The QB Game: A legend will face off against the future at Super Bowl LIII
Brady v. Goff is a battle of the past v. the present. While some see a blowout, nothing is certain, especially when it comes to the Patriots.
Once again, Tom Brady and the Patriots are one step further to reaching football immortality. In their way? A young, up-and-coming team that is not to be taken lightly.
It will be a battle of the past v. the future as the Patriots take on the Rams on February 3rd for Super Bowl LIII. Inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, it will be a rematch from Super Bowl XXXVI (Patriots won 20-17), where the Patriots dynasty began. It is fitting that Tom Brady leads the charge against a team that was as young as his group was when they won their first title. This Super Bowl feels like a real passing of the torch moment, if only for showcasing the skills of the younger Rams.
At age 24, Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe. In 14 games started he threw for over 2,800 yards with 18 touchdowns. The team record was 11-3 in games in which he started. His QB rating was 86.5. Brady’s grit in the playoffs, despite not throwing for power, would be a taste of what he could accomplish.
The next year, he struggled mightily, and that 2002 Patriots team was the last to not win 10 games. Think about that: it has been more than 15 years. In 2003, Brady had 3,620 passing yards at age 26, to go along with 23 touchdowns. He would be third in MVP voting while also winning another Super Bowl. The rest, as they say, is history.
Goff started much younger (22), and was heralded as a great QB at his age due to the current nature of college football. While many expected him to start, he was left on the bench in favor of Case Keenum his rookie year. When he finally got the chance to play, the Rams were pretty bad. While they lost all seven games he started, he got a chance to show a glimpse at what he can do. He threw for 1,089 yards and five touchdown passes. Goff’s QB Rating was 63.6. The next year, everything clicked.
2017 is when everything changed for the Rams. At age 23, Goff played in 15 games for the Rams, throwing 28 touchdowns for over 3,800 yards. His QB Rating? 100.5. To put that into perspective, Brady didn’t reach over 100 until 2007. While things are obviously different now, and not many people look into that, it is something to think about.
This season, both Brady and Goff have had interesting paths. Brady had over 4,355 yards with 29 touchdowns and Goff had 32 while throwing for over 4,688 yards. The Rams seem unbeatable while the Patriots seem beatable. If there is anything that we have learned, however, it is that Tom Brady can never be counted out.
The Patriots have been through injuries, trades and elder players not performing to their capabilities. The one consistent thing, however, has been Brady and coach Bill Belichick. Maybe it is fitting that the older duo are about to go to battle against the young dynamic of Goff and 33-year-old coach Sean McVay. It is almost a blast from the past moment, and it makes for one heck of a narrative for the Super Bowl.
Will this Super Bowl end up like Super Bowl XLVIII, where a younger Seahawks team dominated Peyton Manning and the Broncos? Anything is possible. If the one thing the Patriots are known for, however, it is proving people wrong. The teacher will look to school the young student and vice versa. It is a story that helps make this battle of titans that much more compelling.
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