Super Bowl LIII

Bedard’s Pick: Can the Patriots cap their run with another title that echoes their first?

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(Sylvia Allen/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — There's a beautiful symmetry to the fact the Patriots are facing the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Seventeen years ago, this whole tremendous run by the Patriots started with an Adam Vinatieri kick to beat the St. Louis Rams in a dome — now known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome — in Super Bowl XXXVI.

So many wins -- and four more championships later -- New England will look to bookend its first title facing the Rams about 450 miles north in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Oh so much has changed in that nearly two decades. But what hasn't been altered — Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft — is the foundation of one of the greatest runs in the history of professional sports.

Will that run continue with, perhaps, one last title? Or will the Patriots go back to Foxborough with a second straight stunning loss to an NFC upstart?

Let's dig into what we think will be the important factors in this matchup, and then we'll give our prediction.