The Los Angeles Rams’ defense will be running into a red-hot offense when they take the field Sunday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
While Tom Brady and Co. struggled with inconsistency throughout the regular season, the unit managed to flip a switch and then some in the playoffs. The New England Patriots hung a combined 78 points in wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, and they’ll be looking to keep things rolling in Super Bowl LIII.
Given their versatile defensive personnel, the Rams certainly have the ability to show different looks in hopes of combatting whatever the Patriots throw at them. But when it comes to slowing down New England’s bread and butter, Phil Simms isn’t sure if the NFC champions will be able to rise to the challenge for a full 60 minutes.
“I look it at it this way: can the Rams play man-to-man defense against the New England offense? That’s one,” Simms said Tuesday on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.” “If you play zone, you’re gonna get picked apart, he’s (Brady) gonna get rid of the football quick. So if I’m Wade Phillips, you’re gonna play man-to-man, and are you gonna stop the over-the-middle throws to Julian Edelman? Put an extra defender in there, high-low the safeties. If they do that it gives them a chance. I don’t think they’ll do all that. I’m gonna take the New England Patriots 31-20.”
Picking the Patriots to win is one thing, but predicting a two-score victory is quite the take by Simms. Los Angeles’ offense is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with New England’s in a shootout, and Super Bowls involving the Pats historically have come down to the bitter end.
And if that ends up being the case, Jared Goff will have his work cut out for him trying to match the typical clutchness of Brady.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports