Hub Arkush: 5 biggest storylines for Super Bowl LIII

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There are several themes you will hear over and over and over again, and since we’re pretty sure these will be five of the biggest, let's get a head start:

Luke Skywalker meets Obi-Wan Kenobi

I know, I know, the majority of you would prefer Bill Belichick in the role of Darth Vader. But there is no question Sean McVay is the young Jedi who’s exceeded every expectation so far and appears to have the “Force” with him, and call Belichick whatever you like as long as it ends in the GOAT.

In the 41 Super Bowls I have covered, I cannot remember a coaching matchup even close to as intriguing as this one, and the over/under on how many times each will be asked about the other should open around 1 million.

The Rams got a gift, and the Saints got jobbed

That will be the headline in New Orleans for the next two weeks, but it won’t make it true.

Did the officials miss a blatant pass interference call on Rams nickel corner Nickell Robey-Coleman against Tommylee Lewis? Absolutely!

Had the flag been thrown, were the Saints guaranteed a touchdown rather than the 31-yard field goal they settled for to take a 23-20 lead, or could they have run the clock out before kicking what would have been the game-clinching field goal? No and no.

Did the officials have anything to do with the Rams answering with a 48-yard field goal to get the game to overtime, or a 57-yard OT game-winner? Nope, not a thing.

After the Saints won the coin toss and got the ball to start OT, giving them complete control of their own destiny until Drew Brees threw a pick, were the officials involved? Nope.

Neither team played their best football. The Saints just got a lousy break and didn’t do enough to win, while the Rams did just enough.

The Rams absolutely deserve to be in Atlanta — and it’s a real shame they’ll have to spend the next two weeks explaining why.

Are the Patriots the greatest franchise in NFL history? Admit it now: unless you’re a Patriots fan, you were pulling with all your hearts for the Chiefs, or the Chargers ... or anybody but the Patriots. But here they are again — three Super Bowls in a row, 11 overall, 9 for Brady and Belichick together. Certainly Halas’ Bears, Lombardi’s and Lambeau’s Packers teams, Brown’s Browns, Walsh’s 49ers and Landry’s and Johnson’s Cowboys are all in the conversation. But with clearly the greatest coach and greatest quarterback of all time, and probably the greatest tight end, there will be no shortage of debates over the next couple weeks on whether the Pats are the best pro football organization ever. What happened to Todd Gurley in New Orleans ... and what happens next? How is it possible that Todd Gurley, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, in arguably the biggest game in Rams franchise history, received exactly four carries — C.J. Anderson was given 16 — and was targeted just three times in the passing game, spending most of the fourth quarter and overtime on the sideline? It defies logic, and McVay’s “no big deal, he’ll have a great Super Bowl” comments after the game will make it an even bigger story once the Rams touch down in Atlanta. How Gurley handles the media interrogations he’s about to go through, and what he does against the Pats on Super Sunday might be career defining. Will this be the last hurrah for Belichick and Brady? Neither the coach nor the quarterback have given any indication they are ready to walk away; in fact, they’ve said quite the opposite. But this one wasn’t supposed to happen. Remember, they were the underdogs. It will be pure conjecture based on no facts at all, but I promise that you are about to read and hear thousands of reports and interviews about Brady and Belichick riding off into the sunset together if they win this one — and the reports probably won’t stop until they’re back together again next year in Miami.

Are the Patriots the greatest franchise in NFL history?

Admit it now: unless you’re a Patriots fan, you were pulling with all your hearts for the Chiefs, or the Chargers ... or anybody but the Patriots. But here they are again — three Super Bowls in a row, 11 overall, 9 for Brady and Belichick together.

Certainly Halas’ Bears, Lombardi’s and Lambeau’s Packers teams, Brown’s Browns, Walsh’s 49ers and Landry’s and Johnson’s Cowboys are all in the conversation.

But with clearly the greatest coach and greatest quarterback of all time, and probably the greatest tight end, there will be no shortage of debates over the next couple weeks on whether the Pats are the best pro football organization ever.

What happened to Todd Gurley in New Orleans ... and what happens next?

How is it possible that Todd Gurley, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, in arguably the biggest game in Rams franchise history, received exactly four carries — C.J. Anderson was given 16 — and was targeted just three times in the passing game, spending most of the fourth quarter and overtime on the sideline?

It defies logic, and McVay’s “no big deal, he’ll have a great Super Bowl” comments after the game will make it an even bigger story once the Rams touch down in Atlanta.

How Gurley handles the media interrogations he’s about to go through, and what he does against the Pats on Super Sunday might be career defining.

Will this be the last hurrah for Belichick and Brady?

Neither the coach nor the quarterback have given any indication they are ready to walk away; in fact, they’ve said quite the opposite.

But this one wasn’t supposed to happen. Remember, they were the underdogs.

It will be pure conjecture based on no facts at all, but I promise that you are about to read and hear thousands of reports and interviews about Brady and Belichick riding off into the sunset together if they win this one — and the reports probably won’t stop until they’re back together again next year in Miami.

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