How do you beat Patriots, Rams? These guys know

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams meet in Super Bowl LIII, and the teams combined for just eight losses in the 2018 regular season.

The Patriots, who finished the regular season at 11-5, suffered defeats to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans. The Rams capped off the regular season at 13-3 with losses to the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles.

So, what does it take to beat the two remaining teams contending for the league championship? spent time at the Pro Bowl in the past week catching up with some of the players from the teams that succeeded in getting the answer:


Jaguars DE Calais Campbell

"Oh, man. They're a tough team and they're tough to beat. There are ways to go about it, but the biggest thing is just try to make Tom Brady uncomfortable, put pressure on him up the middle and in space, play a lot of man-to-man. But they're so good at everything. He knows what you're going to be in before you're going to be in it, so you might as well just show your cards and try to be the best at it. I mean, the formula is never really simple. Football is simple in the general concepts, but everything starts getting very intense, you move on the fly, everybody starts doing different things and adjustments. At the end of the day, you just play good football. You go out there and just win your matchups -- win your one-on-one matchups -- to give yourself a chance."

Dolphins CB Xavien Howard

"You have to play your man. You have to get to Tom Brady first. He's the key guy. You have to have him thinking a lot, so get to Tom Brady first. Then, everything will take its place. You get Tom Brady first and you'll be good."

Steelers DT Cameron Heyward

"Stop the run early and often. You have to put pressure on Tom Brady, and then as an offense, I think you just got to capitalize on turnovers and you can't settle for three [points]. If you settle for three, you're giving them another opportunity to go up and get seven."


Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky

"It takes a great defense. We just played together that game and our defense came out on absolute fire. They couldn't do anything against our defense, and we did just enough on offense. We had some turnovers, but we did just enough to hold them down. You have to come out and shut them down and it takes great defense to win. That's what we had this year and that's what we had that night when we beat the Rams."

Bears DT Akiem Hicks

"What I'll say is this: they're a great team. They have a crazy amount of weapons, especially offensively. I'll start with one guy I know personally -- Cooks, Brandin Cooks. Todd Gurley. I can name all these names, but you already know them. Elite players make elite plays. So, for this type of game, I can only imagine what kind of workload those guys are going to get. It's going to be tough to beat those guys."

"You got to stop 99 [Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald]. That's a key. And you just got to play physical; I'm talking offensively. Clearly, our defense did a hell of a job putting pressure on Jared Goff and having him create turnovers. I mean, those guys are spectacular, but offensively, you just got to be physical with those guys, run the ball really well and you got to control 99. It takes all three phases. They're a very, very good team. We knew that going into that game and we handled our business."

Bears C Cody Whitehair

"I think you definitely need to shut down their offense. They have some playmakers on the offensive side, but defensively they have some playmakers. Aaron Donald is a game wrecker. I think the biggest thing is to neutralize him, as far as speaking for the offense against their defense, is to neutralize him. Obviously, you have got to do that by wither sliding the line to him and getting four hands on him or helping in the backfield. I think if you can do that, there's a good chance of shutting him down. They have a really good defensive team. It's not just him; he's just the guy that shows up. You definitely got to come prepared to play."

"One of the things that we did is you have to stop Todd Gurley or try to contain him at least. They do a good job of motioning their guys and they're innovative with their offense and they get defenders moving. All it takes for you to get distracted by a motion or shift, and then Todd Gurley is running down the side. We were stable. We kept our gaps secure and that way when play-action pass, we want to keep the ball in front of us as long as they're not beating us on the run. I will say we played the play-action passes a little better. They throw it in front of us and we catch and tackle. Eventually we'll get up the field. It's that patient game. They're built for being in a close game. They're built for being in a shootout with their versatile offense that's innovative. You have to be kind of simple and make sure guys are in their spots."

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