Each week a panel of SCU contributors will pick their winners and losers. Let’s see who does the best by the end of the season!
It's the final pick'em for the SCU crew this season and we're overwhelmingly "haters" of one team when you see the results!
Joe Kuzma - Rams
The Patriots might be playing with an underdog mentality but that's because I believe they've truly been underdogs along the way. I felt either side in the NFC had a chance against them and it so happens to be the Rams this time, led by an unstoppable force in the middle in Aaron Donald alongside another player thought to be the same in Ndamukong Suh.
I think it will be difficult for Belichick to "take away the Rams top weapon" and I believe a Patriots team that lost five games to non-playoff opponents in the regular season is set to be exposed on the big stage. Let's just hope if LA gets out to a lead they don't blow it like the Falcons did!
Eric Herrmann - Patriots
We've all seen this movie before. The NFC team is coming in hot and is the sexy pick, but New England doesn't care about glamour. I want to pick the Rams, I really do, but I just don't think the young duo of McVay and Goff are going to be able to outmatch the veterans Belichick and Brady. The Rams have the ability to stop the Patriots, but I think this game will come down to preparation and who has the greater clutch gene. Ugh. (edited)
Brian Roach - Rams
Because f*** the Patriots!
Terry Fletcher - Rams
I live in the Los Angeles area so it's easy to pick the Rams to win... and because Sean McVay is cute, of course!
Oh, and because I DO NOT want the Patriots to tie the Steelers six Super Bowl wins!
Ryan Lippert - Rams
The Rams simply have the better team in this matchup. I don’t see the Patriots being able to run the ball against their defensive front and I believe they will do just enough to frustrate Brady.
I also see Jared Goff having a big game against the Patriots’ secondary. They’ve struggled against the pass in the postseason, giving up 282.5 yards per game and 6 touchdowns.
Zac Celedonia - Patriots
Patriots. 150,000% the Patriots. I don't know a lot of things but I've seen this movie five too many times.
The Rams are exciting and Sean McVay's hot, but does anyone really think they'll beat the evil empire?
I'll play along and root for LA but I'm picking the Patriots. And apparently I'm in the minority according to them and their delusional fan base!
Tommy Jaggi - Patriots
The experience and in-game adjustments of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will be too much for the Rams to overcome. It will be close, but I think the Patriots get their 6th Super Bowl win - tying the Steelers for the most winning franchise in NFL history.
Zach Metkler - Patriots
I'll be cheering for the Rams. But why should we believe that this game will be anything other than the normal Patriots league dominance that we have seen over the past 20 years?
Noah Freeman - Rams
For those picking the Pats and seen the movie too many times, what happened last year?
This shouldn’t be a, who you think should win, it should be one and only one answer regardless of talent... the Pats are really good at taking away a team’s one thing they do best: the Rams don’t have one outstanding player, however.
You take one away and three more are there!
Tina Rivers - Rams
The Patriots have the "big game" experience, but Goff, Gurley, Donald and company have a ton of momentum on their side (call it youthful exuberance if you wish) despite a close game with the Saints in the divisional championship. The number of weapons both teams possess makes this game intriguing, but the Rams look to have an edge.
One thing that may affect the Patriots in a negative way is the fact that they've been in this spot enough that their game-plan should be easily diagnosed and Sean McVay may just be the guy who has done enough homework to outcoach Bill Bellichick. Brady will be Brady - GOAT or flustered by the Rams' defensive pressure enough to fall apart, something that has become a bit of a mantra for teams who've diagnosed the fact that when he becomes frustrated he tends to lose the polish and poise.
As Brady goes, so too does the Pats offense. Los Angeles's defense has teeth New England hasn't flashed nearly as often in 2018.
Expect this game to be entertaining football.