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The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Ranking the Top 5 Players in Super Bowl LIII

There have never been more hard hitting questions surrounding a Super Bowl. Everything from controversial missed calls, to Tom Brady’s pending retirement, has been on the minds of football fans everywhere. But one recurring question stands out: which players will have the biggest impact? In order to answer that, here is a list of the top 5 players in Super Bowl LIII.

5. Todd Gurley

Before the emergence of CJ Anderson, Todd Gurley looked like the best running back in the league this year by a solid margin. Not to say that what Gurley has done is not impressive, but it seems as though almost any running back you plug into this Rams offense is positioned to put up big numbers due to the versatility of the vertical threats on this team that open up the run game.

Gurley has arguably the highest ceiling out of any player in this Super Bowl. But his importance to his team is curbed by CJ Anderson and  the fact that the Patriots will likely stack the box and put pressure on Goff to beat them through the air. Regardless, Gurley has the propensity to impact this game with his unreal athleticism and IQ. It will be interesting to see how much he is used against this Patriots defense.

4. Jared Goff

The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft has a lot to prove against the best-coached defense in the league. While the Patriots D does not have a star-studded roster, Goff will have to orchestrate the offense to near perfection in order to beat this group.

Since he broke out in the 2017 season, the youngster was selected to his second Pro Bowl this year after leading the Rams to a 13-3 finish and into the Super Bowl. Statistically speaking, Goff is certainly an above average QB, but has not put up the best numbers in the playoffs with a passer rating of only 79.5, making him far from the most important player on this stacked Rams team. Goff will have a huge impact on his teams success, but is simply too inconsistent to put above anyone else on this list.

3. Julian Edelman

Seeing Julian Edelman on this list may come as a surprise to most. But when looking at the things he has done for this Patriots team it would be absurd to place him outside of the top-five best players in the Super Bowl.

He is rated as the number one wide receiver in this years playoffs by Pro Football Focus for a reason, after averaging 123.5 yards in his first two games and making plays whenever the Pats seem to need him most. He has been Tom Brady’s top passing option so far this postseason and that won’t change with the way he has been playing, so expect a high usage rate and big things from Edelman in Atlanta.

2. Aaron Donald

Arguably the most talented player on either team is Aaron Donald who has revolutionized the defensive tackle position. Standing only 6 feet tall and setting a league record for being the first interior defensive linemen to put up over 20 sacks is absurd to say the least, and will make the Pats game plan for Donald big time.

Donald will likely be double teamed almost every play, opening up opportunities for other member of this Rams defense, such as Ndamukong Suh, to make plays. Not to mention he is one of the few players that can overcome a double team on most plays. Overall, Donald is a freak of nature that demands a lot of attention and has the ability to affect the game in so many ways.

1. Tom Brady

Brady is simply the best player of all time, and it should come as no surprise that he is number one on this list. He is the only player with four Super Bowl MVPs and is a favorite to land another one as the clear cut leader and greatest competitor the NFL has ever seen.

Sure TB12 is 41 years old. But he has proven that he should never be doubted no matter what. If the game is close and Brady has the ball with time running down it is almost impossible to stop him. The Patriots are favored to win because of Brady, and while there are a million stats I could pull out about the man it is likely you have heard them all… so need I say more?

-Greg King

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