So… I’ve been shit and not written since week 2 of the regular season. One of my new year resolutions is to write more on this site and here we are at Super Bowl Sunday with my first post of the year. Oh well, I promise myself I’ll get better.
I did start to write before the Colts game but fell asleep and woke up with the game in progress and posting a preview seemed silly. Anyways, on to the BIG GAME!!!!
I thought before the AFC Championships game that if we got past the Chiefs, we’d win the Super Bowl. Going in to Arrowhead I felt that it was a difficult, hostile place to go and the toughest challenge of the season. The hostility was there but in comparison to the Super Dome in New Orleans it lacked a bit of punch. I think that was down to Arrowhead being an open top bowl shape and the noise going up into the ether. We won the game and here we are, so why the nervousness?! To me the game against Kansas City was very dominant and one sided until the fourth quarter when Andy Reid and his Chiefs finally adjusted and started making plays. Let’s hope that if something similar happens in Atlanta, the Patriots are out of sight by 25 points to nullify anything that’s done towards the end of the game.
My main concern comes from the Rams RPO and screen plays very similar to what Philadelphia did last year. I remember screaming at my TV as Corey Clement came off the edge a few times to little or no coverage and picked up big yards. This is what Gurley will be used for this weekend. We saw it against the Saints but he was off form that night and dropped a couple of passes. The other fear is the soft zone coverage that’s built in to the Rams playbook. Goff will look for the crossing routes between the lines to Cooks or Woods who then switch on the afterburners as they race away from the linebackers. Cooks is an obvious outside threat with his speed but I think he’ll be used more horizontally and Reynolds could be the unexpected deep threat like Hogan is for us.
I’m not sure how much the Tightends will be a factor. My guess is Higbee and Everett will have a lot of paint on their boots as they hug the sidelines looking to gain 3 and 4 yard plays. They’ll maybe try to match them up against the McCourty twins but I think they’ll be placed on the heels of Cooks and Woods with the receivers going more deep and an option 1 or 2 read with option 3 being the Tightend on a shorter play gain. Enough to keep them marching downfield. CJ Anderson will lose the necessary 5 stone his doctor will have advised him to do in this game alone! He will be a huge bowling ball trying to knock over the Patriots skittles and happily be the bell cow that’s required to chip away at the Patriots.
LA might be a flashy place with Hollywood and the like on the doorstep of their building and the Rams may have flashy/brash players like Aqib Talib and Ndomukong Suh but Sean McVey will have a Patriots approach to this match and be happy to march down the field, keep the chains moving, keep the clock going towards zero and keep Tom Brady off the field. As much as it would be amazing for the neutral (and casual viewer) I don’t think this will be a hundred point game similar to the Chiefs game but you will still see a great game nonetheless.
What we saw the Patriots do in overtime of the Championship game, is what the Rams will try to emulate as the great saying goes “If you can’t beat’em, join em.”. Trying to play Coach Belichick at his own game is madness and that’s why I’m sayin “PATRIOTS WIN BABY! WOOOOO!!!”
Seriously though, I’m sticking to what I said at the start and what I said 2 weeks ago. This is a neutral field that will feel like home cos the New England Patriots fans always travel well. This nonsense that everything is taken for granted is bullshit. The true fans (and this year especially) never take getting to a Super Bowl for granted. The atmosphere will completely different and I don’t even think the Patriots haters in the crowd will be able to silence the Patriots fans.
As much as Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots love to apparently bore everyone with how they approach games, the razzmatazz will be from the men in white uniforms. Expect a flea-flicker or two and the guy who Tweeted a requestabet to SkyBet has a similar theory to me. Julian Edelman to score a TD PASS is not out with the realms of possibility and I’d give it a 65/35% chance of happening. Look back at some of Baltimore’s games with Jackson under centre and I think that’s how the Patriots nullify Suh and Donald. Outsmart them and out power them. Push the line one way or the other and Michel can run that way or James White can catch the opposite. Bootlegs and screens will be huge to the Patriots and Brady to catch a pass (maybe even a TD from Edelman) might well be the play that clinches ring number 6. What a story that would be!