Posted in: NFL
The Hall-of-Famer and the future superstar. The old and wise and the young and gifted. Coin the Tom Brady-Jared Goff showdown in Super Bowl LIII however you want.
But there’s no doubt it could turn into a back-and-forth battle for the ages.
This will be the second time in three weeks Brady has played a QB considered to be in the nucleus of the NFL’s future. Yet, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down himself, making people wonder when there’ll ever be a present without him.
He’s now in his ninth Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Goff is playing in his first. But with how explosive his and Sean McVay’s offense is, he will almost undoubtedly be in another Super Bowl somewhere down the line.
But for right now, he’s paired up against the greatest of all-time. Is there any way he could outperform Brady?
Today, I take a look at the two quarterbacks’ biggest stat props and decide who will have the better night and what’s a smart over/under bet. Passing yards, touchdowns passes, completions, and interceptions will be the stats I’ll use.
Whoever is better may not necessarily lead to a championship. But you should expect it to.
First up is this direct head-to-head bet from MyBookie. And Brady is the clear favorite here.
He’s averaged 322 passing yards in the eight Super Bowls he’s participated in. He’s thrown for 337 yards or more in all but one of his last seven playoff games. And the 1,196 he’s compiled in his last three (399 a game) is as good as there’s ever been.
So how does Goff compete with that?
Will, he did just throw 40 passes and nearly 300 yards (297) in the Rams’ win over the Saints last Sunday. And he especially hit his stride late in the game. That included his strike to Tyler Higbee for a TD pass that stopped the Saints from pulling away in the third quarter.
Goff had way more command in the pocket by the time the crucial moments of the game arrived. He could easily take that momentum into the Super Bowl.
He’ll be playing a defense that ranked five spots below where the Saints did this season. New England’s secondary may have better ratings, but their D-line brings the 3rd-worst amount of pressure.
With time to throw, Goff has an electric assortment of targets to hit, like Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Todd Gurley with his sure hands out of the backfield.
Nine of his last 12 playoff games have seen him throw at least 40 passes. This volume alone could push him ahead of Goff. Throwing for a completion percentage of 65% or higher in six of his last seven playoff games helps out as well.
Even on a sub-par day, he still managed 348 yards passing against Kansas City. Simply put, from the amount Brady throws, Goff would have to outdo his season average (293) by thirty yards or more.
The one thing that could help him is something that could hurt his team. That’s if the Pats’ run game, facing one of the NFL’s worst run defenses, were to rack up a ton of yards. Feeding Sony Michel and James White would take away from Brady’s 40-45 throws.
But +135 just isn’t enough value to wager on Goff here. He may break 300 yards against this defense if he throws 40 times for only the sixth occasion this season. But he won’t get far over that figure.
Brady has 971 yards overall in his last pair of Super Bowls. He will feel more pressure this game from the likes of Aaron Donald and the blitzes LA throws at him. But he always eats up too much of the field in playoff games.
To make this one fair, I put MyBookie’s separate over/under for them. Brady’s current number has odds of -130 on the “over”, Goff’s having -115.
The reason for wanting to make this comparison is that I like where each of their over/under on attempts lies. Brady’s is slated for 37.5 attempts. I think he’ll end up with 40-45. Goff is marked down for 35.5. I’d like him to get a few more than that.
So essentially, this becomes a game of who will be more accurate.
The only thing pointing to him throwing the ball less is if the Patriots gash LA over and over on the ground. But in a game this big, considered to be this close, New England will live or die by Brady.
I like for him to go “over” and get 30 completions. With 43 or 44 attempts, his completion percentage should float just under 70%.
For Goff, I see his completions going up simply because I see his attempts going up. Bill Belichick will bring the heat on him. But he’s lucky to have the route runners he has at wideout and a running back with great hands.
He had a completion percentage of 70% or above in eight games this year. But he hasn’t had one of those in over a month, when he did so against lowly Arizona. It’ll need to be somewhere in the 63-65% range to get him past 23 completions in this one.
