New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams Monday 12.30pm NZ time
Is this what the Superbowl needs ? – the New England Patriots in yet another one (and favourites). In some ways this is a dynasty like no others (maybe Canterbury Rugby in the New Zealand Provincial competition is close) and the Brady/Belichick train looks like it will keep on running for a few years yet. Maybe this is really what the NFL wanted.
This a rematch of the 2002 Superbowl when the Rams (albeit based in St Louis at the time) were beaten in the final play of the game – a field goal by current Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinateri -and guess who won his first ever Superbowl in his first season as a starter ? Yes one Tom Brady – and the odds of him winning his 6th are high.
Brady was 25 at the time meanwhile three of his main weapons today, Rob Gronkowski – was aged 12, Julian Edelman – was 15 and Running Back Sony Michael – was 6 ! Each season Brady seems to overcome the changes he has to adapt to from a receiving viewpoint and make them look good.
At the start of the season the Patriots were 6/1 and the Rams were 10/1 to win Superbowl – the number 1 and second joint favourites. Amazing how the bookies are always right so we are not exactly seeing a bolter in this Big Dance.
Rams Coach Sean McVay may be a junior version of Belichick in terms of how he thinks and his coaching philosophy. Is this a dress rehearsal for him to one day take over from the lobster boat captain lookalike Bill ? Under centre the Rams have California kid Jarad Goff. Drafted by the Rams as a no.1 pick in 2016 his first exposure to his new taem was when they moved from St Louis to Los Angeles in 2106. Nothing flashy he’s as solid as they come and McVay has moulded him into his system well.
So it’s Trumps team versus the New Kids on the Block in reality. Speaking of “Boy Bands” the NFL cancelled this week’s media conference with Maroon 5 who are the half time act. There is controversy that Travis Scott who will join them on stage is being criticised by ex NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (yes he’s still relevant) for appearing and the NFL in its wisdom thought that awkward questions may be asked. Their PR rationale “Artists will let their show do the talking”. Let’s hope none of them take a knee during the performance.
The Patriots are favourites – and so they should be. Their tenacity and drive against Kansas City in the AFC Championship game showed their winning mentality and how they can adapt to teams game plans when it counts. The Rams inexperience in the biggest game of the season will be a factor. Pick Patriots -2.
Best Prop Bets
Length of National Anthem sung by Gladys Knight ? Over or Under 105 seconds
Will Maroon 5’s Adam Levine wear a hat during the half time show ? Yes/No
Will TV Commentary Analyst Tony Romo predict a play that leads to a touchdown ? Yes/No
As a side note – what do elite NFL players who are not involved in Superbowl do once the season finishes ? Come to New Zealand of course.
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