It wasn’t exactly played how it was drawn up, a high-flying affair of potent offenses. Nevertheless, an outcome that surprised no one except for how we got there. Defense made a rare appearance in a game that was billed to be dominated by two great offenses. In the end, it was the New England Patriots thudding their way to a sixth Super Bowl title with a 13-3 win over the wet behind the ears Los Angeles Rams. It wasn’t pretty. However, it was one for the classic throwbacks thought to be a foregone conclusion by today’s NFL standards. Our Super Bowl betting preview predictions were thankfully on point too.
It wasn’t supposed to happen. All year long, the Patriots were doubted. At times, it appeared that father time had arrived. That 41-year old Tom Brady was on the down side. That 66-year old coach Bill Belichick’s league domination would take a turn.
But back to the defense. Tom Brady gave credit where credit was due in his post-game interview, pointing to the Patriots defense playing their best game of the year. And did they ever. The mastermind plan coach Belichick drew up to contain the league’s second-best scoring offense was stifling, suffocating an explosive offensive in a way no one thought was possible. Limiting Rams quarterback to 19 of 38 passes for 229 yards with the type of pressure that left him noticeably apprehensive. A defense that confined the Rams to 57 yards in the first half and no more than five plays in any drive for three quarters of action. A defense that completely shut down running back Todd Gurley and limited the Rams to zero snaps inside New England’s 20-yard line. A defense that held them to a measly field goal and sealed the win with an interception after Brady orchestrated the game’s lonesome touchdown highlighted by catches from Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, and a scoring run from Sony Michel.
Give the Rams defense credit as well, taking a page from the New York Giants playbook of how to beat the Patriots. They had success in pressuring Brady, intercepting his first pass of the day and restraining his offense to the tune of 3 of 12 in 3rd down efficiency. In the end, unlike the Giants teams, they couldn’t put up any points. Any Rams player, coach, or fan would’ve taken allowing 13-points to the Patriots, however never would’ve imagined only scoring three points of their own. Aside from 10 catches for 141 yards for game MVP Edelman, they had the Patriots out of rhythm.
Super Bowl records were broken, though not the type to be expected. The lowest combined score by both teams (16); fewest by the winner (13); most consecutive punts by one team (Rams with 8).
With another Super Bowl win, New England now ties the Pittsburg Steelers with six Lombardi Trophy’s. There’s always next year for the doubters. I mean, Brady will be 42 and coach Belichick 67. This has to be it for them right?