Against teams ranked in the top half of the league against the pass, Goff had 24 completions per game. The Patriots rank 14th but held Patrick Mahomes to only 16 of 31 passing in the AFC Championship.
But Belichick is way better the second time playing quarterbacks. Mahomes was 23 of 36 in his first go-round against the Pats. I think Goff will have very similar numbers there, though I doubt he throws four touchdowns with it.
I’ll take the “over” on him too. But I still think his completion percentage will only finish around where Mahomes’ did (64%) his first time against New England.
So how about the mistakes? Will Brady and/or Goff throw an interception?
Brady has +100 odds that say he will, -130 odds saying he won’t. Goff is at -120 and -110 respectively. Part of that has to do with the latter only throwing one pick in his last four games. But that also came in the very last game.
For Brady, he uncharacteristically threw two INTs last Sunday and almost had a third.
In the regular season, Goff gave away 12 throws to the other team, Brady 11. Goff’s stat is inflated because of the nightmarish performance he had in Chicago when he chucked four picks. He has nine games without an INT this year and nine with at least one. He only has one in three postseason games.
For Brady, he may have thrown those pair of picks last week. But he’d also gone his previous four playoff games without one and had just one in his last six. All in all, 20 of his 39 playoff games have involved him tossing an INT.
Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes were among the QBs to throw picks against the Rams. The Patriots robbed Mahomes, Phillip Rivers, and Andrew Luck, among others.
I see this game starting off with tighter passing on a scripted game plan. But once teams make adjustments at halftime and the offenses open up more, the INTs are in play. With the defenses being as pick-happy as they are, I’d take both QBs to throw one to the other colored jersey.
Though I see each QB throwing an interception, that doesn’t mean I see either of them playing poorly.
Some of the bad will sprinkle into all the good considering how much they’ll be throwing in the 2nd half.
With that said, Goff only has two touchdown passes in his three career playoff games.
When you have Todd Gurley is the backfield, why not just let him finish off the drive instead of throwing into tighter parameters? And even with him banged up, the big bowling ball C.J. Anderson has stepped up in the run game.
Still, Rob Gronkowski and RB James White have made a name for themselves catching the ball in this area. And Brady has 10 multi-touchdown games in his last 13 playoff contests.
But this prop has him set at 2.5 over/under. Though he’s won four Super Bowl MVP awards and gone years with three straight games of 3 or more TD passes, his TD stats aren’t always so godly.
Only 11 of his 39 playoff games ended with him putting three or more TD tosses on the stat sheet. He averages 2.3 a game in the postseason. And even as of recently, just six of his 18 games this year ended with three or more scores.
This Rams secondary is ranked in the top-10 with two shutdown corners in Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. They gave up 1.93 TD passes a game this year. Take away Patrick Mahomes’ crazy six-TD game and the average is 1.67 over 15 games.
That Chiefs game was one of only four where the Rams gave up more than two TD passes.
They will be playing the greatest player of all-time. But I think there’s value in taking the “under” here at -105 (the “over” is -125).
He had six such games this season, including playoffs. But just one of those came after the Rams’ bye week in November. And that was against the 27th-ranked pass D (San Francisco). Forget three TD passes though. Goff only has that single time since November where he threw over one touchdown.
Both these QBs look like they’re on pace for 2-1 TD-INT outcome. If anything, take the “under” with Goff too. He’ll whether “push” it or not reach the number.
All said and done, I have both these quarterbacks helping their teams to a healthy chunk of yards.
They’ll each make one mistake to throw the game off its axis a bit. But they will rebound with big-time throws to push things down to the wire. So here’s the final line I have for both:
These are good but not great numbers. Still, they’re good enough to put them in the game MVP running if their team wins Super Bowl LIII.
And remember you can check our Top NFL betting sites to find even more fun Super Bowl 53 prop bets.