The Patriots offense has been in full gear this post season, averaging 39.5 points in their wins over the Colts and the Chiefs. While they were fourth in the NFL this season in scoring, the Patriots increased their scoring by nearly 12 points per game when it's counted the most.
They will go against a LA Rams defense that ranked 26th in fewest points allowed at 24 per game during the regular season. They have been solid in the playoffs, allowing 22 against the Cowboys and 23 against the Saints in the NFC Championship Game.
As has been the case since the beginning of their dynasty in which they have made nine Super Bowl appearances since 2002, the offense goes through Tom Brady. However, the Patriots will try to attack the Rams interior defense with running back Sony Michel, who averaged 4.5 yards per attempt this season. Los Angeles was terrible against the run in the regular season, allowing 5.1 yards per attempt. However, they shut down both Dallas and New Orleans, giving up just 98 yards on 43 attempts.
If the Patriots cannot run effectively, they will have to contain pass rusher Aaron Donald, who registered a league best 20.5 sacks this season. Although Brady is generally safe with the football, pressure could lead to turnovers. The Rams intercepted 18 passes this season, lead by John Johnson III with four and Cory Littleon and Marcus Peters with three. However, should Brady have time to throw, he can pick apart the defense, finding top targets James White, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski.
As is the case most weeks in the NFL, red zone efficiency is vitally important. The Rams The Rams are 14th in opponent red zone scoring percentage at 57.6 percent. Brady has completed just 56 percent inside the 20 and 40 percent inside the 10, but has 18 touchdowns against just one interception. Watch this part of the game closely, whoever wins this battle could very well win the game.
The Patriots are a well-oiled machine on offense and should continue their high scoring output. However, it's unlikely they match their nearly 40 point per game this post season. Will it be enough to hoist a sixth Super Bowl trophy in nine attempts with Brady at the helm?