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Goff vs. Brees Will Determine Super Bowl Berth — Unfortunately for the Rams

January 19th, 2019 · No Comments · Football, Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams are one victory from playing in the Super Bowl.

If they defeat the New Orleans Saints tomorrow … they go to American football’s biggest game.

However, I do not believe we will see that happen. Not this year. Because of one match-up where the Saints have a distinct advantage.

At quarterback, where Jared Goff of the Rams is pitted against Drew Brees of the Saints.

Or, to put it another way, a pretty good third-year quarterback … against one of the elite quarterbacks in the history of the game.

The other match-ups in Rams vs. Saints are pretty much a push, to use the gambling term. The Rams might be a little better in the lines, the Saints a bit more impressive at linebacker. The receivers and defensive backs … about the same, with perhaps a slight edge to the Saints.

Running back is a spot where it is too close to call. Todd Gurley is the reigning NFL offensive player of the year, yes, and recent addition C.J. Anderson gives the Rams a powerful one-two punch at running back. But the Saints answer with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, who may not be as big but are probably quicker.

Which brings us back to quarterback.

Goff is a solid performer in a clever and much-admired Rams offense, the one led by golden child/coach Sean McVay. On his day, Goff can throw footballs into a crack from 30 yards away and roll up 300 passing yards.

But Brees is better. At age 40 (among NFL non-kickers, only Tom Brady is older) Brees is still as sharp as he was at 30 or 35, and he seems as mobile, too; he remains much the more dangerous scrambler than Goff.

Brees is known for his passing accuracy, and it comes with a brain that has been carving up defenses for nearly two decades — and a coach (Sean Payton) also known for being adept with Xs and Os.

Let’s go to wikipedia for Brees’s historic achievements: “He holds the NFL records for career pass completions, career completion percentage, career passing yards, is second in career touchdown passes, third in regular season career passer rating, and fourth in postseason career passer rating. In 2012, he broke Johnny Unitas‘ long-standing record of consecutive games with a touchdown pass. He has passed for over 5,000 yards in a season five times—no other NFL quarterback has done so more than once. He has led the NFL in passing yards a record seven times and in passing touchdowns a record-tying four times. He was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2004, the Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011, and the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV.”

Goff? He had an awful debut season, in 2016, but two pretty solid seasons since McVay got his hands on him.

But Goff is nowhere near Brees in quality and experience (he has not played in and won a Super Bowl, as Brees has) and that will make the difference in the NFC championship game tomorrow.

Brees will make something out of nothing, a time or two, or Goff will get nervous under pressure and made a key mistake. Or two.

These teams already have played this season, and Brees did more than Goff and the Saints won 45-35, in Los Angeles.

In football, if you can have an advantage at one position, the correct answer always is “quarterback”. Always, always, always.

For Rams fans, the next question, after this game, becomes “can Goff ever be as good enough to win a Super Bowl when great quarterbacks are standing in his way?”

My guess is no, he cannot.

Final score? Brees and the Saints 42, Goff and the Rams 24.


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