Super Bowl LIII: Another Boston-LA Showdown

Lack of experience proves too costly for Sean McVay's unit

Photo by Super Bowl Twitter

Cole Mingo, Staff Reporter

Like it or not, the New England Patriots win Super Bowl LIII in low-scoring fashion.

Both the Rams and the Patriots found themselves in the Super Bowl after overtime wins in their respective conference championship games. After two weeks of media hype, the infamous Boston-Los Angeles rivalry was once again renewed at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. As usual, the captains strolled to midfield, the coin was flipped, and the greatest sports event of the year was underway.

The first quarter was defined by a stout Patriots defense, but a sloppy offensive and special teams exhibition. Tom Brady’s first attempted pass in the game was intercepted by Rams linebacker Cory Littleton, which negated New England’s first offensive drive. However, an unimpressive series from the Rams gave the ball right back to New England. Despite Brady rectifying his previous interception, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a 46-yard field goal, leaving the game scoreless. After two quick possessions from both teams, the quarter came to a close.

Quarter two began with the Patriots finally receiving three points due to their offensive execution; Gostkowski redeemed himself with a 42-yard boot that gave the Pats a slight 3-0 lead with 10:29 left in the first half. Lone behold, this would be the only score of the quarter. The Rams were able to scavenge some offensive production after the New England score, but were never able to put the ball in the endzone or between the goal posts. A failed fourth down attempt late in the second quarter by Belichick’s squad squandered a scoring opportunity, and shortly after the teams trotted to the locker rooms with the score still at 3-0.

The third quarter continued to demonstrate the defensive tone of the game. A mix of incomplete passes, short runs, and insuperable field position incited little offense. Yet, a few long passes from Jared Goff put Los Angeles’ Greg Zuerlein in range for a 53-yard field goal. The Lincoln Pius X and University of Nebraska at Omaha graduate sailed the ball through the goal post, knotting the match 3-3 with 2:11 left in the third quarter. Soon after, the buzzer sounded, and only the final quarter remained.

At first, it appeared like neither team wanted to score; the punters seemed to be on the field more than the quarterbacks! Then, as if a beast had been awakened, Brady threw a 29-yard completion to tight end Rob Gronkowski, which spotted the ball at the Rams’ two yard line. Moments later, running back Sony Michel punched the ball into the endzone with 7:00 left in the game. Tack on a Gostkowski extra-point, and the Patriots have a 10-3 advantage. In response, the Rams offense began to move the ball down the field easily, with wide receivers Cooks, Reynolds and Woods contributing big gains. Then, to Los Angeles fans’ despair, Goff’s pass was intercepted by Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore with 4:24 to go. Backed up against its own goal line, New England was content with running the ball and eating the clock, and they did so successfully. Running backs Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead charged their way into Gostkowski’s range, who then connected from 41 yards out to give the team from Massachusetts a 13-3 lead with 1:16 to go. After a failed last chance effort from Los Angeles, the clock expired with a final score of 13-3.

In spite of a lack of offensive excitement, it was a historic night for Brady, who clinched his sixth Super Bowl win and became the player with the most Super Bowl rings in NFL history. Julian Edelman was crowned MVP, having recorded ten receptions for a total of 141 yards. It also should be noted that Rams punter Johnny Hekker broke the Super Bowl record with a punt of 65 yards, the longest punt ever to be kicked in the notorious event. Super Bowl LIII is now the lowest scoring Super Bowl in NFL history.

Another Super Bowl has come and gone. Amidst the sometimes humorous advertisements, glorious food and memorable fellowship, this game will always attract strong viewership. The Lombardi trophy is a symbol of the arduous journey that the winning team makes to get to such a prestigious point. In a year’s time, the game will return. Who knows, maybe your team will be next to play for the trophy and be deemed Super Bowl champions.