Super Bowl LIII


Adrian Ornelas, Reporter

Super Bowl LIII is an upcoming American football game between the two-time defending American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Los Angeles Rams to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2018 season. The game is a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI, in which the Patriots, led by second-year head coach Bill Belichick and backup quarterback Tom Brady, defeated the heavily favored Rams, who played in St. Louis at the time, 20–17. The game is scheduled to be played on February 3, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. This will be the third Super Bowl in Atlanta, which previously hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000 at the Georgia Dome.  The Patriots are making their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, their fourth in five years, their record 11th overall, and ninth under the Belichick–Brady head coach–quarterback tandem; the Patriots are also the first team to play in three consecutive Super Bowls since the Buffalo Bills played in four straight from Super Bowl XXV through Super Bowl XXVIII. The Patriots are only the third team overall to play in three consecutive Super Bowls, after the aforementioned Bills and the 1971–73 Miami Dolphins. The Rams are making their fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, their first appearance in the Super Bowl since moving back to Los Angeles in 2016, and their first as a franchise since Super Bowl XXXVI. New England finished the 2018 season with an 11–5 record to earn the #2 seed in the AFC and their 17th season with double digit wins in their 19 years under 66-year old head coach Bill Belichick. They went on to join the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills as the only teams in NFL history to ever reach three consecutive Super Bowls. Though the team had only two Pro Bowl selections, they scored 436 points (4th in the league) while giving up only 325 (7th fewest) Los Angeles finished the 2018 season earning the #2 seed in the NFC, before knocking off the Dallas Cowboys and top seeded New Orleans Saints to earn their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history. It was the culmination of a long journey for the Rams, who went from 2004 to 2016 without recording a winning record. But after relocating from St. Louis back to Los Angeles and posting a dismal 4–12 season in 2016, the team’s fortunes changed with the hiring of 30-year old head coach Sean McVay, the youngest head coach in NFL history. Under McVay and second year quarterback Jared Goff, who recovered from a dismal rookie season to record a triple digit passer rating, the Rams improved to an 11–5 record in 2017. They won their first 8 games and finished the year with a 13–3 record, tying the Saints for the best record in the NFC.