Los Angeles Rams
By: Josh Schwam
Last season, the Los Angeles Rams had a breakthrough. They improved their record from 4-12 to 11-5. They went from third to first in the NFC West, almost in the blink of an eye.
Quarterback Jared Goff has proven himself as an elite quarterback in the NFL and has led the Rams offense to new heights this season. He outdueled Patrick Mahomes in the highest scoring game this season and has still not reached his full potential as a quarterback.
Goff isn’t all they have. Todd Gurley is second in the NFL in rushing yards and paces the league with 17 total touchdowns. With a workhorse like Gurley in the backfield and Goff’s arm, the Rams are almost unbeatable.
Of course they will hit a peak eventually. They will encounter roadblocks, but defenses have struggled to stop them this year. The Rams have the second best statistical offense in the NFL based on total yards and rushing yards and also rank third in points per game with 35.4.
There are several teams that can challenge the Rams. Larry will tell you that one of them is the New Orleans Saints.
So far this season, the Saints’ defense has bent, but they have only broken once to Tampa. However, they are not equipped to win.
The Rams defense has Aaron Donald, one of the best defensive players in the NFL. He has 14.5 sacks this year, the most in the NFL. Donald has been a force for the Rams the entire season, and elevates that defense above the Saints. He is joined on the defense by former first round picks Ndamukong Suh, Michael Brockers, Dante Fowler and Marcus Peters.
Looking at the entire body of work for the regular season, the sheer talent of the Rams’ offense and defense along with lingering untapped potential give them the advantage. The Saints are not capable of knocking off the Rams in the playoffs. Get ready for the Lombardi Trophy Southern California!
New Orleans Saints
By: Larry Larson
When I make playoff predictions, I like to look at experience. While I don’t base my entire prediction off this alone, it is a significant factor in a team’s success.
My pick has just the right combination of experience and a young, explosive roster to make them a juggernaut in this year’s Super Bowl conversation. Enter: Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
The main reason I picked the Saints is because of their work on the offensive side of the ball led by a sure future Hall of Famer in Brees. He’s the steady hand you would want to lead any Super Bowl contender.
Brees’ impressive season has him in the conversation for league MVP. He’s on pace to set the single season record for completion percentage.
Coach Sean Payton’s offense is far from one dimensional, with running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram each averaging over 60 rushing yards a game. The Saints have posted over 37 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.
While their high-powered offense is the main reason the Saints are my Super Bowl favorites, they are more than capable on the defensive side of the ball, and much more so than the NFC West leading Rams.
The Saints defense has gotten contributions from all positions when they have needed them in close games.
Josh will tell you that the Rams are Super Bowl favorites, but he is sorely mistaken. The Saints already beat the Rams and the Rams’ defense has not held up well against powerful offenses. Goff also does not have the postseason experience that Brees has.
With the highpowered offense and veteran leadership from Brees, the Saints are clear favorite to lift the Lombardi Trophy in February.