Oops, they did it again. On Sunday, the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 to win their sixth Super Bowl since 2001, when they won their first franchise championship by beating… the Rams. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady cemented themselves as an all time coach-player duo. No other tandem has generated and sustained the same amount of success in the history of the NFL.
“Everybody counted us out from the beginning of the season to midseason. But we’re still here,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during the Lombardi Trophy ceremony. While I’m not sure that’s true (c’mon, Belichick, who honestly said the Pats had zero chance at another title?), the Patriots win was certainly impressive.
New England’s defense stifled Rams quarterback Jared Goff for four quarters, befuddling what is usually a powerhouse offense. Rams head coach, Sean McVay credited the Belichick and the Patriots for “mixing it up a little bit on defense.” McVay noted New England’s defensive line stunts, among other things, which generated pressure on Goff throughout the game.
“There is really no other way to put it,” the 33-year-old Rams coach said after the game. “I’m pretty numb right now, but, definitely, I got out-coached. I didn’t do nearly good enough for our football team.”
The game itself was a slog that featured 12 punts and just six combined points in a first half that ended in a 3-3 tie. The Pats were able to put together ten unanswered points in the second half, but neither Brady nor Goff looked particularly sharp throughout the game. To whit, both teams went a combined 4-20 on third down, and the game’s lone touchdown was a two-yard run from the Patriots’ fullback, Sony Michel.
The game’s best performance was provided by New England’s Julian Edelman, who collected 141 yards on ten catches, and was awarded the game’s MVP Award.
“[It’s] pretty surreal. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do,” Edelman told ESPN after the game. “I preach that. … I have to try to live to that.”