By: Denny Hackett
In one of the most uneventful Super Bowls in recent memory, the Patriots’ defense smothered the Rams to pull of a 13-3 victory.
The game started in normal Patriots’ Super Bowl fashion where neither team scores in the first quarter, and that basically summed up the excitement level for the entire first half. The Rams were held to just 57 yards, Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal and it ended with the Pats up three to nothing.
In the half the Pats locked the Rams down completely while Edelman was the only real bright spot for the Patriots’ offense with 7 catches for 93 yards as he passed Michael Irvin to become the number two playoff receiver of all time behind just Jerry Rice. Brady was okay at best in the half and threw his only interception in the first quarter.
Other than the Game of Thrones/Bud Light crossover commercial, most of the commercials were simply not good in my opinion. And the halftime show was even worse, NFL it’s not cool to tease us with Sweet Victory from Spongebob and then just not play it, the people want to be entertained!
The second half started even worse for the Pats after it appeared Patrick Chung broke his arm just a few plays in and was ruled out almost immediately after, forcing Duron Harmon into a more prominent role.
For the first half of the third quarter, all Nantz and Romo could talk about how great the punting was because there was nothing else to talk about.
It took the Rams a full 43 minutes to get on the board and tie the game up at 3, after another uneventful frame in the game. Despite a huge third down sack from Dont’a Hightower, Rams’ kicker Greg Zuerlein was still able to make up the distance with a 53 yard field goal.
Right after the Rams tied the game, Sony Michel came out of the gates with a 19 yard rush and I thought maybe, just maybe something exciting could happen but nope, the Pats were forced to punt again just moments into the fourth quarter.
It took three and a half quarters for the Patriots to finally do what they do best, come out with all the receivers outside and just throw the ball. They marched right down the field in five plays with four throws, including a 29 yard dime from Brady to Gronk, before Michel ran it in from two yards out to give the Pats a 10-3 lead.
Just as it looked like the Rams were going to score on the ensuing drive, Stephon Gilmore picked off a ball Jared Goff lobbed up for anyone to grab and the Pats took over, up seven with just over four minutes to go.
Then on the next drive, the Pats took the ball 72 yards, including two 26 yard rushes from Michel and Rex Burkhead to set Gostkowski up for a 41 yard field goal to put the Pats up 13-3 and effectively put the game out of reach with a two possession lead.
The Rams then tried their best to move down the field and got to the 30 yard line before Greg Zuerlein missed a 48 yard field goal. The Pats took over with 5 seconds to go and kneeled it down one last time to cement Brady and the Pats’ sixth Super Bowl win.
For the Patriots, Edelman led the way on offense with ten catches for 141 yards with Michel not too far behind with 94 rushing yards and the game’s lone touchdown. Hightower was an anchor on defense with two sacks and a pass defense but kept constant pressure on Goff. Edelman’s performance warranted him a Super Bowl MVP trophy and was the one constant throughout the entire game.
Brady played an okay game, finishing with 262 yards and the one interception but the defense along with Edelman and Michel pushed the Patriots to their sixth title.
The Patriots will savor their Super Bowl win but they have some serious questions going into the offseason. Does Gronk retire? Will they be able to sign their free agents?
The Pats may be celebrating but these questions will linger in the background.