Black Quarterback: Super Bowl LIII Review
By Brandon Simmons
If you missed Super Bowl LIII because you were boycotting the Kaepernick ban or a Saints fan still feeling hurt by the missed call, then you really did not miss much. The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13- 3, in a defensive battle between 2 teams known more for their offense. Needless to say, it was a sloppy game that left fans dissatisfied and half-awake from all a poor display of offense.
The Patriots defense was brilliant against a team that is likely to put up big plays and big numbers on the scoreboard. Part of this performance was fueled by the 4 sacks New England was able to get on Rams quarterback Jared Goff. Patriots linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Donte Hightower were part of a pass rush that was draped over Goff for a good portion of this game. The pressure forced him to make errant throws, including an interception in the 4th quarter, which prevented Los Angeles from tying the game up with a touchdown. The New England defense also played the run just as well, holding the Rams to a combined 62 yards rushing.
What kind of Super Bowl would there be without mentioning Patriots QB Tom Brady and the New England offense; but in this case, a simple Julian Edelman shout out, who was the team’s real star tonight. Edelman was tearing up the Rams defense all night, taking advantage of the zone coverages and finished with 10 catches for 141 yards. He could not stop New England’s blunders such as Brady’s interception on the first drive, the missed field goal in the first quarter and the failed 4th down conversion. He was still able to bail Brady out of a tough game with some big plays.
It’s simply no way to describe the Rams’ performance other than disappointing. This is a team that was number 2 in the league in scoring during the regular season and they were unable to replicate a flash of that success in this game. This game was mostly a defensive struggle – emphasis on “struggle” – and the Rams defense held their own for most of the game, but the offense failed them in taking advantage of their opportunities. They punted after the interception and the missed field goal. Their only score came in the 3rd quarter with @;15 left in the game. The one thing Los Angeles tried to get better at, was using running back Todd Gurley more in the gameplan, something they have been skimpish about this postseason. Still, when things did not seem to go right for him, the Rams switched over to his backup, C.J. Anderson, but he even struggled against the Patriots defense. Los Angeles also failed to take shots down the field. When they finally found ways to get the ball deep, it was too late in the game and New England started anticipating it.
This was a game won by a veteran quarterback, team and coaching staff. You can pretty much pencil the Patriots in for a Super Bowl at this point and their experience showed it. The confetti is still fresh on the ground, but this might not have even been New England’s best Super Bowl appearance during Brady’s tenure. Last year, Brady threw for over 500 yards and at different times tonight, he looked like he wound not get past 250. However, this did not have to be their best game because the Rams did not give their best effort. The Rams have a young talented core right now and could have won this game if they took a few more chances. This Los Angeles defense was able to hold Tom Brady through 3 quarters. They only gave up crucial plays, late in the 4th quarter on that one touchdown drive by the Patriots. Still, that is not to take away from New England competing in this game for all 4 quarters. They played like this was the franchise’s first and last opportunity to get a championship and that’s how they continue to maintain their postseason dominance.
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