GRAPHIC BY EMMA CHANG
By RANI CHOR
It was ugly. It was messy. It was filled with punt plays that bored audience members to tears. They do not call it the SUPER Bowl for nothing.
In just 14 punts, three converted field goals and one touchdown, the New England Patriots toppled the Los Angeles Rams, yet again, with a record low score of 13-3 on Feb. 3. However, to many avid fans watching the game, the score was not the only disappointing aspect of Super Bowl LIII.
Due to the Ram’s shameful offense, the Patriots had an almost too easy win, marking this year’s Super Bowl boring, dull and a shameful example of professional football. From the dead-end plays to the lackluster halftime show, fans are calling this year’s game the most boring Super Bowl ever.
Even Tom Brady, considerably named one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League (NFL), had a performance that can only be deemed as subpar. Immediately into the first quarter, Brady under-threw a pass to Patriot receiver Chris Hogan allowing the Ram’s cornerback Robey-Coleman an early interception. Additionally, the Patriots had an opportunity to get back on the scoreboard during the first quarter when kicker Stephen Gostkowski attempted a 46-yard field goal. Shockingly, he missed, becoming the first kicker to miss a field goal in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season.
Things finally started to pick up around the fourth quarter where punts became the highlight of the game.
Jared Goff the Ram’s quarterback, collided into Brandin Cooks at the 16-yard line and Ram running back Todd Gurley gained a 13-yard run that was called back due to offensive holding. During the next drive, Brady got back in the game with three connected passes, twice to Gronkowski and once to Julian Edelman. Gronkowski’s catch led to Sony Michel’s two-yard touchdown, the first and only touchdown this Super Bowl.
On the flip side, the Ram’s set a record for the most punts to begin a Super Bowl. Their defensive plays kept the Patriots at bay for the first three quarters. The game was tied 3-3 and going into the fourth quarter when the Patriots finally pushed the Rams to the end zone.
As a result, the Patriots brought down the Rams quarterback Jared Goff four times, holding him at a mere 229 yards and limiting the Ram’s ground game to 3.4 yards per carry. Though Patriots’ kicker Stephen Grotowski did not make a game-ending field goal like Adam Vinatieri, he did turn the Patriot’s seven-point lead to an incredible ten point advantage with a 41-yard field goal.
As fans cheered, many considered whether this was a stroke of the Patriot’s offensive brilliance or an apparent lack of defense on the Ram’s part. For those not watching this year’s Super Bowl live, America’s cringe could be felt through the screen.
Finally, a missed field goal from the Rams ended the game like a sad punctuation mark, cementing the Patriot’s sixth Super Bowl victory.
In essence, the Patriots won the 2019 Super Bowl not only because of the immense talent on their team, but the spirit that each player had in themselves. For example despite being called “Too old. Too small. Too slow,” much of the championship can be credited to Edelman for his game-sealing touchdown drive. Though the Ram’s sluggish offense was one play too many that ultimately dragged them down, let’s not forget that the Patriots delivered one of its best defensive plays during this game. For once, Tom Brady shined a spotlight on the defensive line and their cunning plays against the Ram’s formation.
Contrary to popular belief, during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, many were asking: will this finally be the end of the Patriots? With Tom Brady, the aging quarterback, and Gronkowski the tight end injured, wrapping up their sixth Super Bowl championship seemed impossible, until a strong finishing kick, and a loud cheer from the crowd proved all skeptics wrong.
It is clear that the Patriots are a team worthy of mention not only because of its talented players, but their ironic “we’re not done yet” spirit after qualifying for their ninth Super Bowl.
Ultimately, the Patriots are undoubtedly one of the best football teams of this generation, while this game was one of the worst. This year’s Super Bowl LIII only happens once, and thank goodness for that.