football | NFL

New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams Pick & Prediction FEB 3TH 2019


In February 2002, the New England Patriots pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, a win that elevated Tom Brady to national prominence and launched the birth of a dynasty. On Sunday's anniversary of that milestone victory, the Patriots will play in their ninth Super Bowl in 18 seasons when they square off against the Los Angeles Rams -- the team they defeated to win their first Lombardi Trophy -- at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

New England, appearing in its third consecutive Super Bowl, has won five world championships behind the tandem of coach Bill Belichick and the 41-year-old Brady, who has been named Most Valuable Player of the game four times. "His career speaks for itself," Rams coach Sean McVay said of Brady. "I'm so much a fan of this game and what Tom's done is unbelievable." Much like New England, the Rams appeared poised for a lengthy run of success behind their own quarterback-coach combination in former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff and McVay, who has guided the team to consecutive NFC West titles in his first two years after the franchise went 13 seasons without a winning record and is the youngest head coach in a Super Bowl. "They've got a great team," Brady said of his Super Bowl LIII opponent. "They do well in all phases just like all the teams we've played in this game. It's a very difficult game to win. I'm excited for it."

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Patriots -2.5 O/U: 56.5 

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (13-5): Rookie running back Sony Michel has been instrumental in helping New England knock off a pair of 12-win teams en route to the Super Bowl, rushing for 129 yards and three touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers and 113 yards and two scores in an overtime win at Kansas City in the AFC title game (as the Patriots were +3.5 point underdog at intertops). The versatility of the Patriots' backfield has been on display as James White had 15 catches in the divisional round while Rex Burkhead contributed 41 yards rushing and a pair of scores in the conference title game. Wide receiver Julien Edelman was the top target with 16 receptions for 247 yards in both contests as Brady boosted his postseason total to 16 300-yard games by throwing for more than 340 yards in each victory. New England has six sacks in the postseason and has been stout defensively until giving up a combined 38 points in the final quarter.



ABOUT THE RAMS (15-3): Los Angeles also has been getting a lot of mileage from its ground game, but C.J. Anderson has done much of the heavy lifting even with Todd Gurley healthy after missing the final two games of the regular season. Gurley, who accounted for an NFL-best 21 touchdowns before he was injured, ran for 115 yards and a TD in the divisional round against Dallas but was limited to only four carries for 10 yards and a score in the overtime win over New Orleans while Anderson rushed for 167 yards with two TDs on a combined 39 carries. Gurley had 59 receptions in the regular season and was a huge weapon for Goff, who has been held to under 216 yards in five of the past seven games. The Rams have the league's most disruptive force in defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is the mainstay of a unit that bottled up Dallas' running game and held high-powered New Orleans to 290 total yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. A win by New England will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl titles with six.

2. Rams WRs Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks, who played with New England last season, have 12 and 11 catches, respectively, in this postseason.

3. Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski has 12 TD catches in 12 postseason games, tied with John Stallworth for No. 2 all-time.

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GAMES

Last 10

W 38% L 63%
3 5
  • @Houston L 20 - 27
  • Baltimore W 17 - 23
  • @N.Y. Jets W 30 - 27
  • @Buffalo L 21 - 24
  • San Francisco L 33 - 6
  • Denver L 18 - 12
  • Denver D 0 - 0
  • @Kansas City L 10 - 26
  • @Kansas City D 0 - 0
  • Las Vegas W 20 - 36
W 70% L 30%
7 3
  • @Tampa Bay W 27 - 24
  • Seattle W 16 - 23
  • @Miami L 17 - 28
  • Chicago W 10 - 24
  • @San Francisco L 16 - 24
  • @Washington W 30 - 10
  • N.Y. Giants W 9 - 17
  • @Buffalo L 32 - 35
  • @Philadelphia W 37 - 19
  • Dallas W 17 - 20

