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There’s a big disparity in experience between the two quarterbacks facing off in Super Bowl LIII. That has some fans wondering whether the Los Angeles Rams Jared Goff, who’s in his third season, can take on a quarterback with 19 years of NFL experience and the winningest QB record in the league. Goff’s a great player, but outperforming the New England Patriots legend Tom Brady is always a challenge. Here’s the thing, though. To take home a Super Bowl, Goff doesn’t have to be better than Brady.

How Does Goff Stack Up Against Brady?

The age difference between Goff and Brady is the largest ever for two Super Bowl quarterbacks. Goff was only seven years old when Brady won his first Super Bowl. It isn’t just age separating the two players.

Brady has five rings, as well as NFL records for the most regular season wins by a starting quarterback, the most playoff games started, the most postseason wins and the most division titles. Goff is in his third NFL season and has made it to the playoffs twice. This will be his first Super Bowl appearance.

Age certainly hasn’t slowed Brady down. He’s still in excellent physical condition, something he credits his famously regimented TB12 diet and exercise plan with, which goes way beyond the typical nutrition and lifting plan for football players. For the 2018 season, Brady has a quarterback rating (QBR) of 70.6, a completion rate of 65.8 percent, 29 touchdowns, and 4,355 yards passing.

Goff has performed well this season, too. He earned a QBR of 66.0 and a completion rate of 64.9 percent, scored 32 touchdowns and passed for 4,688 yards.

In the postseason, though, Goff has run into a bit of a slump. His QBR in the playoffs was 62.8 through two games in the playoffs this year. Goff’s playoff performance ranks 20th out of 26 postseason quarterback performances since February 2007, including Brady’s current postseason. Goff’s 62.8 QBR is more than 10 points lower than the rating for the average Super Bowl quarterback over that same period and almost 23 points below Brady’s current postseason rating.

Goff needs to play better in the Super Bowl than he has so far this postseason. He doesn’t, however, necessarily need to outplay Brady either. Goff has an excellent team around him, and this game is going to be more than just a battle of the quarterbacks.

A Bright Future Ahead

Goff has struggled a bit over the past few weeks, but that’s not to say he isn’t good. He’s still an excellent quarterback. He was among the top five in the league this year for yards per attempt and among the top 10 in passer rating. He’s been named to the Pro Bowl the past two years and was an MVP candidate this year — and he keeps getting better. In his rookie year, he had a passer rating of 63.6. In 2017, it jumped to 100.5 and it hit 101.1 in 2018. Goff, as well as the Rams, will likely only get better over the coming years.

Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd even went so far as to say that Goff is better than Brady was at this point in this career. He pointed out that in his first three Super Bowl seasons, Brady’s statistics were far less impressive than his current stats. Goff, meanwhile, has posted some notable numbers in his first Super Bowl season.

If the Rams win on Sunday, Goff will replace Brady as the second-youngest QB to win a Super Bowl. However the game turns out, people will likely have to start paying more attention to Jared Goff. To pull that off though, he doesn’t necessarily need to be better than Brady, just good enough to lift the trophy.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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