A generation is typically a 20-year period or as long as it takes a person to grow up. This means the New England Patriots dynasty has spanned nearly the length of an entire generation. That dynasty began with a 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome; the game had a patriotic feel as it was just months after the 9-11 attacks. That day the Patriots were 14-point underdogs and 0-2 in Super Bowls and the Rams were the best show on turf. Some moron with a relatively new webpage predicted that the Rams would win 59-17, calling New England the ultimate Super Bowl patsies.
This time the Patriots are the rocks of granite the greatest dynasty in NFL history, five Lombardi trophies in nine years over an 18-year stretch, meaning an entire generation knows nothing but winning in New England. This time they are a slight favorite seeking their third title in five years, as they Rams collapsed in St. Louis and moved back to Los Angeles in 2015, where they played from 1946-1994. The only consistent is Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the Patriots who seem like they have become as much as part of the big game as the Roman Numerals and that awful emblem that has taken the soul from the Super Bowl logo. (Roger Goodell you ruined Super Bowl logos forever you ass clown.) Adam Vinatieri is still playing too, but he has now played 13 years with the Colts and is planning to return again next year.
The Patriots have always been the best-prepared team that plays its best when they are given extra motivation. This includes their run to win Super Bowl LI when Tom Brady began the year with a four-game suspension for deflate-gate. This year their motivation was the press saying they were finished and too old for another run, as they crushed the Chargers and upset the Chiefs on the way to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. However, the doubt of Brady is false motivation, because anybody who had a clue knew the Patriots are never dead, not after seeing them win a Super Bowl after trailing 28-3. Until they are done, they are never done that is why they are Still Here and why the ultimate nightmare for fans from the other 31 teams.
The Los Angeles Rams are the new kids on the block, as they went 4-12 just two years ago. Jared Goff is one of the quarterbacks of the future, in this third season helping to lead their comeback efforts as they beat the Saints in a controversial NFC Championship Game. To put this in perspective the generation gap between the Patriots and the Rams, their coach Sean McVay as just 16 when Brady and company won their first Lombardi Trophy, his quarterback Jared Goff was only seven.
The Rams have a terrific offense and as seen in their 54-51 shootout win over the Chiefs in November, they can match scores with even the best teams. However, if they try to do that in this game, they are likely to come up snake eyes, as the Patriots like the robot from The Incredibles in that they cannot be beaten the same way twice. The Eagles were successful in the shootout last year, meaning the Rams have to do something different and that is trying to run the ball as they did in their Divisional Playoff win against the Cowboys when C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley each ran for 100 yards. The problem is the Patriots are solid at stopping the run, but to open windows for Goff to throw the ball through they need to have Gurley look like the MVP candidate he was in the early part of the season.
The Rams have an edge overall in defense, with Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh each being able to create havoc in the passing game. This is the biggest concern for New England and the best way to ultimately slay the dragon. If Suh and Donald can get in Brady’s face the Rams can create a generation of fans in Los Angeles who will hide their Patriots shirts to proclaim they always loved the Rams even when they were in St. Louis. However, that is easier said than done and you just know Dante Scarnecchia the best line coach in NFL history will find a way to come up with the best protection schemes to keep the pressure off their 41-year-old quarterback.
In the end, generations are about to pass knowledge down, and that will be the story of this game. The Rams have the ability to win, but not the know-how, as the old guys get another as Tom Brady knowing how to make the big plays, in the end, gets the big score to win the game, while Jared Goff looking to answer falls just short.
Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady, QB Patriots