Warfel: Looking ahead at Super Bowl LIII possibilities

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

After a long 17 weeks of regular season play and two weeks of postseason, America is hours away from knowing who will be playing in Super Bowl 53 on Feb. 3.

The Rams will play the Saints in New Orleans for the right to be proclaimed NFC Champions on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. central.

The New England Patriots, appearing in their eighth straight conference championship, will face off against the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday at 5:40 p.m. central. 

Looking at these last four teams, you have the four highest scoring offenses make up four very possible Super Bowl matchups.

4. Patriots vs Rams – Super Bowl 36 Rematch

The Rams vs Patriots have the least interesting Super Bowl match-up, simply because the Patriots are perennial Super Bowl favorites. Including last years 41-33 loss to the Eagles, the Patriots have been in the big game four times in the last decade including 2016 against the Falcons, 2014 against the Seahawks and 2011 against the Giants.

The Los Angeles Rams on the other hand have not made an appearance in the Super Bowl since 2001, where the then-St. Louis Rams matched up against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 36. The win marked the first of the Bill Belichick era in New England, as a last second 48 yard field goal won the ring.

3. Patriots vs Saints – The beginning of the end

This matchup could be the beginning of the end for two players who first faced off against each other in 2002.

On one side, you would have the 41-year-old Tom Brady and the Patriots making their third Super Bowl appearance in the last four years. A Patriots win on Saturday would make 40 playoff appearances for Brady.

On the other hand, you would have the 40-year-old Drew Brees, whose last appearance in the Super Bowl was in 2010 against the Colts. For Brees, a win on Sunday and a Super Bowl appearance would mark 16 games in the playoffs for him.

The Brees-led Saints have faced off five times against the Brady-led Patriots in the regular season with a 3-2 record, with the last time being a 36-20 loss.

2. Chiefs vs Rams – The Young Guns

This game would be the dream if you love a high scoring game in which there will be little to no defensive stops.

Both of these teams met up in the regular season in week 11 on Monday night football, in a game that featured the third-highest combined points in NFL history at 105.

Patrick Mahomes is in his first year starting at quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs and is in the middle of the MVP conversation after throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns.

Jared Goff, in his third season and second under head coach Sean McVay, passed for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns.

This matchup, unlike Saints-Patriots, would be a matchup of the two youngest quarterbacks left in the playoffs.

1. Chiefs vs Saints – The Passing of the Torch

I give this matchup the slight edge over the Chiefs-Rams simply because these two teams did not meet up in the regular season. This game would feature the Hall of Famer Brees of the Saints and the 23-year-old Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs. You should expect plenty of offense-action with the Chiefs taking the top spot during the regular season averaging 35.3 points per game. The Saints are not far behind in third averaging 31.5 points per game in the regular season.

Sports editor Adam Warfel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @warfel_adam.

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