Well, here it is, Super Bowl LIII game day. The last time Atlanta hosted a Super Bowl, it was basically a disaster. It was freezing cold with frozen rain, transportation was sketchy, many integral events had to be cancelled, the game was a thriller and Ray Lewis was arrested for double murder for an altercation after the game. It was a black eye for Atlanta of epic proportion. Things have, by all reports, gone much better this time, and the newish Mercedes Benz Stadium looks beautiful and ready for today’s action.
There are a LOT of people who think the wrong teams are in the game, and it should be the Saints and Chiefs. The Saints fans actually have the better argument, they were robbed and jobbed at the end of the NFC Championship game. The Chiefs may have deserved to have a chance to get the ball after the Patriots’ touchdown drive in overtime, but those are the rules, and the Pats did what they had to do.
As to the the teams that are in the game, they both seem extremely healthy with little of note on the injury reports. Even the always nicked up Gronk seems at full speed and energized. And Julian Edelman will be on the field after being noticeably absent last year. Same for Dont’a Hightower, notably absent in the Pats’ De last year. The Rams’ biggest concern seems to be how to allocate snaps between Todd Gurley and the white hot CJ Anderson. If you have to have a concern, that is a pretty good one to have.
Both teams have potent offenses capable of taking the game over. So this game will be won on defense. The better D is going to win the game. The Rams quartet of Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, while maybe not the Fearsome Fousome of old, is pretty fearsome. The Pats have less (if any) big names on defense, but have been playing very well down the stretch and in the playoffs. As far as coaching, Sean McVay is a wonder kind and worthy of all the accolades he has received. Hard to envision that the edge still doesn’t go to Bill Bell with all his caginess and experience,and with Josh McDaniels still coaching up the offense and Brady.
The blueprint for beating the Pats is to get such immense pressure on Brady that he is rattled or hit constantly. It is no secret, that has always been the plan. The plan for avoiding this is for Brady to get the ball out fast in midrange and get the running game going with Sony Michel, James White and Burkhead. Look for a lot of play action and short flat throws, with an occasional shot to Gronk or Dorsett.
The trend line has the Pats favored by a couple of points, but I don’t see it. This is a complete pickem.
The national anthem will be performed by Atlanta’s own Gladys Knight, and that is a fine choice, but she should kneel in support of Kaepernick while doing so. That will never, of course, happen, but it should. The halftime show looks to be absolute rancid bullshit. So, today’s music will go back to a better time for Super Bowl halftime shows with a little bit of the Boss from ten years ago. Rock it up!