We are about an hour from kickoff. Our experts have poured over the numbers and are finally ready to make their game day predictions.
Patriots 32 – Rams 19 While I will be wearing my Tavon Austin Rams jersey and would like to see a dynasty end, I have to go with Tom Brady in this one. The Patriots have been here before, their coaching is superior, and Ndamukong Suh has zero big game experience.
This feels like a game where Brady eclipses 300 yards and a random Pats defender ends up with multiple takeaways. Hot take alert – Tom Brady gets a rushing TD today.
Unavailable. Church on Sundays.
*Update 28 minutes before kickoff. Patriots 31 – Rams 30. FG to win.
Rams 31 – Patriots 17 Todd Gurley rushes for 100 yards and has 30 yards receiving with 2 Total TD’s and takes home Super Bowl MVP after essentially coming in fresh after having 3 weeks off. Too much has been made about the Patriots this week and the overall talents of the Rams roster finally reaches its potential defensively.
Before we talk about Super Bowl 53, let’s flash back to a huge turning point in the upcoming Rams vs Patriots clash… November 26, 2004.
Grant High School vs Beaverton High School. PGE Park. Thanksgiving weekend. The Oregon School Athletics Association 4A (Now 6A) football quarterfinals. Somehow, an upstart team from the city has made it farther in the bracket than usual. That team was Grant High School, led by arguably the most talented football recruit ever to come out of Oregon, Ndamukong Suh.
Suh could do it all. He played defense. He kicked (I’m pretty sure). Maybe he was also on offense. I don’t really remember it was 15 years ago. I am like 90% sure he was also the kicker for that team.
What I do remember, kind of, was a sequence of events that led me to believe that Mr. Suh would never win a Super Bowl.
I watched from the stands of PGE Park as Ndamukong Suh disgraced the OSAA 4A state quarter-finals by punching opponents and subsequently chucking his helmet at the concrete wall of that historic stadium. We were all so excited to see this national recruit play, and he managed to crush our dreams. My friends and I had set aside time to watch his talents on the field, and instead we watched him get escorted off the field. Grant High School would go on to lose that game to Beaverton High School 38-14.
Did he not realize what a bad example he was setting for me, a high school sophomore? I vowed that I would never display that kind of behavior on the gridiron.
Luckily for me, and the city of Portland, I was given the opportunity to re-invigorate the city two years later, on that same field, with my legendary performance in the 2006 state semi-finals with 144 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. As I was carried off the field by my teammates that day in 2006 I swore I would never root for Ndamukong Suh.
Ndamukong Suh may have been a national recruit. He may have received multiple scholarship offers from major programs. One has to wonder, will he suffer from not having that big game experience early on in his career? Having played in an Oregon State Championship myself, am I better prepared to play in the big game today?
Coach McVay, if you’re listening, I am ready to play – today. I have more accolades as a high school running back than Ndamukong has, and less ejections. My big game experience vastly outweighs his. Speaking of weight, I probably weight the same as him now too.
What if I told you that the Los Angeles Rams should not start Jared Goff at quarterback in Super Bowl LIII? What if I told you there is a better option? An option that currently plays a different position. An option already on their team.
Some regard Aaron Donald as the best player in the NFL. On defense, he is a game changer. One has to wonder, would he be that impactful on offense?
Let’s find out.
I will run a full simulation of Super Bowl LIII in Madden 19. One simulation to rule them all. All I am going to do is change Aaron Donald’s position from DT to QB. I will not alter any stats or attributes.
Now starting at quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, from Pittsburgh, Aaron Donald.
Nothing remarkable happened in the first quarter. A few drives that led to nowhere. More punts than you would expect. However, near the end of the quarter the Patriots began to drive. We ended the quarter with the Patriots on the goal line, the Rams were able to take down Sony Michel in the backfield to set up Third and Goal.
Tom Brady was able to connect with Chris Hogan for the first score of the game. The Rams fought back and were able to set up their own score on a 20 yard touchdown pass from Aaron Donald to Todd Gurley. The Patriots then responded with a 39 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to put them up 10-7 at the half.
The Pats started with the ball. After a long drive Sony Michel scored on a 3-yard run. The Rams immediately responded, Todd Gurley wasn’t going to let another Georgia Bulldog outshine him. He cut through the defense and scampered down the sideline for a 63-yard score of his own. We head into the 4th quarter with he Patriots up 17-14.
