The picks are in for Super Bowl LIII.
Five NFL coaches and evaluators provided extensive insights in addition to picking winners for the looming matchup between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams. Their picks were not unanimous, but with five votes, one team was bound to come out ahead of the other -- just as will be the case on Sunday in Atlanta.
1. Personnel director No. 1: Get Gurley going!
I think the Rams will win it simply because their defense is playing extremely well. They will be able to rush on the interior and make it tough for [Tom] Brady to step up in the pocket. I think they will generate some rush with the edge. Also, their secondary is good enough to match up with those New England guys. Offensively, they have a couple of weapons. If [Todd] Gurley is healthy, as he says he is, he and [C.J.] Anderson are a two-headed monster, and the Rams have some weapons on the perimeter. It'll be a good game.
New England will try to take away Gurley and that running game and put it on [Jared] Goff's shoulders. Goff has had games where he was able to do it, and he has had games where you question whether he can do it. I think he will do a good enough job, and they will do some things creatively to get Gurley the ball as both a runner and a receiver. It'll be a good chess match, but at the end of the day, the Rams are clearly the more talented team.
The teams that beat up on New England are the teams that can win the line of scrimmage. I think the Rams' defensive line can win that line of scrimmage, and I think they can block the Patriots' guys for the most part.
The pick: Rams