Super Bowl LIII from a Patriots fan perspective
Super Bowl LIII won’t be remembered for any highlight reel plays, a last-second game-winning touchdown, or a single game-changing play. It was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever, and in an era where the amount of points scored is the marker for how good a game is, Sunday’s season finale between the Rams and Patriots surely won’t be considered one of the best. The game featured just 16 points in total, with New England winning 13-3, a shock to everybody considering how well both offenses performed all season long. But to Patriots fans, this game means so much more.
Let’s take this all the way back to last year’s Super Bowl. After the loss, there were questions surrounding the future of the organization. Was Gronk going to retire? Has Belichick and Brady’s relationship crumbled past the point of no return? Why did Malcolm Butler spend the entire game on the bench while the Eagles picked apart New England’s secondary? Anybody who wasn’t a fan of the team had decided that this was the end for the Patriots dynasty. That storyline carried through the summer and into this season. Back-to-back losses to Jacksonville and Detriot in September meant that the dynasty was apparently over. Then they rattled off six straight wins, including a 43-40 win over the Chiefs. A Week 10 loss to the Titans and all of a sudden people were talking about a 7-3 team like their record was 3-7. A last-second loss to the Dolphins in Week 14, followed by a Week 15 loss to the Steelers and once again every ignorant ESPN talk show host (I’m talking about you, Kellerman) was questioning New England. In the end, New England wrapped up the regular season with an 11-5 record and yet another first-round bye with the #2 seed in the AFC. But still, nobody gave them a chance.
The Chargers were first up. Even though the game was in Foxboro, people were still expecting the Chargers to come out on top. Sony Michel had other ideas, leading New England to a 41-28 win, that was even more lopsided than the score suggests. The win meant that the Patriots would have to travel to Kansas City for the AFC Championship, and just about everybody had the Chiefs moving on to the Super Bowl. “The Patriots can’t win on the road,” they said. Brady is too old, the Patriots aren’t skilled, they’re too slow. New England went into Arrowhead Stadium, held the Chiefs scoreless in the first half, and despite a wild fourth quarter, came out with a 37-31 overtime win and another trip to the Super Bowl, the ninth of the Brady and Belichick era. “BUt tHE ovErtIMe RuLEs arENt fAiR”. Yes, the Patriots had the ball and scored first to end the game. But the rules have already been changed to give teams a better chance. A touchdown ends the game, but hold the first team to just a field goal and you still have a chance to win. The Saints had the ball first in overtime in the NFC Championship game, but the Rams still won. You don’t hear people complaining about the overtime rules there. Don’t like it? Maybe play defense.
After everybody was calling the Patriots dead for the last year, now all of a sudden people started acting like nobody doubted them. Well, here’s a thread that shows just some of the examples of people saying the Patriots were done.
The Patriots turned this into bulletin board material and people got mad about it. Heading into the Super Bowl, the Patriots considered themselves the underdogs. Sure, Vegas had them as the favorites, but it was clear that the majority of football fans were hoping the Rams would win. It’s kind of ironic actually, because if you watched the Super Bowl you would’ve noticed that the Rams actually didn’t have any fans at the game, probably because Rams fans don’t actually exist.
Neither team could generate much offensively, with the only first half points coming on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. The Rams tied the game in the third quarter, but the Patriots scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, with Sony Michel scoring the lone touchdown of the game, and the Patriots closed it out 13-3. For the casual fan and Patriots haters, the game will just be remembered as “boring”. But for the Patriots and their fans, this was a giant middle finger to everybody who said they were done, and a reminder that even in 2019, the saying “defense wins championships” is still relevant. The Patriots held the second highest scoring offense in the NFL to just 3 points. Julian Edelman was named Super Bowl MVP with 10 catches for 141 yards, and with another new playoff performance, he’s cemented himself as the best Patriots receiver of all time and has played his way into a Hall of Fame debate based on his playoff stats alone.
New England is known for their offense, but their defense showed up big time when it mattered most. Arguably the most important play on defense came from Jason McCourty, preventing a Rams touchdown by knocking the ball away from former Patriot Brandin Cooks at the last second.
This Super Bowl wasn’t boring, it was just a reminder of two things:
- Defense is still a part of football
- Never doubt Tom Brady and the Patriots.