By Norm Elrod

(CBS LA/CBS Local) — The Super Bowl is a sports spectacle unlike any other. And Super Bowl LIII, which has taken over Atlanta this week, is certainly living up to the hype. But as Sunday nears, the wide view of the cultural event narrows to focus on the football game itself. What matters in this matchup between the AFC champion New England Patriots and the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams?

The Patriots have surged in the playoffs, averaging 39 points per game with an offense that once seemed to lack the firepower needed for a serious playoff run. No one is doubting the Brady/Belichick duo and their arsenal now. And betting against a Patriots team going for its sixth Super Bowl title in its ninth Super Bowl appearance of the past two decades, certainly seems risky.

The Rams like their chances behind Jared Goff and Sean McVay, Brady and Belichick’s younger, greener counterparts. The Rams entered the playoffs as the NFC’s top seed, after opening their season with eight wins and cruising to a 13-3 finish. The playoffs have been a bumpier ride, with hard-fought wins over the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints, who previously ended their regular-season winning streak.

But the past is prologue, as they say. The Patriots and Rams are evenly matched, and the outcome of Super Bowl LIII will likely hinge on the games within the game.

Stream the Patriots-Rams in Super Bowl LIII on CBSSports.com.

CBS Boston’s Dan Roche and CBS Los Angeles’s Kevin Cuenca join us to help answer four questions about the matchup:

  1. What specific matchup could decide the Patriots-Rams Super Bowl?
  2. Which team has the advantage in these positional matchups: QB, RB, WR, TE, Defense?
  3. How similar will the Patriots-Rams Super Bowl LIII matchup be to their last Super Bowl matchup in 2002?
  4. What’s the secret to the long, successful Brady/Belichick run?

Their answers certainly shed light on what promises to be an exciting Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta this Sunday on CBS.

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