(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Super Bowl LIII Preview: Patriots and Rams in Repeat of Super Bowl XXXVI

On Sunday, history repeats itself. The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will face off in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

The History

On Feb. 3, 2002, a young Tom Brady made his Super Bowl debut against the Rams, who were then located in St. Louis. That season, the Patriots had an 11-5 record, while the Rams were 14-2 in the regular season. The Rams were expected to get the win. However, Brady and New England won 20-17 and started a modern-day football dynasty.

Since the Super Bowl victory in February of 2002, Brady and the Patriots have made seven more Super Bowl appearances, winning four. The Rams, on the other hand, haven’t made any appearances.

Similarities between 2002 and 2019

Although this Super Bowl takes place 17 years later, several things remain constant.

  • The date: The Super Bowl will occur on Feb. 3, 2019, exactly 17 years after Brady’s debut Super Bowl appearance.
  • The matchup: Patriots vs. Rams
  • NE’s record: 11-5
  • NE head coach: Bill Belichick
  • NE quarterback: Tom Brady
Differences between 2002 and 2019

The Ram are no longer the favorites. With the experience between Brady and Belichick on the big stage, the Patriots are the favorites. This is despite having a worse regular season record, as the Rams finished the season 13-3.

Rundown of the Rams

The Rams got off to a red-hot start to the regular season, winning their first eight games of the season. In the second half of the regular season, LA took part in one of the highlights of the entire NFL season when they beat the Chiefs 54-51.

The Rams’ ability to consistently put points on the board is a big reason that they made it to the Super Bowl. They averaged 32.9 points per game in the regular season, compared to 27.3 points per game from the Patriots.

A big reason for the Rams’ offensive success has come through quarterback Jared Goff. In the regular season, Goff threw for 4,688 yards, threw 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a completion percentage of 64.9. To compare his stats to his opposition, Brady threw for 4,355 yards, threw 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a completion percentage of 65.8.

However, in the postseason, the Patriots have risen to another level. They average 39 points per game in the playoffs, while the Rams are down to 28 points per game.

Game Details

Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will kick off on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on CBS.

About Joseph Erickson

Sports writer. Passionate about Premier League soccer, specifically Tottenham Hotspur.

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