2019 Super Bowl odds, line, spread pick: Trust Patriots to challenge Goff, control clock and beat Rams
This will be another close New England Super Bowl, but count on Bill Belichick to be the difference
ATLANTA -- How do you pick against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick?
Answer: You don't
Look, I know they've lost Super Bowls in the past and needed some miraculous help to win a few, but you give me that quarterback-coach combo -- the best ever -- and I will take my chances.
That's why I am picking the Patriots to beat the Los Angeles Rams this week in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which you can stream here on CBSSports.com. It's not meant to disrespect the Rams or their coach-quarterback combo of Sean McVay and Jared Goff.
It's just that we know what we have from Brady-Belichick in big games, while the Rams duo is an unknown for now.
Patriots -2.5 vs. Rams
I was there that day in New Orleans when the Patriots dynasty was born. In February 2002, a young Brady led the Patriots to the winning field goal. But that game was more about Belichick. It was his great defensive plan that won the game, shutting down the Greatest Show on Turf offense of the Rams.
I expect this one to be about Belichick as well. He will come up with a great plan to slow the Rams offense again. I expect he will take away Todd Gurley's outside-zone runs, which key the McVay offense, and force the Rams to beat him somewhere else. He will put the game on Goff's arm.
On the other side, I expect the Patriots to run it right at the Rams defense to control the clock. The Rams have had trouble all year with the run, and they are smallish on that side of the ball. Aaron Donald is a great defensive player, but I expect the Patriots to wham block him, trap him and use everything imaginable to take him out of the game. He is an aggressive upfield player, and you can use that against him.
That will lead to a lot of runs for Patriots running back Sony Michel, who I expect will have a big game. In turn, that will lead to some nice play-action throws for Brady, who I think will help Rob Gronkowski turn into Gronk for what could be the last time.
We've seen glimpses of Gronk this postseason after hardly looking like the Gronk of old during the regular season. That will continue here as he scores a touchdown and goes for at least 75 yards receiving.
The Patriots don't blow out teams in the Super Bowl, and they won't here. In fact this one will come down to a late Brady drive. This time, which will be different from their first Super Bowl meeting, he will need to get a touchdown late to win it. And he will.
Just like in 2002, Brady will come up clutch in the big moment to win it. It will be the game that ends any argument about the greatest dynasty in sports and the greatest coach and quarterback in NFL history.
Belichick and Brady -- the two constants from the first Super Bowl victory way back in 2002 -- will get it done again.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Rams 20
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