The 53rd Super Bowl may not live long in the memory as far as the gameplay was concerned, however, it will go down in history for several reasons and firmly cements (if there was ever any doubt) New England’s position as the greatest sporting dynasty in history.
The game itself was best described by the end of the game quote from MVP Julius Edelmann:
“It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take that ugly win over a pretty loss any day.”
For those who missed it and have long memories, the game was a defensive slugfest which one would imagine a meeting of Pittsburgh’s steel curtain defence of the 1970s facing off against the 1985 Chicago Bears being. However take nothing away from the Patriots who gave a defensive masterclass in their 13-3 win which equals Pittsburgh’s record of six Super Bowl titles.
To The Game
The Rams punted on all six of their first-half possessions and had the princely total of two first downs and 57 yards of offence! Not that New England were much better on offence, with Brady throwing an interception on their opening drive and Gronkowski’s missed field goal on the second drive being the only one missed in the Georgia Dome this season. He did make amends three drives later by connecting from 39 yards to score the only points of the first half.
The second half carried on where the first half left off, with punts on the first four possessions, before the Rams kicked a field goal to tie the scores. Two more punts sent the game into the fourth quarter, however, as both defences started to wear down this ended up being the most interesting part of the game.
After the Rams final punt Brady drove the ball down the field from his own 31-yard line, thanks largely to the efforts of Rob Gronkowski, who pulled in two passes for 47 yards. Sony Michel’s 2 Yard TD run put the Patriots back in front and when Stephan Gilmore intercepted Jared Goff in the red zone the game was effectively over. New England added another field goal, and there was just enough time left for the Rams to complete a thoroughly miserable night for them by missing a consolation field-goal.
The final stats yardage wise gave a clear picture of New England’s dominance with the Patriots racking up 407 yards to LA.’s 260, and the Rams only had 62 yards rushing. Todd Gurley was largely anonymous all-night finishing with 35 yards on 10 carries, this was greatly inflated by a 16-yard run. Even the much vaunted Rams defence made very few big plays with Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh failing to register a sack between them.
Rams head coach Sean McVay was quick to take the blame stating
“Definitely I got out-coached, and I didn’t do nearly enough for our football team.”
It would be unfair to lay the blame wholly at his door as the Rams looked nothing like the team who had done so well in the regular season.
Records set – The Good.
Tom Brady picked up his sixth Super Bowl ring – an outright record for an individual player. He now has enough to make his own Infinity Gauntlet.
He is also the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
Thanks to this win he holds the record for career wins at 237.
He has tied NBA legend Michael Jordan with six Championships.
Bill Belichick at 66 is the oldest coach to start a Super Bowl as head coach and the oldest to it win it.
He holds the record for most wins (6) and appearances (9) as a Head Coach
He holds the record for most appearances as a Coach Inc. assistant positions (12).
Rams punter Johnny Hekker set the record for longest punt in Super Bowl history 65 – yards.
Records set – The not so good.
Sony Michel’s 2 Yard Rush was the only touchdown of the game which the fewest ever in a Super Bowl.
New England’s 13 – 3 victory was the fewest points scored by a winning team in Super Bowl history.
The Rams 3 points is the joint lowest score for any team tied with the 1971 Miami Dolphins.
16 total points is the lowest-scoring Super Bowl of all time.
So next up is the draft and it will be interesting to see how the LA Rams cope with not only this disappointing loss but their lack of salary cap given their slew of big-money signings. For New England it looks like business as per usual as neither Tom Brady or Bill Belichick have given any indication that the intent to retire.