Super Bowl LIII Game Picks: The STF Crew Analyzes A Rematch

As the explosive Los Angeles Rams get ready to meet the old-school New England Patriots, the STF Crew analyzes why the Patriots or Rams could win, one hot take, what the final score will be, who will be Super Bowl MVP and also offer their way-too-early predictions for Super Bowl LIV.

Usayd Koshul

Why the Patriots will win: It’s all about redemption for these Patriots. After last year’s loss to the Eagles, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are more motivated than ever. New England will need to win this game on offense. I expect Sony Michel and James White to carry this team in the first half, with Julian Edelman showing up in the second half. If New England starts out fast, they should bring home its sixth Super Bowl in the Brady-Belichick era.

Why the Rams will win: The Rams are young and hungry. After being in the Saints shadow all year long, they want to prove the whole world wrong once more time. Los Angeles has the offensive firepower to win this game, but the offense will only be as good as Jared Goff. If the Patriots front seven gets to Goff, then it’s going to be game over. But if the Rams can protect Goff, then it’s going to be a back and forth shootout.

Who’s going to be Super Bowl MVP: The 41-year-old Tom Brady. Forget what anyone says about age, Brady is playing like he’s 30-years-old. He’s going to come into this game and absolutely dominate from start to finish.

Hot Take: Todd Gurley will be a non-factor in this game. We all know what the Patriots love to do. They’ll take away your best weapon on offense and will do exactly that with Todd Gurley. New England is going to turn the Rams frustration into their success.

Final Score: 31-17. The Patriots veteran experience will prove to be too much for these young, but battle-tested Rams. If anything, the Rams seem like they’ll dominate the first half, but the Patriots will show up in the second half.

Way-too-early Super Bowl LIV prediction: Chicago Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs. Both these teams had phenomenal 2018 seasons and with another year of experience under their belts have the potential to make a major case for playing in Miami next February. As of right now, this doesn’t seem like the coolest Super Bowl, but it’d definitely be an entertaining one. Matt Nagy vs. Andy Reid anyone?

Max Freedman

Why the Patriots will win: Bill Belichick is too smart to make the same mistake twice. Two Super Bowls, back to back seasons, against young and inexperienced rosters and coaches. Belichick will devise the perfect gameplan to slow down this Los Angeles Rams team, learning from the mistakes of the Eagles game, and especially plays like the Philly Special.

Why the Rams will win: The personnel is absolutely amazing. The offseason was all about going all-in. They haven’t exactly played like the unstoppable team we thought we would see, but the superstardom is there and could be on display Sunday night.

Who’s going to be Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady. It’s too difficult at this point to bet against Brady, after fumbling the game away last season and being the underdog this year, he’s going to come out firing.

Hot Take: No sacks on either side of the ball the whole night. Both offensive lines are pretty solid. Stopping Aaron Donald is not an easy task but it’s doable.

Final Score: 24-20 Patriots. In a rather low scoring game, the Patriots will out coach the young and smart Sean McVay.

Way-too-early Super Bowl LIV prediction: Los Angeles Chargers vs Minnesota Vikings. The Chargers had what it took this year but couldn’t get past the Patriots. With an offseason to pick up depth and lose very few other pieces, they’re poised to extend their run. The Vikings and Cousins avenge a disappointing season with superb talent on the roster.

Cole Topham

Why the Patriots will win: There can’t be a more comfortable team playing in Super Bowl. The Patriots are as good as it gets playing in high-pressure situations and their third straight trip to the big game should keep confidence levels running high. If the Patriots score early, establish the run game, and the defense holds against this high-powered Rams offense, expect Tom Brady and Co. to win their sixth Lombardi Trophy in the last two decades.

Why the Rams will win: The Rams have youth on their side. Where New England has veteran leadership, Los Angeles has budding star power. Sean McVay is an offensive wizard, and there’s no doubt he has spent the last two weeks trying to crack the Patriots’ code in order to get his playmakers open. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips also has experience thwarting Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game when he was with the Broncos in 2016. So, as long as Goff doesn’t make any major mistakes and the pass rush trio of Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, and Dante Fowler keep applying pressure on Brady, the talented Rams can pull off the upset.

