ATLANTA — During the Patriots' postseason run to Super Bowl LIII, we've seen them use a physical running game to allow the passing game to be efficient.
In wins over the Chargers and Chiefs, the Patriots ran the ball (82 attempts) almost as many times as they threw it (90). Sony Michel has been the workhorse, with 53 carries and a 4.6-yard average.
The key to the running game? The Patriots have taken advantage of lighter fronts to manhandle opponents. They don't do anything offensively unless they know it stands a good chance of success. That they've run it so often and well doesn't come from a mentality of, "We need to run to set up the pass." Other teams that don't make four Super Bowls in five years do that. New England does things because they know it can — or, at least, they believe they can — due to matchups.
The Patriots had them against the Chargers and Chiefs.
Will the Patriots have a matchup advantage on Super Bowl Sunday against the Rams? Let's break it down, because this will go a long way to determining the winner.