Next Games

  • Arizona(09-16-12) L 20 - 18
  • @L.A. Chargers(12-07-14) W 23 - 14
  • @L.A. Rams(02-03-19) W 13 - 3
  • @Miami(09-15-19) W 43 - 0
  • Buffalo(12-21-19) W 17 - 24
  • San Francisco(10-13-19) L 20 - 7
  • @Arizona(12-01-19) W 34 - 7
  • New England(02-03-19) L 13 - 3
  • N.Y. Jets(11-18-12) L 27 - 13
  • @Seattle(10-03-19) L 29 - 30

Last Meetings

  • Patriots @ Rams 13-3
  • Rams @ Patriots 10-26
  • Patriots @ Rams 45-7
  • Rams @ Patriots 36-35
  • Rams @ Patriots 16-23

American Football Conference

AFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Buffalo Bills73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Miami Dolphins64 0.6001.00.00.0 3-23-26-0-4
New England Patriots46 0.4003.00.00.0 3-21-44-0-6
New York Jets010 0.0007.00.00.0 0-50-50-0-10
AFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Pittsburgh Steelers100 01.0000.00.00.0 5-05-010-0-0
Cleveland Browns73 0.7003.00.00.0 5-12-27-0-3
Baltimore Ravens64 0.6004.00.00.0 2-34-16-0-4
Cincinnati Bengals27 1.2227.50.00.0 2-20-52-1-7
AFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Indianapolis Colts73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Tennessee Titans73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-23-17-0-3
Houston Texans37 0.3004.00.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars19 0.1006.00.00.0 1-40-51-0-9
AFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Kansas City Chiefs91 0.9000.00.00.0 4-15-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders64 0.6003.00.00.0 2-34-16-0-4
Denver Broncos46 0.4005.00.00.0 2-32-34-0-6
Los Angeles Chargers37 0.3006.00.00.0 2-31-43-0-7

National Football Conference

NFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Philadelphia Eagles36 1.3330.00.00.0 2-21-43-1-6
Washington Football Team37 0.3000.50.00.0 3-30-43-0-7
New York Giants37 0.3000.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Dallas Cowboys37 0.3000.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
NFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Green Bay Packers73 0.7000.00.00.0 3-14-27-0-3
Chicago Bears55 0.5002.00.00.0 2-33-25-0-5
Detroit Lions46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-33-34-0-6
Minnesota Vikings46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-43-24-0-6
NFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
New Orleans Saints82 0.8000.00.00.0 5-13-18-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers74 0.6361.50.00.0 3-24-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers47 0.3644.50.00.0 2-42-34-0-6
Atlanta Falcons37 0.3005.00.00.0 1-42-33-0-7
NFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Los Angeles Rams73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-03-37-0-3
Seattle Seahawks73 0.7000.00.00.0 5-02-37-0-3
Arizona Cardinals64 0.6001.00.00.0 3-23-26-0-4
San Francisco 49ers46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-43-24-0-6

Last Injuries

Los Angeles Rams

  • Trishton Jackson

    Illness
    day-to-day | questionable

    Jackson has missed the past three games due to an illness, and it is unclear if he will be available Sunday versus 49ers.

  • Brian Allen

    Knee
    day-to-day | questionable

    Allen sat out his previous two games with a knee injury, and it is unclear if he will be available versus the 49ers Sunday.

  • Taylor Rapp

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Rapp has been moved to the injured reserve list with a knee sprain, and a timetable for return has yet to be declared.

  • Andrew Whitworth

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Whitworth will miss an significant length of time while on the injured reserve list due to a torn MCL and damage to the PCL in his left knee.

  • Joe Noteboom

    Calf
    Prob Sun | probable

    Noteboom has been taken off the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after recuperating from Grade 2 calf strain, and he is likely to return Sunday versus the Seahawks.

  • David Edwards

    Abdominal
    Prob Sun | probable

    Edwards is bothered by an abdominal injury, but it is unlikely to obstruct his availability against the Seahawks on Sunday.

  • Terrell Lewis

    Shoulder
    Prob Sun | probable

    Lewis is nursing a shoulder injury, but he is anticipated to suit up against the Seahawks on Sunday.

  • Jordan Fuller

    Shoulder
    Prob Sun | I-R

    Fuller suffered a shoulder injury and has been shifted to the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list. The team is expected to activate him in time for Sunday's tilt versus the Seahawks.

