Super Bowl LIII — Patriots and Rams


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

On February 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia the Los Angeles Rams (15-3) coached by Sean McVay met the New England Patriots (13-5) coached by Bill Belichick appearing in their third Super Bowl in three years.

Sean McVay, who was born in Dayton and attended Miami University, had as his defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and as quarterbacks coach present Bengals’ coach Zac Taylor.

They were led on offense by quarterback Jared Goff who passed for 4688 yards and 32 touchdowns with a passer rating of 101.1. Todd Gurley led in rushing with 1251 yards and 17 touchdowns and in receiving they were led by Robert Woods (1219 yards, 6 TD’s), Brandin Cooks (1204 yards, 5 TD’s) and Gurley (580 yards, 4 TD’s).

They were led on defense by Cory Littleton with 90 tackles and John Johnson with 82, by Aaron Donald with 20.5 sacks and John Johnson with four interceptions. Their place kicker was Greg Zuerlein who made 27 of 31 field goal tries.

The Patriots were led on offense by 41-year old Tom Brady playing in his ninth Super Bowl and his nineteenth NFL season who threw for 4355 yards with 29 touchdowns and a passer rating of 97.7, running back Sony Michel (931, 6 TD’s) and receivers James White (751, 7 TD’s), Julian Edelman (850 yards, 6 TD’s) and Rob Gronkowski (682 yards, 3 TD’s).

They were led on defense by Devin McCourty with 59 tackles, his twin brother Jason McCourty with 54, Kyle Van Noy with 55 and Patrick Chung with 52. Trey Flowers led in sacks with 7.5 and Duron Harman in interceptions with 4. Their place kicker was Stephen Gostkowski who converted on 27 of 31 field goal attempts.

This Super Bowl would prove to be a low scoring affair and the only scoring in the first half was a 42-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski and the Patriots lead 3-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Greg Zuerlein evened the score at 3-3 with a 53-yard field goal as the defensive struggle continued.

The score remained tied until halfway into the fourth quarter. Tom Brady completed passes of 18 and 29 yards to Rob Gronkowski and one of 13 yards to Julian Edelman to set up a two-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel. The extra point was good and the Patriots lead 10-3.

On the next drive by the Rams, Jared Goff led his team downfield starting from their own 25 and got to the New England 27-yard line where a pass meant for Brandin Cooks was intercepted by Stephon Gilmore at the 4-yard line.

Had Goff been able to convert on that series of plays and if Greg Zuerlein had made the 48-yard field goal attempt with eight seconds left in the game, it could have been a tie game after regulation.

But, Stephon Gilmore made the big play and the Patriots’ touchdown was the only touchdown scored in the game as Gostkowski added another field goal and the final score was 13-3, the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history, in favor of the Patriots.

Julian Edelman got the game MVP with 10 catches for 141 yards as the Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl in the Brady-Belichick era.

New England has not been back to the Super Bowl while the Los Angeles Rams were back in 2022.

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