The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl 53 last night (February 3rd) in Atlanta, winning their sixth Super Bowl to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for most titles. But this game was far from the Patriots dynasty's most exciting championship-winner, setting a record as the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. The first three quarters of the game seemed at times to be a punting showcase, as both teams managed to score only one field goal each -- and in fact, that was all the Rams scored -- until New England finally showed enough scoring spark in the fourth quarter to take home another Lombardi Trophy. Even though quarterback Tom Brady won the MVP in four of the five Super Bowls the Pats had previously won, the MVP last night went to receiver Julian Edelman, who was the most consistent standout of the game, making 10 receptions for 141 yards.
Lackluster First to Third Quarters:
Neither team scored in the first quarter, and in a sign of what was to come in the defense-dominated game, Brady was intercepted on the first pass he threw. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a 46-yard field goal, and Brady was sacked for the first time this post-season. But the Patriots got on the scoreboard first, with Gostkowski making a 42-yard field goal in the second quarter, while the Rams, led by 24-year-old quarterback Jared Goff, couldn't get anything going, and Goff got hit by a couple of the four sacks he was brought down by in the game. The teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime with New England up 3-0. Los Angeles finally put up some points in the third quarter on a field goal by Greg Zuerlein, but that would turn out to be all they'd score.
Patriots Break Out in Fourth Quarter:
The fourth quarter started with the teams tied at 3-3, the first time a Super Bowl has gone into the fourth without a touchdown, and it stayed that way until the Patriots finally scored a touchdown with seven minutes left to play, with rookie Sony Michel running in a two-yard score. The TD was set up a play earlier with a 29-yard catch by Rob Gronkowski on the Rams' two-yard line, the only time either team got into the red zone. The Rams tried to get the points back, with Goff finally putting together something of a drive, but he threw an interception that was picked off by Stephon Gilmore with 4:17 left at New England's two-yard line. The Patriots added another field goal with 1:12 left to take a 10-point lead. L.A. blew their final, really long-shot chance to come back when Zuerlein missed a 48-yard field goal with five seconds left. One more whistle and a Brady kneel-down, and the Patriots were champions again.
- Brady, at age 41, is the oldest winning Super Bowl quarterback. With his sixth Super Bowl win, Brady also passed Charles Haley to hold the record alone as the player with the most Super Bowl titles.
- Despite the record low-scoring game, the Patriots' 10-point margin of victory was the largest of their Super Bowl wins. They also tied for the lowest points allowed in a Super Bowl with the 1972 Dallas Cowboys, who held the Miami Dolphins to three points.
- Bill Belichick became the oldest winning Super Bowl head coach at age 66. He also has the most championships as a head coach with six.
- MVP winner Edelman missed all of last season, including the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, after tearing a knee ligament in the preseason.