SB53: Pats vs. Rams Buildup

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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Pats will be appearing in their 3rd straight Super Bowl which is mind-boggling to me.

Bovada has the Pats -2 (-135 money line)

Rams will be in blue throwbacks so figures the Pats will be in white for the 4th straight SB.

Early Thoughts
--The offensive line might have their toughest test in terms of a pass rush of the 3 games coming up. Aaron Donald is complete monster and Suh has come on recently. Dante Fowler has flashed. Michael Brockers is tough to stop. Getting the ball out quick is obviously key.

--The Rams defense was #19 in defensive DVOA for the year. 9th against the pass and 28th against the run. Sounds like another game where the Pats could come out in 12 personnel and run the football.

--I think James White and/or Rex Burkhead could have huge games. The Saints isolated Kamara on LB Cory Littleton and Kamara torched him.

--Yes, they could come out and run the football just like they did the last 2 games. But do you go shotgun with 1 RB/1TE/3WR and spread the Rams out early and try to run hurry up? From past SB's, the pass rushers have gotten gassed quicker than in most games due to the extra adrenaline and constant throwing by Brady. That may be the way to slow them down.

--Defensively, the receiving personnel to deal with are Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, and Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett. Early thought is to put Gilmore on Woods and bracket Cooks.

--CJ Anderson has been good lately, but figure that Gurley will be the go-to back as he should be. Will Danny Shelton be active for this game to help stuff the run?
 
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Ralphwiggum

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I’m no footballl genius, but much like every time Saints are giving Hill snaps over Brees, I really hope I see a lot of Todd Gurley riding the stationary bike on the sideline while fat CJ Anderson is getting carries for the Rams.
 

mwonow

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WIN. 'Cause 6-3 is way better than 5-4. Also, there's a certain symmetry to "of the last 18 SBs, Pats have been in half and won one-third." Make it so!
 

j44thor

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I think Gronk goes out with a bang. LAR were shredded by Jared Cook, Kittle X2, and Kelce this season. Gronk goes for 100+ and a TD wins MVP and rides off into the sunset.
 

dcmissle

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I’m no footballl genius, but much like every time Saints are giving Hill snaps over Brees, I really hope I see a lot of Todd Gurley riding the stationary bike on the sideline while fat CJ Anderson is getting carries for the Rams.
I suspect Gurley is legit hurt. Guessing hamstring. It was probably tweaked a while back and has not gotten totally better. He may not be at 100%
 

Bongorific

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Jul 16, 2005
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I suspect Gurley is legit hurt. Guessing hamstring. It was probably tweaked a while back and has not gotten totally better. He may not be at 100%
Their offense has looked no bueno without him. Anderson isn’t a dual threat back. They look lost without that element.
 

jodyreeddudley78

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Sep 22, 2007
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The Rams definitely look like a different offense with a >100% Gurley and no Kupp. The loss of Kupp kind of goes under the radar, but he was a big part of their offense. It’s a lazy comparison, but he was their Edelman in a lot of ways.

I’m kind of worried about their D-line/secondary on the other side of the ball, I think both are better than their stats indicate, I think.
 

E5 Yaz

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This will be the 53rd Super Bowl/AFL-NFL Championship Game. The Patriots will have played in 21% of them
 

Ale Xander

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Pats will be appearing in their 3rd straight Super Bowl which is mind-boggling to me.

Bovada has the Pats -2 (+135 money line)

Rams will be in blue throwbacks so figures the Pats will be in white for the 4th straight SB.

Early Thoughts
--The offensive line might have their toughest test in terms of a pass rush of the 3 games coming up. Aaron Donald is complete monster and Suh has come on recently. Dante Fowler has flashed. Michael Brockers is tough to stop. Getting the ball out quick is obviously key.

--The Rams defense was #19 in defensive DVOA for the year. 9th against the pass and 28th against the run. Sounds like another game where the Pats could come out in 12 personnel and run the football.

--I think James White and/or Rex Burkhead could have huge games. The Saints isolated Kamara on LB Cory Littleton and Kamara torched him.

--Yes, they could come out and run the football just like they did the last 2 games. But do you go shotgun with 1 RB/1TE/3WR and spread the Rams out early and try to run hurry up? From past SB's, the pass rushers have gotten gassed quicker than in most games due to the extra adrenaline and constant throwing by Brady. That may be the way to slow them down.

--Defensively, the receiving personnel to deal with are Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, and Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett. Early thought is to put Gilmore on Woods and bracket Cooks.

