New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams
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Harris Ahmadzai: I’ve stuck with the Rams all the way through the playoffs, and won’t deter from that here. To put it plainly, the Rams have the better team from top-to-bottom. LA’s defense will be an x-factor, and they’ve been putting it together as of late. The mix of a strong interior rush and ball-hawking defensive backs open up the opportunity of stealing a few possessions away from a methodical Patriots offense. Todd Gurley’s health is a bit worrisome, but there’s no shortage of talent elsewhere on the Rams offense. New England will keep it close, as they always do in the Super Bowl, but Goff and McVay pull off an enormous victory over Brady and Belicheck.
Prediction: 35-31 Rams
Dylan Fraychineaud: I was confident the Chargers were going to walk into Foxboro and knock off the Pats. My confidence waned a little bit leading up to the AFC Championship…but I still rolled with the Chiefs. I was wrong both times. Why did I ever doubt Tom Brady? I can’t possibly go against the Pats three times in a row. My gut is telling me Rams, but my head is saying to trust the dynastic Patriots. This game will finish the same way the first Rams vs. Patriots Super Bowl did — with a walk-off New England field goal.
Prediction: 31-30 Patriots
Jason Fray: The mood around this game is eerily quiet. We’ve got the most hated NFL team (the New England Patriots) against a big market wealthy team chock-full of hated players (the Los Angeles Rams). On the field, it feels like the proverbial passing of the torch could occur from the G.O.A.T head coach (Bill Belichick) to the hottest up-and-comer in recent memory (Sean McVay).
Simply put, the Rams must stop the run versus the Patriots. Putting Tom Brady in obvious third-and-long situations will allow the talented Rams defensive line (including Aaron Donald) to pin their ears back in hopes of planting Brady into the turf. While the Rams are more gifted across the board, New England has the better quarterback and the more accomplished coach. This will be a very close game, with the Patriots narrowly coming out on top.
Prediction: 27-24 Patriots