Super Bowl LIII is a generational clash between the dynastic New England Patriots, seeking their second title in three years and the sixth of the Tom Brady era, and the upstart Los Angeles Rams, looking to make their mark with the league’s youngest head coach in Sean McVay and the NFL’s best defensive player in Aaron Donald. It could be a long night for a young Rams club going up against the veteran Patriots.
Before you grab a salty snack like Wonderful Pistachios – #TheSportsNut – and talk about the big game with your friends, do a little homework and read about three players who will drive the Rams nuts in Super Bowl LIII.
Brady’s legacy was secure long ago, but he’s looking to become the first player in NFL history with six Super Bowl victories. Nothing can faze him at this point, and his unmatched ability to dictate the tempo of the game should give the Rams all they can handle.
Though New England’s supporting cast isn’t as strong as it was in previous years, Brady’s top receiver, Julian Edelman, leads all players in receiving yards during the playoffs. Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski and Phillip Dorsett can still come up with occasional splash plays. Brady commandeered New England to the league’s most blistering first-half pace during the regular season. Adept at leading both long, methodical drives and quick, vertical attacks, he’ll keep Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips on his toes.
What really ought to drive the Rams nuts is Brady’s capacity to overcome seemingly insurmountable deficits – as in Super Bowl LI where he led the Patriots back from being down 28-3 against the Atlanta Falcons. No Rams lead is safe until the final whistle blows.
Sony Michel may be the Patriots’ best back while Rex Burkhead serves as a jack of all trades, but it’s James White who will drive the Rams nuts on Sunday. He’s an outstanding receiver coming out of the backfield and is poised to attack the weak point of the Rams’ defense by generating mismatches against linebackers.
Two years ago, White scored three touchdowns and set a Super Bowl record with 14 receptions. He’s primed to reprise his starring role against an L.A. defense that’s better equipped to stop more traditional power backs. White is a nightmare to contain, and his ability to cut on a dime makes him a dominant threat after the catch.
White’s had a career year and should be confident that he can shine on the biggest stage once again. The Rams need to zero in on him or run the risk of history repeating.
Gilmore had a career season of his own, earning first-team All-Pro honors, his second Pro Bowl selection, and the top grade among cornerbacks from Pro Football Focus. The 28-year-old, who often shadows the opponent’s best receiver, will be ready to shut down either Brandin Cooks or former teammate Robert Woods.
Few players are better at defending passes than Gilmore, who can separate the receiver from the ball at the last possible second. He also rarely, if ever, gets fooled at the line of scrimmage, which could mean trouble for a Rams offense that loves to run play action. Gilmore must be driving McVay nuts as the young coach prepares for Super Bowl LIII.
Are you ready for the big game? Make sure you have lots of snacks handy, like Wonderful Pistachios. According to a survey by the brand, over a third of Canadians snack more when there’s more on the line for their team!