As a Raiders fan, I was always conditioned to hate the New England Patriots. The Raiders-Patriots bad blood was there long before the “Tuck Rule” game. In 1976, there was the controversial roughing the passer call on New England’s defensive tackle, Ray “Sugar Bear” Hamilton. New England got revenge when they upset the Los Angeles Raiders. After the game, Matt Millen would whack New England GM, Patrick Sullivan, with his helmet. There was also the unfortunate outcome when Jack Tatum’s hit paralyzed Patriots wide receiver, Darryl Stingley.
With all that being said, it’s impossible for me to ignore what Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have accomplished together. Sure, you might be tired of seeing them in the Super Bowl but, as the old saying goes, “then beat them”. They are the LeBron James of the NFL. If the Finals/Super Bowl is on, you’re watching them.
It seems rather poetic that we arrive at this Super Bowl with the Patriots and Rams since it was the Rams who Brady started his Super Bowl run on. This isn’t the first time the Rams come into the Super Bowl on a controversial call. In the 99 NFC Championship game, it was a Bert Emanuel catch that was ruled a no catch that helped the then, St. Louis Rams, to the Super Bowl. They would go on to beat the Tennessee Titans. This time around, it was a missed personal foul/pass interference call that could have changed the outcome.
As we enter Sunday’s game we have the veterans against the upstarts. Brady versus Jared Goff. Belichick versus Sean McVay. Back in 2001, Brady defeated what many thought was a top 5 quarterback (Kurt Warner) in the league. Belichick dialed his defense up to stop the “Greatest Show on Turf” led by, then Rams coach, Mike Martz. This time around they’ll be looking to defeat Goff and McVay… and they will.
This will be the one Super Bowl that the Patriots (-2.5) will win by more than one score. They won’t need a collapse by their opponent (Atlanta Falcons), last minute drive (St. Louis Rams) or a last second field (Carolina Panthers) or an idiotic play call on the one yard line (Seattle Seahawks). They’ll play New England football and cruise to a victory.
New England 30 Los Angeles Rams 17
Playoff Record: 6-3-1