Tony Romo (commentary)
Radio: Patriots Radio | Rams Radio (ESPNLA) |
Online Streaming: CBS Sports (Normally All Access charges, but the Super Bowl will be free)
Patriots blog: Pats Pulpit
Rams blog: Turf Show Times