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How we see it: Super Bowl 53, Rams vs. Patriots

Here is how Buffalo News sports reporters see Super Bowl 53 between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots. The Patriots are favored by 2 1/2 points.

Vic Carucci

How do you go against the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick Patriots in the Super Bowl? Yes, they’ve proved to be human in the big game, losing in three of the previous eight in which they’ve played.

But think about it. This is their ninth Super Bowl. That counts for something. Jared Goff and Sean McVay are novices by comparison.

The Patriots were looking shaky in the regular season, but are playing their best football now. How do you go against Brady and Belichick in pursuit of a sixth Lombardi Trophy? You don’t. Patriots 24-17.

Jay Skurski

You don’t have to be a dominant defense in today’s NFL, but you at least have to be competent. The Kansas City Chiefs weren’t, which is how New England got here. The Rams are, though, and that will be the difference. Aaron Donald is the best defensive player in the game, and he’s going to make life tough on Tom Brady. The Rams’ array of offensive weapons will make it difficult for Patriots coach Bill Belichick to zone in on shutting down one specific player, which is usually their defensive game plan. Rejoice, Bills fans: A close game goes to the Rams. Rams, 27-24.

Mark Gaughan

I'll take New England. I think the Patriots match up better with the Rams than they matched up with the Eagles last year. Philadelphia had a more dominant defensive line than the Rams have, in my opinion. Yes, the Rams have the great Aaron Donald. But the Rams' edge rushers are not as good as Philly's edge rushers. I think the Pats will be able to run the ball and have balance on the Rams. It should be a good game. Maybe Sean McVay has a few trick plays up his sleeve to boost the L.A. offense. But I think the Rams will need to score at least 30 to win, and I don't see them doing it. Patriots, 30-26.

Super Bowl Play to Watch: Rams screen pass game

Jason Wolf

Tom Brady has had plenty of success over the years against defenses coached by Wade Phillips, and he’s perfectly capable of getting rid of the ball quickly, which should help negate the pass rush of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. Long drives will keep the Rams’ potent offense on the sideline. And limiting mistakes will go a long way, as well. The Patriots’ vast playoff experience could them an additional edge, in that respect. Patriots 34-28.

Rachel Lenzi

Pick the Patriots to win … yet again. It’s a choice that some will make begrudgingly (this writer, included), but the Patriots almost annually find a way to get hot in the postseason, and they have more than enough experience and skill and a win-at-all-extremes mentality that has defined the organization.

The Rams have a daring coach in Sean McVay, but the Patriots have Bill Belichick, who doesn’t need glowing superlatives. The Rams have a young-gun quarterback in Jared Goff, but the Patriots have an ageless marvel in quarterback Tom Brady. Side with the experience, not the current trend.

New England’s yearly success has simply exhausted many football fans. Have you seen the meme that shows a map of all but the six New England states rooting for the Rams to win Super Bowl LIII? It’s because people despise the Patriots. This team thrives on your spite. That spite will fuel the Patriots to win a sixth Super Bowl title. Patriots, 31-21.

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