ATLANTA — If Super Bowl 53 turns out to be a successful second stop on The Brandin Cooks Playoff Revenge Tour, two weeks after Los Angeles topped the wide receiver's original NFL team in New Orleans, the Rams will beat the Patriots on Sunday.

Cooks, who was traded to LA from New England before the season, was instrumental in helping the Rams outlast the Saints in the NFC championship game. He led the team with his seven catches for 107 yards on only eight targets, and he was even more effective than the stats indicate. Cooks, 25, employed his full skill set of quickness and speed, short and deep in a great mix of play calls by coach Sean McVay.

The Rams surely will try to get their top big-play threat going again by getting him involved all over the field Sunday. What's in doubt is how the Patriots will counter. Can they keep Cooks from celebrating the ultimate vengeance?

Rams-Patriots predictions from SN's experts

Cooks spent most of Super Bowl media week explaining how his lone season in New England last year made him a smarter player. He also has rare experience as a receiver who spent a year

getting a daily look at Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots' All-Pro cornerback.

"They're playing at a very high level ... playing man-to-man and doing a lot of different things," Cooks said of the Patriots in a conversation with Sporting News. "You kind of need to wait until the game to see what’s going on. Stephon does everything well. He's a very smart player and plays the ball well. I have a lot of respect for that guy."

As teammates, Gilmore and Cooks became great friends. Each has an understanding of what kind of challenge he will face against the other.

"He has great speed and he can run every route," Gilmore told SN, speaking about Cooks. "He's made plays lining up everywhere. He's a great player. I can't wait to match up against him."

Which brings up the biggest coverage question and mystery of Super Bowl 53: Will the Patriots shadow Cooks with Gilmore, or will they turn to the high-low bracket — a double-team, in essence — with another corner and safety?

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The latter plan worked for New England against Kansas City's speedy No. 1 wideout Tyreek Hill in the AFC championship game. Hill escaped for one, 42-yard catch downfield, but the Patriots took him out of the game. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes targeted Hill only three times.

But the Rams deploy Cooks in a different way than the Chiefs utilized Hill. Cooks works from the slot only a quarter of the time; Hill lines up there nearly half the time. The Rams have a strong co-No. 1 receiver in Robert Woods; the Chiefs' best receiving option beyond Hill was tight end Travis Kelce, who didn't have the same inside-outside lineup versatility Woods presents.

Against the Chiefs, the Patriots put Gilmore on Sammy Watkins, and even with Watkins catching four of his eight targets for 114 yards and burning Gilmore downfield without safety help, it worked in New England's favor. During the regular season, the Patriots used Gilmore on both all-around No. 1 receivers (DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Antonio Brown) and speedy deep threats (Stefon Diggs, Robby Anderson).

Because Gilmore is not a slot corner, chances are he will be matched up against Cooks when Woods lines up inside. The Patriots, then, will let a combination of Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones handle Woods, and they will have confidence in J.C. Jackson shadowing third wideout Josh Reynolds. When Woods (6-0, 195 pounds) lines up outside, though, the Patriots might use Gilmore's size (6-1, 202 pounds) to try to shut down the big receiver.

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Because the Patriots need to worry about Woods more than they did with Watkins, they won't always get the matchups they want. Cooks will get more chances to make big plays than Hill received, and if he takes advantage of them, he will open up underneath routes for the Rams. The Patriots' secondary will be left reeling with some of the assignment confusion they have had in their losses this season.

Regardless of who is covering him, Cooks needs to do much more for the Rams this year than his one catch for 23 yards on two targets for the Patriots in their Super Bowl loss to the Eagles last year. A big box score in Super Bowl 53 will convert Cooks' revenge and redemption into the most important thing: a victory.