Photo credit: @Patriots
By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Sunday, February 3, 2019
Down at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots combined their offensive efforts to become the first teams to go three quarters in a Super Bowl game without a touchdown.
That changed in the fourth quarter, when New England running back Sony Michel scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl LIII, a 2-yard jaunt that put the Patriots up 10-3.
One field goal later, the New England Patriots made a 13-3 lead hold up despite a late Rams charge and defeated Los Angeles to win their sixth Super Bowl. It was the Patriots’ second NFL championship in three years and their sixth since 2001.
Veteran quarterback Tom Brady did not receive the game’s most valuable player award — that went to Patriots’ wide receiver Julian Edelman, who racked up 141 receiving yards.
Seventeen years ago, the Patriots shut down a high-powered Rams offense in a Super Bowl. New England did the same thing in SB LIII, holding the Rams to an average of 3.4 rushing yards per carry and quarterback Jared Goff to 229 passing yards and no touchdowns. Goff was sacked four times.
In the first half, all six of the Rams’ drives ended with a punt.
Los Angeles tried to answer, but with 4:17 left in the fourth quarter, Goff was picked off by the Patriots’ Stephen Gilmore deep in New England territory. That play led to Stephen Gotkowski’s second field goal of the game, a 41-yard effort that gave the Patriots a 10-point advantage with 1:12 left.
The Rams’ offense, which was essentially shut down for most of the night by the Patriots’ defense, briefly came to life. With 5 seconds left, the Rams’ Greg Zuerlein missed a 48-yard field goal attempt, as Los Angeles hoped to make it a one-possession game.
New England opened the scoring on Stephen Gotkowski’s 42-yard field goal with 10:29 left in the second quarter. That accounted for the lowest halftime score in Super Bowl history since SB IX in 1975, when Pittsburgh led Minnesota 2-0 at the break.
The Rams tied the game at 3-3 in the third quarter on Zueriein’s 53-yard field goal.
In the record books, Rams punter Johnny Hekker launched the longest-ever punt in a Super Bowl – 65 yards, even if it took a 27-yard roll to do it. Elias Sports Bureau reports that Los Angeles also set a Super Bowl mark for consecutive punts to begin a game — eight. Zuerlein’s 53-yard field goal was the first from beyond 50 yards in 15 years.
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick became the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl at age 66. Brady, at age 41, is the oldest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl, passing Peyton Manning, who won the title with Denver at age 39.
Brady is also the all-time leader in individual Super Bowl wins with six, passing Charles Haley.
At halftime, Maroon 5 paid tribute to SpongeBob SquarePants. Adam Levine removed his shirt to display his tattoos, providing more excitement than the first half offered. Rapper Big Boi made an appearance, and rapper Scott concluded the halftime show by performing “Sicko Mode” before falling backwards into the crowd of unpaid volunteers.
On social media, fans expressed their displeasure with the halftime show, many calling it “the all-time worst ever halftime show.” No memory, apparently, of the days of marching bands.