July 18, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Our football coaching experts predict whether the Rams or Patriots will win Super Bowl XLII

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and his teammates work out at UC Irvine last summer.

Who will win today’s Super Bowl XLII between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots in Atlanta?

There are lots of experts with opinions and you probably have your own. To get you ready for the big game, OC Sports Zone asked the opinions of four local coaches to give us their thoughts.

Peter Abe, head football coach at Portola

I’m guessing Super Bowl LIII will be won 38-27 by the team that secures the first turnover of the second half and comes up the beneficiary of a botched special teams play.  Anyone who knows football may have a preference on winner, but is likely wise enough to know not play games or make predictions when watching games involving Coach Bill Belichick and walking Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

Love them or hate them you can’t help but to be in awe of the modern day dynasty they’ve built for almost two decades now, and respect how the program/culture of the New England Patriots requires everyone’s complete buy-in for the good of the organization, and no matter what your football pedigree might be, you are held to account for playing ball the Patriot way.

That said, the LA Rams, their defense and their running game reminds me a lot of those underdog, young, enthusiastic Seattle Seahawks from 2014. Playing for each other with a chip on their shoulder, and a fiery, inspirational coach who seems to be getting the most out of his team at the perfect time of the season.  Say what you want, LA has breathed new life into the Rams, and this local team is hungry, it can defend the ball, pound the rock, and has a top level quarterback that has done nothing but make elite plays all year (in the shadows, in my opinion, of Brady, Brees and Mchomes).

To win, Rams’ MVP prospect Aaron Donald and his defensive line will have to control the line of scrimmage and get their hands on Brady early and often to stifle the Patriot offense, which has been the key to beating Brady in the Big Game, while taking a risk or two (or three, hint-hint) on special teams to not let Coach Belichick get too ‘business as usual’ in his mindset.  Patriots just need to do what they do, spread the ball around, getting passes off fast, while playing a physical brand of defense that contains the big play of their opponent, because, they do have Tom Brady after all. But in the end, LA finds strength through loyalty to its professional teams, so… Let’s go Rams.

Rick Gibson, Woodbridge football coach

I am a Ram fan. However, I am very impressed with what the Patriots have achieved over the last 10 plus years: so dominant. I admire what they have achieved.

Prediction: Rams 34-23. I believe the Rams will be able to run the ball and also think the defense will stop the Patriots rushing attack. If you were to bet you should go the exact opposite as i am not a very good prognosticator.

Dan Selway, co-offensive coordinator at Northwood

I’m rooting for the Patriots. I love the quarterback match-up and the coaching match-up. It’s a very intriguing big game this year. Should be fun.

The creative and aggressive offensive scheme of the Rams vs. the prepared old warhorse Bill Belichick is what I’m looking forward to.

Prediction: 26-24 Patriots win.

Dick Roche, University assistant football coach

I’m rooting for the Rams. As a kid, growing up in the 50’s, my folks would take me to two or three Ram games a season. Even when they were in St. Louis, I still liked them, but didn’t follow them closely.

I was excited when they came back. I think the Rams will win because I want them to! Goff has to have a good game and I feel the Rams have to control the ball for them to win.

Prediction: 34-27 Rams.

There you have it from our experts; happy Super Sunday!

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com