From the NFL Newswire at

Jason Whitlock is really putting a target on his back with Patriots fans ahead of Super Bowl 53.

The “Speak For Yourself” co-host must be quite comfortable with the reactions he’s going to get if the Patriots win against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, because he’s predicting a Rams blowout. It’s about as contrarian as it gets. Very few people are predicting that kind of result, but Whitlock isn’t afraid to do so.

“We all agree the Patriots have been vulnerable,” Whitlock said to conclude his take, which sounds like he stopped watching the Patriots after they lost to the Steelers. “Their defense doesn’t have a star. Their offense lacks explosiveness. Tom Brady is showing a bit of his age; his touchdown-to-TD ratio (sic) has dipped this season. I think we’re looking at an ending as ugly as The Sopranos. The Rams are going to dominate New England.”

Whitlock used extensive TV references in his commentary, likening the Patriots’ impending doom in the Super Bowl to a bad TV show ending.

“Sunday’s Super Bowl feels [like] more than a season finale. It feels like a series finale,” says Whitlock. “An all-time great TV show is about to air its final episode. The Patriots dynasty is signing off the air Sunday night.

“Generally speaking, the all-time great TV shows do not stick their landings. They end in a heaping mess, with longtime fans dissatisfied and confused. Of course you remember how The Sopranos ended. HBO just cut to black. We have no idea if Tony choked on a buffalo wing, or if he’s still there with Carmella singing ‘Don’t Stop Believin'”.

His rationale? The Rams have a better coaching staff than the Chiefs did. And even a better roster when you look at … everybody?

“The Rams are the better football team from 1-53, and Rams coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips are the equal of Bill Belichick,” said Whitlock.

But if it takes McVay and Phillips to equal Belichick, doesn’t that give Belichick an advantage to have an extra coach at his disposal?

Anyway, Whitlock used McVay’s coaching performances against the likes of Jason Garrett in Dallas to say McVay has out-coached Belichick. Many agree that the latter has had one of his best coaching performances of his entire Patriots tenure, certainly in January. But that’s not going to stop Whitlock.

“[McVay’s] been a better coach than Belichick during the postseason,” continued Whitlock. “McVay talked his high-priced, flashy team into mauling the Cowboys in a street fight. He turned the Saints game by faking a punt deep in his own territory. He benched All-Pro running back Todd Gurley during the NFC Championship, and Gurley didn’t remotely object to the decision. McVay is Luke Skywalker, and he’s ready to slay New England’s Darth Vader.”

That last analogy is … actually pretty good. For the sake of New England fans, hopefully Sunday goes more like The Empire Strikes Back than Return of the Jedi.

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