The Los Angeles Rams respect the New England Patriots, but they don’t plan on being intimidated by their Super Bowl LIII opponent, either.

The youthful, upstart NFC Champion Rams are slight underdogs for the Feb. 3 showdown with the battled-tested Patriots, and it’s fair to assume most folks will be picking Tom Brady and the Patriots to win yet another Lombardi Trophy.

So far, the Rams are playing it cool with what they say about the Patriots, as evidenced by head coach Sean McVay’s soliloquy about the Patriots’ collective and sustained greatness. LA safety John Johnson also is relishing the chance to go against arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, but he was quick to inject some confidence in his initial breakdown of his opponent.

“It’s an honor (to go against Brady), honestly,” Johnson told reporters Monday. “He’s an all-time great. He’s been to the Super Bowl, what, nine times? But he’s beatable, though. We can’t just go in there with a mindset of “Oh, it’s Tom Brady,” like he’s definitely beatable, so we’re gonna go in there and give him a go.”

The Rams’ defense certainly was up to the task in the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints. They generally slowed down a potent Saints passing attack, especially with their ability to put the clamps on all-everything receiver Michael Thomas. The Saints’ star wideout was limited to just 36 yards on four catches. LA will need to be similarly stingy vs. the Patriots, although it will be a far different effort against a Patriots offense that spreads it around to everyone.

“I’m gonna leave that for coaches. They get the plan ready and we trust in it and buy into it and we’ll be all right,” Johnson said.

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