This is what we came to see. Can Aaron Donald lead the Rams back from a deficit? Will he be the first Los Angeles-St. Louis-Los Angeles quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory since Kurt Warner?
The Rams made it appear that way at the start of the 4th quarter. Donald linked up with Josh Reynolds for a 6-yard TD on a slant route. The Rams grabbed their first lead of the day 21-17. The Patriots came back with a clock-killing drive, capped off by another Sony Michel goal-line TD. 24-21 Pats. Then, against all odds, Aaron Donald drove the Rams down the field. As time expired, Greg Zuerlein kicked another clutch playoff field goal. From 51-yards out he sent it through the uprights – we are going to overtime.
I don’t really know how to make this exciting. I left the simulation on and stepped away for a minute. I don’t know what happened but the Rams won in OT on a 34-yard field goal. 27-24.
What did we learn?
There are a few things we can takeaway from this experiment. Option 1 – The Rams are a solid squad. Even with a DT at QB they were able to beat the Patriots in this entirely accurate simulation. Option 2 – Aaron Donald is the real deal at QB, he is ready to take down Belichick & Brady.
If I were a gambling man, I would bet the house on the Rams.
According to a source close to the situation, Kyler Murray’s number is $15M.
He wants big time money to stick with baseball, otherwise he will enter the NFL draft tomorrow.
The A’s are doing everything they can, sending their top brass, led by Billy Beane, to meet with him.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) January 13, 2019
Incredible news. Kyler Murray originally accepted a $4.66 million signing bonus to sign with the Oakland A’s after he was their 1st pick and 9th overall selection in the June 2018 first year player draft. Today, Murray revealed that he would need to make money comparable to that of an NFL first round draft pick in order to stick with baseball.
To put things in perspective the last pick of the 1st round in the 2018 NFL Draft, Lamar Jackson, has around $8 million in guaranteed money over the next four years.
We already know that Kyler is dominant in two sports. He is probably the only athlete to be drafted in the first round of two major sports. Therefore…Kyler is 2/2 at being amazing at sports. Scientifically his skills could translate to any other sport.
According to USA Today, Floyd Mayweather made $285 million in 2018. To put things in perspective, that is a difference of $280,340,000. The entire Oakland A’s payroll last year was $107 million according to the one page I looked at. If we were to compare Kyler with Floyd, the largest athletic difference is Floyd has zero Heisman trophies.
According to Forbes, Soccer stars Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo took home $84 Million and $61 Million. Keep in mind, neither player uses their hands when they play. Kyler can throw and hit. Since he would be using two more appendages than they currently use we could double the salaries. In Kyler money that would be $168 Million and $122 Million.
Lewis Hamilton took home $42 Million driving race cars last year. As far as I know, Kyler has his driver’s license. He also already has a helmet. Easy transition for the Heisman winner.
At the end of the day, Kyler is young. He has plenty of options out there for him. There is no need to rush to a decision.
In 2004 I watched from the stands of PGE Park as Ndamukong Suh disgraced the OSAA 4A state semi-finals by punching opponents and subsequently chucking his helmet at the concrete wall of that historic stadium. There I was, a 15 year old boy, in shock from what I saw. Did he not realize what a bad example he was setting for me, a high school sophomore? I vowed that I would never display that kind of behavior on the gridiron. Luckily for me, and the city of Portland, I was given the opportunity to re-invigorate the city two years later with my legendary performance in the 2006 state semi-finals with 144 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. As I was carried off of the field by my teammates that day in 2006 I swore I would never root for Ndamukong Suh.
Saints 38 – Rams 13
Toby Gerhart should have won the Heisman trophy in 2009 over Mark Ingram. Gerhart averaged 5.7 yards per touch with 2,028 yards and 28 touchdowns. Ingram averaged 6.5 yards per touch with 1,992 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Rams 27 – Saints 17
The Chiefs waived WR and BYU hero Mitch Mathews on August 30, 2016. I have a feeling they will be wishing they had his Hail Mary catching abilities in this game.
Patriots 49 – Chiefs 45
Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was charged with first degree murder. I have always been and I will forever remain anti-murder. When asked about it by head coach Bill Belichick, Aaron Hernandez lied to the coach and said he was not involved. Any coach that has dishonest players does not have their respect. If you don’t have your players respect you will eventually lose the locker room.