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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM








Here’s the straight facts:

The Los Angeles Rams ranked second in the National Football League in total offense in this 2018 regular-season – third in rushing (139.4 yards per game) and fifth in passing (295.6 ypg) -- while scoring 527 total points (or 32.9 points per game) which ranked second in the league behind the Kansas City Chiefs who averaged a whopping 35.3 ppg this year.

In the post-season so far, the Rams have scored “only” 30 and 26 points in back-to-back wins/covers versus Dallas and at New Orleans – and they’ve answered the call when necessary in the playoffs with important second-half scores against both the Cowboys and the Saints (and, yes, it helps to have a kicker who nails 57-yarders like its nothing at all).

So, what’s the problem heading into Sunday’s Super Bowl 53? Let’s see as we check out “When the Rams Have the Ball” …



WHEN THE RAMS HAVE THE BALL … Well, RB Todd Gurley surely was not himself in that highly-controversial 26-23 overtime win at the Saints in the NFC Championship Game back on Jan. 20th with a mere five “touches” overall (and just 13 yards of offense) and there’s no way – that’s no way – the Rams will thrive without at least a solid game from Mr. Gurley here (let’s not forget he still has 20 carries for 125 rushing yards in these playoff wins). The bottom line is Gurley must get outside quickly on his runs and not allow this well-coached New England defense to “set the edge” plus he must be some type of positive factor in the passing game … so no drops!

Obviously, the Rams prefer a spread-the-wealth mentality when it comes to the passing game where third-year QB Jared Goff (483 yards passing / 1 TD / 1 INT in these playoffs) moves the ball around to top wide receivers Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds – they’ve combined for 28 catches but no touchdowns during this post-season run – and it’s Reynolds who best figures to “take the top off” this Patriots’ secondary that showed some major warts in that AFC Championship Game overtime win at Kansas City just two weekends ago. True, the Pats held down the combo of TE Travis Kelce and WR Tyreek Hill – they combined to snare only four catches – but WR Sammy Watkins burned Bill Belichick’s deep backs for 114 yards worth of grabs and Reynolds could be the X-factor here if Goff is able to stand in the pocket and get some time to chuck it deep.

In yesterday’s edition of Jim Sez, we sung the praises of that New England offensive line – maybe the single-most underrated unit on either team while heading into Super Bowl LIII – but truth is you’re not gonna find us knocking this Rams’ blocking wall starring LT Andrew Whitworth. Okay, so opening holes for RBs Gurley and C.J. Anderson (see 167 rushing yards this post-season) has been the unit’s best suit so far but Goff’s only been sacked once in these playoffs (yes, he’s gotten rid of the ball a couple of times when it appeared he was going down) and here the Rams’ O-line can fully expect lots of between-the-tackle blitzes, so Goff must be mentally sharp and RBs Gurley and Anderson must pick up those blitzers … or else!

Finally, we know that Rams’ head coach/play-caller Sean McVay won’t be shy about tossing in some trick plays here – jet sweeps, a reverse of two and maybe even a flea-flicker will all be part of the LA game plan, we assume – but something tells us the 33-year-old coach will gamble plenty on fourth-and-shorts and the like … play it fast-and-loose and it’ll keep this Rams’ offense fast and loose, okay?


Ladies and gentlemen …

Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will finish off this Football Season with a real bang come Super Bowl LIII as we win with the Side & Totals of the Patriots versus the Rams. Get ‘em on game day at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here and remember to cash every day with NBA and College Basketball Winners too!



(thru Monday, Jan. 28, 2019)


TEAM                     WON              LOST               TIE           PCT

San Antonio          31                   19                   1              .620

Dallas                     30                   19                   1              .612

Brooklyn                29                   22                   0              .569

Milwaukee            26                   20                   2              .565

Sacramento          28                   22                   0              .560

Denver                   27                   22                   0              .551

Oklahoma City      27                   22                   0              .551

LA Clippers            28                   23                   0              .549

Portland                 28                   23                   0              .549

Miami                    25                   22                   1              .532

Minnesota             26                   24                   0              .520

Orlando                 24                   23                   3              .511

Charlotte               25                   24                   0              .510

Utah                       25                   24                   2              .510

Boston                   25                   25                   0              .500

Indiana                   24                   24                   1              .500

Houston                 23                   25                   1              .479

New York               23                   25                   1              .479

Golden State         23                   26                   1              .469

Detroit                   22                   25                   1              .468

Philadelphia          23                   27                   0              .460

Toronto                  23                   28                   1              .451

Atlanta                   22                   27                   0              .449

New Orleans         22                   27                   1              .449

Cleveland               22                   28                   1              .440

Chicago                  21                   27                   2              .438

LA Lakers               21                   27                   2              .438

Washington          21                   27                   1              .438

Phoenix                  22                   30                   0              .423

Memphis               21                   30                   0              .412



NOTE: SB 53 coverage continues plus there’s College Basketball & NBA Notes too all week long here at Jim Sez.


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