Super Bowl 53: Tom Brady vs. Jared Goff

Super Bowl 53: Tom Brady vs. Jared Goff

It’s old school vs. new school as Patriots veteran Tom Brady and Rams youngster Jared Goff square off under center in Super Bowl 53 as New England chases its sixth Lombardi Trophy and Los Angeles looks to establish itself as a franchise on the rise.

Not to mention there’s a redemption theme for the Rams, who fell to the Patriots in Super Bowl 36 as Brady cemented himself as the starter in his second season.

Here, we break down their performances to this point and what to expect from the championship showdown Feb. 3 in Atlanta — with the help of our colleagues at Opta. (If you like what you see here, give @OptaJerry, the official Twitter page for Opta’s NFL and NCAA stats-driven football coverage, a follow.)

How they stack up

2018-19 regular season

Quarterback Comp. Pct. Yards TD Int. Rating
Tom Brady 65.8 4,355 29 11 97.7
Jared Goff 64.9 4,688 32 12 101.1

2018-19 postseason

Quarterback Comp. Pct. Yards TD Int. Rating
Tom Brady 71.1 691 2 2 91.5
Jared Goff 58.8 483 1 1 79.5

First three seasons

Quarterback Seasons Comp./G Att./G Yards/G TD/G Int./G
Tom Brady 2000-2002 19.9 31.8 206.7 1.4 0.8
Jared Goff 2016-2018 20.3 32.7 252.1 1.7 0.7

Beyond the numbers

Brady, 41, and Goff, 24, are separated by the largest age gap (17 years, 72 days) of any starting quarterback matchup in Super Bowl history, so it’s obvious who has the upper hand when it comes to expertise. Brady is preparing for his NFL-record ninth appearance in the championship game. On the other hand, Goff has never made it this far into the postseason, as the Rams failed to get past the Falcons in the wild-card round of last year’s playoffs.

Ironically, Brady’s first Super Bowl win came 17 years ago at the conclusion of the 2001-02 season when the Patriots beat the then-St. Louis Rams on a game-winning field goal. Brady has won four more championships since then, most recently in 2015 and ’17.

Brady keeps getting better

After a lackluster performance during the regular season, Brady came out guns blazing in the playoffs.

An inspiring voice in the locker room, he’s also a prominent leader on the field. Brady has led 12 game-winning drives for the Patriots in the postseason, which is double the next closest quarterback (John Elway). Despite being known as a pocket quarterback, he also has six rushing touchdowns in his playoff career, tied for the 20th most by any player. Only Steve Young (eight) has more postseason rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

Brady’s skill in the backfield also gives him an edge considering he was sacked 21 times this season and Goff was sacked 33 times.

Should he continue his momentum and win again, Brady would own the most Super Bowl titles by any player and have the perfect opportunity to hang up his helmet given he began his career by beating the Rams to earn his first ring. Yet, he remains insistent on playing until he’s 45.

Goff is finding his groove

In his third NFL season, Goff is in the mix for MVP along with Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and favorite Patrick Mahomes.

But his hot streak cooled down the stretch before igniting once again in the final two weeks ahead of the playoffs. He then had an underwhelming outing at Dallas in the divisional round before rallying his team in New Orleans to win the NFC championship, overcoming a 13-point deficit.

Consistency will be a key factor for Goff going into battle against the seasoned Brady. Goff is the 14th youngest quarterback to have at least four fourth-quarter comebacks and four game-winning drives in a season. On the other hand, he had 12 fumbles this season, tied for the most in the league. He had 13 fumbles in the previous two seasons combined.

If he can cope with the pressure and get his offense going, Goff could join the likes of Eli Manning and Nick Foles as quarterbacks to best Brady in the big game.