After my selection in the NFC Championship game had their ticket to Atlanta ripped out of their hands in what is being called by many experts as one of the worst no-calls in the history of professional sports, I had to do some soul searching. I still have an overall winning record of 3-2 this year, but when you lose a game like that, you have to shake the bad juju.
For the Super Bowl, I want us all to be winners. So I made a call to the bullpen for the closer who’s got the wicked juice – the guru of the gridiron, the one man read option, a man who I once went 11 for 12 with in a three-week span – Bobby Hachemeister, or as I call him, “Hach”!
I asked him for his input on the game.
Says Hach, “It will be hard to replicate the conference championships in terms of excitement, especially with a different crew of referees, but since the game will be played on the biggest NFL stage, I will do my best to provide you with my handicapping with aspirations of a winning outcome. Find a weakness and usually you’ll come out on top! That was clearly the case in the AFC Championship with the Pats exploiting the run defense of the Chiefs. The Rams’ defense ironically has allowed 5.1 yards per carry, which is far worse than Kansas City; in fact, [they had] the worst [numbers for this stat] in the NFL during the regular season. However, in their two playoff games against the Cowboys and the Saints, they stepped up their game, only allowing an average of 2.3 yards per carry.
“Tom Brady only accounted for one throwing touchdown in a 37-point offensive performance against the Chiefs, and with the Rams’ resurgence on defense – unlike Kansas City or San Diego – having the pass rushing ability to not allow Brady to become a patient pocket passer, I feel this is a drastic edge in favor of Los Angeles. Furthermore, if you delve into the time of possession, you will find that Kansas City had the ball for TWENTY MINUTES, losing in overtime due to the coin toss call! This will be a far different offense in the Super Bowl, in my opinion, as McVey, Geoff, and Gurley are extremely competent in moving the ball, getting first downs, and, ultimately, keeping the Brady bunch sidelined. The objective here is to control the clock and have Brady attempt 50-60 passes while playing from behind.”
I’ve mulled over this game all week and I concur.
The NFC has been the superior conference all year long. Defense wins championships and the Rams have the defensive line to put pressure on Brady; they have the secondary that will rough up the Patriots receivers and stop Brady’s dink and dunk passing game; they have the linebackers and defensive tackles that will swarm the running attack.
On the other side of the ball the Rams have a dynamic offense that can exploit the Patriot’s weakness which is their defense. Todd Gurley and the revitalized C.J. Anderson will carry the work load in the running game while quarterback Jared Goff has a plethora of dynamic receivers in Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Josh Reynolds to exploit New England’s secondary.
I know you may feel uneasy picking against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in this type of game situation where New England has historically been dominant, we will take the Rams +2.5 over the Pats.
Prediction: Rams, 35-27.
Good luck with your selections and Go Rams!