Super Bowl Rematch: Patriots vs. Rams

posted January 29, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew McClure

On Sunday, the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will meet in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Super Bowl LIII.

This will be the second time these two teams meet in the biggest event in football. The Patriots won the first meeting over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, 20-17, after a 48-yard field goal at the horn by Adam Vinatieri. Since Super Bowl XXXVI, these two teams have gone in different directions, and now meet for the 14th time ever in history.

Los Angeles Rams

When the Rams made Super Bowl XXXIV and XXXVI in 1999-00 and 2001-02, they were still in St. Louis and nicknamed “The Greatest Show on Turf” because of their explosive offense.

Quarterback Kurt Warner was having an MVP type of year, and it helped that he had some weapons around him. They had a Hall of Fame running back in Marshall Faulk, and two borderline Hall of Fame receivers in Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

The Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV, 23-16, over the Titans and obviously fell to the Patriots two years later. After the loss to New England in Super Bowl XXXVI, the Rams made the playoffs in 2003 and 2004, but lost in the divisional rounds.

After those playoff appearances in the early 2000s the final years in St. Louis didn’t go well. The Rams didn’t make the playoffs after that and their best record during this span was 8-8 in 2006.

When the Rams moved back to Los Angeles in 2016, it didn’t get any better. The Rams finished 4-12 and fired head coach Jeff Fisher in the process. It looked like it was going to be a rebuilding year as they hired a new head coach and picked up a young quarterback in Jared Goff.

In 2017, however, the Rams surprised the league thanks to the new, young head coach Sean McVay. The team finished 11-5 and hosted a playoff game in Los Angeles. Although they lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card, the team’s future looked bright.

This season, the Rams backed it up with a phenomenal year winning another division title and an NFC title. Although there was controversy at the end of the game on a no pass interference call against the New Orleans Saints, the Rams are now playing in its fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

New England Patriots

Ever since the dramatic Super Bowl win in the 2001-02 season over the Rams, the Patriots kept rolling. That game started the Patriots dynasty and the duo of quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. 

Since that game, the Brady and Belichick era has been as dominant as it can get. Belichick has led the Patriots to 16 AFC East titles, 13 appearances in the AFC Championship game and nine Super Bowl appearances.

This season, it looked like this team possibly could finally get beat in the playoffs. It looked like age was catching up with Brady, and the defense struggled as well.

Even with the “end of an era” talk, the Patriots won their division for the 16th time. They did so with losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins who were all under .500 this year.

They proved the country wrong yet again, beating the Los Angeles Chargers in the divisional round and the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in the championship game.

After a devastating loss in Super Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Patriots are looking to knock off one of the hottest teams in football, the Rams, and hope to secure their sixth Super Bowl title.

Both the Rams and the Patriots went in opposite directions following their last matchup in Super Bowl XXXVI.

The Rams struggled in St. Louis for the last couple of years before being back in Los Angeles. Now, they have a young coach and quarterback to build around.

For New England, the winning continued under the reign of Brady and Belichick. This game will be close with the old and the new clashing for Super Bowl LIII.

Matthew McClure is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email mcm5964@psu.edu.