Game changers: 6 Super Bowl stars key to their team's chances on Sunday
Super Bowl LIII is all set to take place in Atlanta on Sunday night as the New England Patriots face off against the Los Angeles Rams. We take a look at six NFL stars who have the talent to be the game's Most Valuable Player.
We couldn't start anywhere else, could we? Brady is, by almost everyone's standards, the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
The five-time Super Bowl champion may be 41 years of age, but he's still every bit as good as he was five years ago and he's still the inspirational leader of the Patriots team.
Without him, it's hard to see the Patriots having the level of dominance we've seen from them over the last few years. But with him under center, the Pats are never out of contention.
He's won five Super Bowls, and he's been the Super Bowl's MVP on four occasions. If the Patriots win, it's a fair bet that he'll be the reason why.
The Los Angeles Rams quarterback is still a relative newcomer compared to his more senior opposite number, but he's heading into the Super Bowl on the back of a brilliant third season in the NFL.
Once questioned as a possible draft bust, Goff has buried those doubts with a superb season leading the livewire Rams offense in 2018.
And now, after a series of brilliant throws in the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, Goff looks in the form of his life heading into the big show this weekend.
All the talk is about Brady being the GOAT, but Goff might just be ready to steal his thunder on the big stage this weekend.
Rookie running back Sony Michel took a little while to ease his way into head coach Bill Belichick's main offensive plans, but the former Georgia Bulldogs star has grown into not just a feature back for the Patriots, but the team's most dynamic rushing threat.
Aided and abetted by powerhouse fullback James Develin, who has consistently punched holes in opposition defenses to allow Michel's quick feet to shine, the rookie star has become a major weapon for the Patriots this season.
Michel's displays in the playoffs have taken things to a new level, and he represents the best chance of a rookie winning the Super Bowl MVP award this year.
One of the big questions heading into this weekend's Super Bowl surrounds the fitness and form of the Rams' star running back. At his best, Todd Gurley is untouchable as the NFL's best running back, and during the regular season he delivered the goods once again.
But in the playoffs his form dropped off, and he was used sparingly during the NFC Championship Game against New Orleans, with powerhouse reserve C.J. Anderson stepping into the breach while Gurley stood on the sidelines.
If Gurley is fit and firing, he could be a game-winner for the Rams. But if he's only a bit-part player once again, the Rams may find themselves up against it on offense.
Every quarterback needs a go-to target, a big-game, big-play player who they can rely on to deliver the goods and make crucial plays at crucial times. For Tom Brady and the Patriots, that man is two-time Super Bowl-winning tight end Rob Gronkowski.
"Gronk" may not have had as prolific a regular season as we've seen in previous years, but he's turned up the output in the post-season and the fun-loving Patriots star had an incredible game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
He'll be Brady's go-to man once again in the Super Bowl and, if he's targeted as frequently by his quarterback as he was against the Chiefs, he could be a major offensive factor in the game on Sunday.
Ask around the NFL about the most feared defensive force in the league and many will mention the name of Aaron Donald. The Rams' defensive lineman is arguably the most dominant lineman in the game, and his constant pressure has helped shake the most composed quarterbacks out of their comfort zones this season.
The Super Bowl MVP award is more often than not won by offensive players, but if a defensive player is going to win it at this year's game, Donald will be the most likely candidate to claim the award.
The Rams would need to win, and he would need to have an incredible day to overcome the Patriots' in-form offensive line. But if anyone can prove the game winner from the defensive side of the ball, it's Donald.