New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks field during NFL football practice, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Atlanta, as the team prepares for Super Bowl 53 against the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo: AP)
The Latest on the Super Bowl (all times local):
No matter what happens in today’s Super Bowl, Patriots coach Bill Belichick will be on top of the record book.
He has already coached in more Super Bowls than any other coach (nine going on 10) and already has more wins than any other coach (five with a chance for six).
If the Patriots lose, Belichick will also find himself sharing space the top of the ‘L’ column with his fourth loss. There are some pretty good names there, though: Don Shula, Bud Grant, Marv Levy and Dan Reeves.
The Los Angeles Rams will attempt to cap their remarkable two-year turnaround under coach Sean McVay with their franchise’s first Super Bowl championship in 19 years.
Just three seasons after returning to LA from St. Louis, the Rams are heading into Mercedes-Benz Stadium led by quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, two-time AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and McVay.
The Rams had been through 13 consecutive non-winning seasons and hadn’t won a playoff game in 12 years before they hired McVay, who was 30 at the time. The youngest head coach in modern NFL history immediately engineered a seven-game improvement last season.
He followed it up by taking them to the Super Bowl for the first time in 17 years. Now 33, McVay would be the youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl.
Today’s game between the Rams and Patriots marks the eighth rematch in Super Bowl history.
Good news for the Patriots: The team that won the previous matchup is 4-3. New England defeated the Rams, then in St. Louis, 20-17 back in 2002.
Pittsburgh and Dallas have met three times. Pittsburgh won the first rematch, a 35-31 thriller in Super Bowl 13. Then, 17 years later, Dallas defeated the Steelers 27-17.
—Redskins 27, Dolphins 17 in Super Bowl 17; a rematch of Miami’s perfection-capping victory in Super Bowl 7.
—Giants 21, Patriots 17 in Super Bowl 46; a rematch of New York’s win, which spoiled New England’s run at an undefeated season, four years earlier.
—Cowboys 30, Bills 13 in Super Bowl 38; a rematch of Dallas’ crushing of the Bills the previous year.
—Eagles 41, Patriots 33 in Super Bowl 52; a rematch of New England’s win in Super Bowl 39.
Atlanta is ready to show off its sunny side — and its new stadium — to the world.
The city also is ready to cast aside 19-year-old memories of the ice storm that put a deep freeze on its last Super Bowl.
Despite some rain in the morning, temperatures in the 60s around kickoff provide hope that the league will open the retractable roof on the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The NFL and CBS would like to see the stadium’s signature camera-lens type roof mechanism in action.
One possibility is the roof will be open for pregame festivities, providing the open-air show for fans and the TV audience, and then close for the game. That would satisfy the NFL and keep fans comfortable as temperatures dip into the 40s.