Patriots vs. Rams: Facts, Stats and Trivia for the Big Game

By Mike Frekey

Readying for the big game? We certainly are at EXCLUSIVE, as evidenced by our spirited pre-game festivities. And we can’t get enough stats leading up to kickoff, either. If you’re like us, then you’re certain to appreciate these interesting numbers about the matchup between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Get ready to impress your friends at parties this weekend!

Two-thirds of our office sporting their Pat’s gear Friday before the big game. Everyone else was enjoying pizza and ice cream-cupcakes.

Game Necessities

  • The Patriots are led by 41-year-old quarterback Tom Brady and 66-year-old head coach Bill Belichick
  • The Rams are led by 24-year-old Jared Goff at quarterback and 33-year-old Sean McVay as head coach
  • The game will be played in Atlanta, Ga.  The last time the Super Bowl was played in Atlanta, the Rams won over the Titans in 2000.
  • The Patriots are favorites by Vegas of 2.5 points.  When the lines first opened, the Rams were favored by 1 point.
  • Other star players on the Patriots include Julian Edelman (second all time in playoff receptions), Rob Gronkowski (4x First Team All-Pro tight end) and Stefon Gilmore (2018 First Team All-Pro cornerback)
  • Meanwhile, the Rams have their own studs in Aaron Donald (4x First Team All-Pro, 1x Defensive Player of the Year defensive tackle), Todd Gurley (2x First Team All-Pro running back, including 2018) and former Patriot Brandin Cooks.

Advanced Stats

  • The Patriots run the highest percentage of press man defensive coverage in the NFL, at 62%.
  • The Rams WRs struggle in press man.  Catch rate for Cooks and Robert Woods is 78% and 74% respectively against zone coverage, but drops to 52% and 53% against press man.
  • The Rams run more 3-receiver sets (11 personnel) than any other team in football, at an insane 90% during the regular season.  This dropped to 74% in the playoffs.  League average is 54%.
    • The Rams accomplish this with Cooks and Woods.  Early in the year, the team’s #3 WR was Cooper Kupp before an ACL tear sidelined him.  Second year receiver Josh Reynolds has stepped up to fill the gap.
  • The Patriots run the second most 2-back sets (21 and 22 personnel) in the NFL, at 51% in the regular season.  This increased to 58% in the playoffs.  League average is 18%.
    • The Patriots most often accomplish this with 1st round pick Sony Michel and fullback James Develin.

Cool Trivia

  • This matchup marks the first time two #2 seeded playoff teams will play in the SB together.
  • Both the AFC and NFC Championship games leading up to this game went into overtime, the first time this has ever happened.
  • The game marks the largest age gap in both starting QBs and head coaches.
  • The Patriots started their dynasty in 2001 against the (then St Louis) Rams.  If the Patriots win, this would be their record-tying 6th franchise SB win.