New England Patriots

  • J.J. Taylor

    Illness
    day-to-day | questionable

    Taylor has been held out of the past three games with an illness, and it is unknown if he will return Week 12 against the Cardinals.

  • Sony Michel

    Quadricep
    day-to-day | questionable

    Michel has been activated from the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after healing from a quad injury, but it is unclear if he will return to the fold Week 12 against the Cardinals.

  • Rex Burkhead

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | out

    Burkhead will miss an extended period due to a right knee injury.

  • Adam Butler

    Shoulder
    day-to-day | questionable

    Butler missed the previous game due to a shoulder injury, and it is uncertain if he will take part in Week 12 with the Cardinals.

  • Justin Herron

    Ankle
    day-to-day | I-R

    Herron has popped up on the the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list due to an ankle injury, and his two-week window to be activated has started.

  • Matthew Slater

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Slater is hobbled by a knee injury, and it is undetermined if he will face the Texans on Sunday.

  • Deatrich Wise Jr.

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Wise Jr. has injuries to his hand and knee, and it is up in the air if he will be in Sunday's lineup against the Texans.

  • Isaiah Wynn

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Wynn injured his ankle, leaving his status for Sunday's contest against the Texans clouded.

New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams

After a scoreless first quarter, Stephen Gostkowski's 42-yard field goal with 10:29 remaining in the second quarter gave the New England Patriots a 3-0 lead against the listless Los Angeles Rams at halftime of Super Bowl LIII on Sunday in Atlanta.

The Rams punted on all six of their first-half possessions, picking up just two first downs. The NFL's No. 2 offense in both scoring and yards during the regular season, Los Angeles reached intermission with 57 total yards.

After missing from 46 yards in the opening quarter, Gostkowski converted his second attempt to cap a seven-play, 39-yard drive. The Patriots tallied 12 first downs and gained 195 yards in the half, as 41-year-old Tom Brady completed 15 of 25 passes for 160 yards with one interception. Julian Edelman had seven catches for 93 yards.

The Rams crossed midfield three times -- but only barely. They were stopped at the New England 49 once and the 47 twice, the second time with about four minutes left in the half. Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy sacked Jared Goff for a 14-yard loss on third-and-2 to force another Rams three-and-out.

Los Angeles star Todd Gurley started and rushed for 2 yards on the Rams' first play from scrimmage, but had only two more touches in the half. Dealing with knee inflammation, Gurley missed the last two regular-season games and had only five touches in the NFC Championship at New Orleans.

After the Rams won the coin toss and deferred, the Patriots opened the action with a 38-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson. Following four straight running plays, Brady was intercepted on his first pass attempt of the game. Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman deflected a throw intended for Chris Hogan, and linebacker Cory Littleton cradled it before it hit the ground at the 27-yard line.

Los Angeles couldn't take advantage of the takeaway and gave it right back with a three-and-out.

Starting from its own 12, New England drove 60 yards in 11 plays but came up empty when Gostkowski's 46-yard attempt missed wide left. Patriots coach Bill Belichick used two timeouts on the drive, the second with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter. Tight end Rob Gronkowski had his first catch on the drive, a 19-yard gain that took the Pats into Rams territory.

The Rams crossed midfield on their second possession before Johnny Hekker came on to punt for the second time. L.A. tried to draw New England offsides on fourth-and-3 at the Patriots' 42-yard line with no luck, taking a delay of game penalty.

Despite getting inside the Rams' 35-yard line on each of their first two possessions, the Patriots failed to score a first-quarter touchdown for the ninth time in nine Brady-Belichick Super Bowl appearances. After a failure on fourth-and-1 late in the half, New England had just three points to show on four trips inside the Los Angeles 35.

New England's third possession stalled after John Franklin-Myers sacked and stripped Brady near midfield, with center David Andrews recovering the loose ball. It was the first sack allowed by the Patriots this postseason.

It was the ninth scoreless first quarter in Super Bowl history, with the Patriots now involved in five of them (they won the previous four).

--Field Level Media