New England Patriots’ Sony Michel lands in the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. The Patriots won 13-3, their sixth Super Bowl title. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

New England Patriots’ Sony Michel lands in the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. The Patriots won 13-3, their sixth Super Bowl title. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Patriots outlast Rams 13-3 to win Super Bowl

Brady, Belichick win sixth NFL title together

ATLANTA — Defences dominated what was supposed to be a super shootout until Tom Brady led one classic drive to win the New England Patriots their record-tying sixth Super Bowl.

Brady threw two perfect passes to Rob Gronkowski to set up rookie Sony Michel’s 2-yard score — the only touchdown in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. That put New England up 10-3. A late field goal clinched the win over the Rams 13-3.

In a season in which all sorts of offensive records were set, this Super Bowl rewrote the defensive record book.

“Finally got a touchdown and the defence played the best game of the year,” Brady said

No Super Bowl had gone into the fourth quarter without a touchdown. This one did, tied 3-3 — even though these teams combined to average over 60 points a game.

When the Patriots needed a score, Brady, the oldest winning quarterback in a Super Bowl at 41, completed four straight passes, including a pair covering 47 yards to Gronkowski. The second , on which the star tight end beat two defenders, ended at the Los Angeles 2, the only time either team was inside the 20-yard line. Michel ran off left tackle for his sixth post-season touchdown.

“He knows to trust in me and throw that ball,” Gronkowski said, “and I’m going to grab it.”

Julian Edelman, the outstanding receiver who missed the 2017 season with a knee injury, was the game’s MVP with 10 receptions for 141 yards.

With 4:17 left, All-Pro Stephon Gilmore picked off an ill-advised pass by Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who seemed overwhelmed by the big stage all night, at the New England 2.

Stephen Gostkowski made a 41-yard field goal with 1:12 remaining, completing a 72-yard march that took more than three minutes off the clock and included 26-yard runs by Michel and Rex Burkhead.

It was a workmanlike conclusion for the Patriots (14-5), whose losses all came away from New England. They beat the top two offences in the Chiefs and Rams (15-4) in the post-season, and tied Pittsburgh for most Super Bowl titles.

The Patriots were terrific all game on defence, allowing the fewest points in a Super Bowl (tied with Dallas in 1972 against Miami).

“We’re a relentless team,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said. “We didn’t give up. A lot was thrown at us. When we play like we did tonight, we can’t be beat.”

The Rams, who reached the NFL championship game with the aid of a major officiating error in the conference title victory at New Orleans, never really threatened to reach the end zone.

“Last time I checked, defence wins championships,” Rams running back C.J. Anderson said.

At 66, Bill Belichick became the oldest winning Super Bowl coach. The Patriots beat the Rams, then representing St. Louis, to begin their dynastic run in the 2002 game. They also have beaten Carolina and Philadelphia (2004 and ‘05, the last repeater); the Seahawks in 2015; and the Falcons in 2017 in the only overtime in Super Bowl history.

They have lost three times, including to Philadelphia a year ago. New England is the first team since the 1972 Dolphins to win a Super Bowl the year after losing one.

How the Patriots accomplished it was atypical. The 10-point margin was their biggest in winning a championship.

Brady, who has won four Super Bowl MVP trophies, wasn’t particularly sharp — except when throwing to Edelman. He was the steadiest offensive player on the field, finishing with 10 catches for 141 yards.

“It just matters that we won,” Edelman said. “It was a crazy year. We had a resilient bunch of guys.”

Brady passed Charles Haley to become the only player with six Super Bowl titles.

All those suspicions about the Patriots declining this season became moot as the defence made the 24-year-old Goff look awful and turned All-Pro running back Todd Gurley into a nonfactor.

While it was anything but odd to see New England celebrate a championship, the manner it earned this one was startling. The 2 1/2-point favourite Patriots moved the ball well, ran down the clock, but made uncharacteristic gaffes on offence. Goff and the Rams made more.

LA’s second-ranked offence managed just 57 total yards for the half. The Rams were completely overmatched on the line and were particularly unable to handle the elusive Edelman, who had seven receptions for 93 yards.

Coach Sean McVay, whose Rams never had been blanked in a first half, let out a long, deep sigh just before halftime, recognizing how badly his team was manhandled, even though it trailed just 3-0.

It was the lowest score at halftime since Super Bowl 9, which Pittsburgh led 2-0 over Minnesota.

McVay, the youngest Super Bowl head coach at 34, admitted he was outcoached. He had no answers as Gurley, coming off knee issues, managed 35 yards rushing, Goff went 19 for 38 for 229 yards and was sacked four times. Brandin Cooks, a Patriots receiver last season, did have eight receptions for 120 yards.

KICKING GAME

Gostkowski’s 46-yard miss wide left in the first quarter was the first unsuccessful field goal in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Falcons, by an NFL player all season. The 13-year veteran also missed a field goal and extra point in the 2018 Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia.

But he gave the Patriots a 3-0 lead with a 42-yarder in the second quarter.

The Rams’ Johnny Hekker had a 65-yard punt in the third quarter, the longest in a Super Bowl. It was his eighth punt of the game — with 1 1-2 periods remaining — the most for LA in McVay’s two seasons in charge.

Greg Zuerlein tied it with 2:11 left in the third quarter on the first drive on which Los Angeles gained more than one first down. His 53-yarder was the second-longest field goal in a Super Bowl.

COIN TOSS

McVay deferred after winning the coin toss. In their previous two playoff games, the Patriots marched right downfield to a touchdown with the opening kickoff, setting an immediate tone. This time, after Cordarrelle Patterson’s 38-yard kickoff return and four successful runs, Brady’s first pass was tipped by receiver Chris Hogan and cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. Linebacker Cory Littleton made a diving interception; it was the first time Brady was picked on his initial throw in a post-season game.

INJURIES

New England lost safety Patrick Chung on the third play of the second half when his right forearm was caught between Gurley’s shoulder pad and the helmet of teammate Jonathan Jones. Chung writhed in pain before walking off with an air cast on.

RELATED: Super Bowl power consumption surges pre-game

RELATED: What you need to be game-day ready for Super Bowl 53

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

NFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (16) reacts after his pass was intercepted during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (16) reacts after his pass was intercepted during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Just Posted

(File Photo)
Sparwood accepting submissions for 2021 Street Art Banner Program

Artwork depicting a love for Sparwood’s community and heritage will be accepted until Feb. 19

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

(File photo)
Interior Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Teck’s Elk Valley operations over

48 cases were linked to three Teck locations in the Elk Valley

Joanna and Aysha Haines opened their business, Drift and Sonder, on Jan. 22. (Soranne Floarea)
New businesses popping up in Fernie despite pandemic headwinds

More businesses in Fernie have opened than closed their doors since the pandemic began

(File photo)
Sparwood backs calls to declare Canadian overdose crisis a national public health emergency

Paramedics across B.C. responded to more overdose calls in 2020 than ever before

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read