--CJ Anderson has been good lately, but figure that Gurley will be the go-to back as he should be. Will Danny Shelton be active for this game to help stuff the run?
Pats are -140 M/L.
 

jodyreeddudley78

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Mostly because Talib didn’t play in the majority of their games, and the stats (like DVOA) don’t reflect that. The talent is there on the D line, where sacks and pressures will come with a secondary that can provide decent coverage. I’m not saying they are world beaters in either section of the defense, but I don’t think that the season stats accurately reflect their current defense. But, conversely, their offense has definitely taken a step down.

Edit: I’m trying to find actual proof instead of just guessing, but I’m pretty sure Talib was on Thomas today instead of Peters for the majority of snaps. It might have been Thomas’ worst game of the season. The ability to take away a player like that is impressive.
 
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Just a bit outside

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On D put Gilmore on Woods, Jackson on Reynolds, speed guys on Cooks. I think the Pats match up well with Gurley being banged up.

On O they need to keep Donald from dominating and getting pressure up the middle. If they can do that, not easy, they will score a lot of points.
 

Ed Hillel

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Getting Wise back (WEEI guys said he is sick) will be huge. 94 is a pretty boneheaded out there and Wise was a big upgrade the last few weeks. I would have to guess Shelton is back for this one, as well. He’ll be needed for this Rams running game.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
Wade Philips has been known to be an issue. It will be interesting to see what that match-up looks like this time. I'm only now getting over the AFC championship game vs. Denver.
 

E5 Yaz

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espn crawl: first time ever that the same 2 metro areas meet in the SB after playing in the WS
 

m0ckduck

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I have the impression that LA’s pass rush— while elite at the top spots— is thin in terms of depth. Is this true? If so then they might indeed tire in the second half of SB as Falcons did and deep Eagles didn’t, as OP suggested.

Regarding Talib: is it possible we’d see him on Gronk? Using him on Dorsett or Patterson seems like kind of a squander. (Not that he’s an elite CB any more— but I’d be happy for their best cover guy to be playing our wideouts while Edelman, Gronk, White etc feast on LBs and lesser CBs)
 
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nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
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Not true. Baltimore and NY in 1969.
The 1968 World Series was between St. Louis and Detroit. So the ensuing Super Bowl did not feature the same two metro areas. So they’re correct with their specific claim (that it’s the first time two metro areas met in a Super Bowl after a World Series), but you’re right that it’s probably misleadingly narrow.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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One thought I had is that their two best non-Gurley weapons are both very familiar to the Pats. Cooks, obviously from being here last year, and Woods from his days in Buffalo.
 

Toe Nash

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Wade Philips has been known to be an issue. It will be interesting to see what that match-up looks like this time. I'm only now getting over the AFC championship game vs. Denver.
Offensive line won't give away the cadence this time, I'd have to think (neutral field will help)...Miller was in the backfield at the snap on many plays in that game.

But the "key to the game" is definitely the offensive line vs. Suh / Donald / etc. The line has been playing as well as I've ever seen it play, and they have a running game as well, so I'm optimistic.
 

YTF

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It's been a Helluva season so far and it ain't over yet. Think back to just over a year ago with the Super Bowl heartbreak of losing to The Eagles and the Belichick/Butler controversy. Look at the past off season that saw the departures of Butler, Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola and Brandon Cooks. The Pats looked in rough shape with a shortage of guys for Brady to throw the ball to when the season opened. Regular season losses to Detroit, Tennessee and Miami. This team had a lot of questions marks before and during the season including the failed Josh Gordon experiment, yet here we are on the eve of another New England Patriot Super Bowl. This team has been incredibly adaptable since Belichick took the reigns and now has a legit running attack led by an offensive line that we've been lacking for more than a couple of years. Fucking amazing!!!
 

DrewDawg

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Their D-line definitely is a worry. Brady struggles with pressure up the middle and Aaron Donald is kind of good in the middle. Couple that with good pass rushers in Suh, Brockers, and Fowler and it’s a very stiff test.
Sure...but why are they better than their numbers say they are? That's what I was asking. To paraphrase Billy Beane/Brad Pitt in Moneyball: "If he's a good hitter why doesn't he hit good?"

I'm not doubting it's very possible, just wondering why.
 

DrewDawg

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I'm dumb. What's the 53 significance?
I was a dolt in one thread saying something like "Only 53 hours til kickoff!" and I was a day off--it was 77 hours. So, this being SoSH, folks ran with it, so there were random references to "53" in the threads.