Super Bowl LIII: A first look at the Rams vs. Patriots

The Rams running backs huddle before a game between the Rams and Saints in the NFC Championship in New Orleans on Jan. 20.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)




When: FEB. 3, 3:30 P.M. PST, CH. 2

By the numbers:

It’s Goff versus GOAT — the Rams’ Jared Goff against New England quarterback Tom Brady, whose nickname is the anagram for “greatest of all time.”


Rams-Patriots is the game that launched Brady into NFL superstardom 17 years ago when the Patriots pulled off a stunning upset of St. Louis, 20-17, to win their first ring. There are still some people who believe the Patriots filmed the Rams’ walk-through a day before beating them, although the newspaper that originally reported that story, the Boston Herald, later apologized and acknowledged it was false.

Receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Aqib Talib, key players for the Rams this season, are both former Patriots. And get ready for the “BEAT L.A.” chants, which were spawned by the Lakers-Celtics games in the 1980s.

The matchup also would pit a great young offensive mind in Rams coach Sean McVay and a defensive legend in New England’s Bill Belichick.

McVay, 32, is the youngest coach to win a playoff game; Belichick, who won the first of his two rings as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants when McVay was a year old, is the only head coach to win five Super Bowls.

How teams compare statistically. All stats are per-game averages, except for turnover differential, which is for the season (league rank in parentheses):

Points scored


Rams: 32.9 (2)

Patriots: 27.2 (4)

Points allowed

Rams: 24.0 (20)

Patriots: 20.3 (7)

Pass offense

Rams: 281.7 (5)

Patriots: 266.1 (8)

Rush offense

Rams: 139.4 (3)

Patriots: 127.3 (5)

Pass defense

Rams: 236.2 (14)

Patriots: 246.4 (22)

Rush defense

Rams: 122.3 (23)

Patriots: 112.7 (11)



Rams: 41 (15)

Patriots: 30 (30)

Penalty yards

Rams: 54.9 (10)

Patriots: 46.5 (2)


Rams: +11 (4)

Patriots: +10 (5)

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