Who’s going to be Super Bowl MVP: Brady threw for 500+ yards in the Super Bowl last year. Had the Patriots won that game, he would have been the no-brainer. I don’t see how you can take anybody else for this award.

Hot Take: Brandin Cooks will be a non-factor. The Patriots had him for a year, so Belichick knows the wide receiver’s tendencies, tricks, and weaknesses. Expect a lot of Stephon Gilmore shadowing Los Angeles’ speedy weapon.

Final Score: Patriots 27, Rams 23

Way-too-early Super Bowl LIV prediction: Chiefs vs. Rams

Jared Feinberg

Why the Patriots will win: Three things: a run game resurgence, Brady-Belichick, and defense. Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead have been running wild as of late behind one of the better, (yet, unknown) offensive lines in football. Brady has been playing lights out and Brian Flores’s defense is getting pressure to the QB. Expect New England to start the game with some quick tempo on offense and getting spots on defense early and often. If they can do just that, Brady will solidify his status as the GOAT with his sixth ring.

Why the Rams will win: Overall better talent and coaching. The Rams have been absolutely spectacular this season after going all-in on adding players like Dante Fowler, Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Ndamukong Suh throughout the year. Jared Goff has been playing extremely well the past few weeks and the resurgence of C.J. Anderson has helped the run game out tremendously with Todd Gurley hurting the last few weeks. The defense has been incredible for the most part with All-World DL Aaron Donald leading the way. I expect Los Angeles to come out hot and score early and often. But keep an eye on the Rams special teams unit. Punter Johnny Hekker and Kicker Greg Zuerlein will make some big impacts on Sunday night.

Who’s going to be Super Bowl MVP: Aaron Donald. Two words: game wrecker. If it weren’t for Brees and Mahomes, we’d be talking about Donald as the MVP of this league. I have a hard time seeing New England’s offensive line trying to stop the best player in the NFL.

Hot Take: Tom Brady will be sacked six times (Pats OL have allowed zero sacks in the postseason). The Rams have an excellent pass rush that will pressure and will get to Brady a lot Sunday night.

Final Score: 35-31, Rams. I’m expecting a very good game between two outstanding teams. Brady will be pressured early and often but the Patriots will make a lot of big plays throughout the game to make it very entertaining. I expect to see the Rams offense at it’s best this season. Expect this game will come down to the final minute.

Way-too-early Super Bowl LIV prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Carolina Panthers. The Chiefs should return everyone for the most part and the offense will be as good as ever. If Carolina makes the right moves this offseason and with a healthy Cam Newton, they’re one of the most dangerous teams in the NFC.

Chase Hammes

Why the Patriots will win: Pretty simply put they have the greatest quarterback-head coaching pairing in NFL history. They will not let what happened last year happen all over again. They’ve been playing better every week since the start of the playoffs and will come out playing their best game of the season.

Why the Rams will win: Sean McVay is already one of the top three coaches in the NFL and there’s not another coach I truly would believe in against Belichick. Goff has looked better after struggling in the later part of the regular season, and Gurley is still one of the best backs in the league. Also it helps when you have the most impactful defensive player in the NFL.

Who’s going to be Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady. He’s in my opinion the greatest quarterback in NFL history and I think after the talk about him declining is gonna motivate him to come up with his best performance in years. With Gronk playing better and healthier, it could be a huge game for both of them. I would be surprised if the Patriots won and Brady doesn’t get MVP.

Hot Take: Brandin Cooks will be held for under 20 yards in the game. Stephon Gilmore has been lights out this year and he will primarily be on Cooks the whole game. If Cooks can have a big game it will be huge for the Rams chances.

Final Score: Patriots 31-21. Tom Brady and Gronk will have huge games and carry the Patriots to their third super bowl victory in five years. Goff and the rest of the Rams offense will struggle to get the ball to Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods will have to have a huge game. Brady and Belichick get yet another Super Bowl win.

Way-too-early Super Bowl LIV prediction:  The Kansas City Chiefs vs The Philadelphia Eagles. Patrick Mahomes was one of the best and most fun players to watch this past year and will be even better in his second season as a starter. The Eagles add some much need help in the secondary and Carson Wentz bounces back to 2017 form to push the Eagles back to the top of the NFC. Both quarterbacks form a new rivalry that will be a storyline for years to come.

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