Super Bowl LIII Recap: “They’re still here”

Drew McDonald, Sports Editor

Graphic by Drew McDonald

After the Patriots beat the Rams, 13-3, in a low scoring affair, fans had mixed emotions of the style of play in the biggest NFL game of the year including yours truly. Here is a breakdown of some major takeaways from Super Bowl LIII.

  1. Defense was the name of the game: Prior to the game kicking off, both teams were projected to score at least 20 points due to the star power on offense for both teams. Going into the game, Quarterback Jared Goff was rattled by the heavy New England Patriots pass rush and Running Back Todd Gurley wasn’t 100 percent throughout the game (10 rushes for 35 yards) which gave the Patriots an advantage. For the Patriots, Quarterback Tom Brady threw an interception to Linebacker Cory Littleton in the first drive which seemed to be a bad omen for the team from New England.
  2. This was the Super Bowl win that Patriots fans will least brag about: In order to brag about a big win, that requires blowing the opposing team out of the water or making constant highlight reels throughout the game. This wasn’t the case as the game was as exciting as sitting through a lecture on how grass grows. The Patriots last Super Bowl win was when they overcame a 28-3 deficit against the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 and it didn’t matter which side you were on, the game had action. The players who got the most attention in the first half of this past Super Bowl were the Punters and Kickers so we have to put that in perspective. There was only one touchdown in the entire Super Bowl and it came on a short rush by Running Back Sony Michel. This game is not worth bragging over by the water cooler.
  3. Give credit to Sony Michel: The biggest narrative to the game was if Tom Brady still had the mojo/killer instinct/etc. and hardly any big sports articles mentioned Sony Michel. The rookie out of the University of Georgia had a solid game, rushing for 94 yards on 18 carries with a rushing score that had a big effect on the game. Brady had zero touchdowns in this game and he was the first player being interviewed postgame on the CBS telecast, Michel was nowhere in sight. Michel also led the NFL in postseason rushing yards (242) and rushing scores (5). Prepare to hear more about Sony Michel in the coming years.
  4. This was the most Bill Belichick coached Super Bowl since 1990: Let’s take the DeLorean back to Tampa in 1990 when Quarterback Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills took on Linebacker Lawrence Taylor and the New York Giants. Marv Levy of the Bills squared off against Bill Parcells in a coaching battle. The smaller gent with a bowl cut on the Giants sidelines was Belichick who was a Defensive Coordinator at the time. Throughout the game, Belichick’s play-calling stifled the Bills offense and when it came to crunch time, the Giants eked by on a famous wide right field goal by Kicker Scott Norwood. Although there was more scoring in the 1990 game, the feel was eerily similar as Kicker Greg Zuerlein shanked a field goal that would have put the Rams within one possession of the Patriots with a chance of recovering an onside kick and scoring again. Either way, this was a pure Bill Belichick coached game that showed shades of a previous Super Bowl

Taking a step back and looking at this past Super Bowl, this was a defensive battle but usually that would imply some offense was involved. The Patriots offense basically rode the defense’s coattails all the way to their sixth Super Bowl Championship in the Brady-Belichick era.


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