The Patriots brought a stellar offense into the playoffs, ranked fourth in scoring and fifth in total yards. As they generally do, New England upped their game in the playoffs, averaging 39.5 points in wins over the Colts and Chiefs. How will they fare against the Rams?
Los Angeles ranked 19th in total yards allowed and near 26th in points at 24 per game. In the post season, they gave up 22 in their win over Dallas and 23 against the Saints in the NFC Championship Game.
New England should try to get the run game going with rookie Sony Michel, who averaged 4.5 yards and gained 931 yards during the regular season. The Rams gave up a whopping 5.1 yards per carry during the regular season, but have been stingy in the playoffs, allowing just 98 yards on 43 carries in the two games. Running will be key for New England to try to keep the heat off Brady.
A master at getting rid of the ball quickly and accurately, Brady has been sacked only 21 times this season. The Patriots offensive line will have to contain Aaron Donald, who lead the NFL with 20.5 sacks this season. Should they accomplish this, Brady could have a field day finding running back James White, wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski. They have combined for 208 catches and 16 touchdowns for the season.
If the Rams get pressure, they could force Brady into a turnover. Although Brady threw just 11 interceptions this season, the Rams picked off 18 passes, led by John Jackson III with four and Marcus Peters and Cory Littleton with three.
The key to many games is red zone proficiency. The Rams are 14th in opponent red zone scoring percentage at 57.6 percent. Brady has completed just 56 percent inside the 20, and 40 percent inside the 10, but has 18 touchdowns against just one interception. The performance of the Patriots in this part of the field could determine the outcome of the game.
The Patriots will likely continue their high scoring pace, but probably won’t reach the lofty numbers in their previous two playoff games. Will it be enough to win the Super Bowl? While that question is a difficult one to answer, the best betting tip here is to bet the Over on team totals, which is currently set at 29.5.