In a defensive slugfest, the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams by a score 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. The combined 16 points scored set the record for lowest scoring Super Bowl of all-time.
Both offenses sputtered and stalled all game, with the Patriots running the lone Red Zone play of the night late in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard Sony Michel touchdown run. It was the only touchdown scored.
On the ensuing Los Angeles drive, New England essentially iced the game with a Stephon Gillmore interception on the 4-yard line with 4:17 remaining. The Patriots would go on to kick a field goal, giving them an insurmountable 10-point lead.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff struggled mightily in his first Super Bowl appearance, completing only 19/38 passes for 229 yards and an interception. The Patriots’ defense repeatedly took away his first option, forcing Goff into numerous uncharacteristic miscues. This all came in addition to a number of blown opportunities by Los Angeles, including a surefire touchdown that was dropped by Brandin Cooks midway through the fourth quarter.
Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley was relatively absent from the Rams’ game plan, despite head coach Sean McVay’s pregame claims to the contrary. Gurley, nursing a lingering knee injury, was limited to just 10 carries after averaging 18.3 in the regular season. McVay said after the game that he “got out-coached” by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. It was McVay’s first Super Bowl appearance and Belichick’s ninth.
As for the Patriots, wide receiver Julian Edelman was awarded Super Bowl MVP for his 10-reception, 141-yard performance. The defensive tilt did not translate into a good statistical performance for Tom Brady, completing 21/35 passes for 262 yards and an interception. However, outside of the early interception, Brady did not commit any drastic errors that allowed the Rams to seize momentum. Ultimately, he delivered yet again on the game’s biggest stage, setting up Michel’s game-winning score with perfectly-placed 29-yard bomb to Rob Gronkowski.
The Brady-Belichick tandem in Foxborough, Massachusetts has now produced its sixth Super Bowl victory in its ninth appearance. To shed light on the absurdity of these stats, Brady and Belichick are now tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl titles of all-time. In less than 20 years, Brady and Belichick have equaled the success of a Steelers organization that is considered to be the most successful in all of football. If New England wins another title during their reign, the duo will have more championships than any other franchise in NFL history, only further cementing the Patriots’ claim to the title of greatest dynasty in all of sports.