Super Bowl LIII has officially gone down as one of the dullest games in the history of the NFL. People everywhere are talking about the lowest scoring Super Bowl of all time (and it’s mediocre halftime show). In regards to the players, the quarterbacks on both Los Angeles and New England were overwhelmed by the pressure and completely shut down, taking the rest of their offensive game with them. This match up turned into a battle of the defenses… and both units came ready to compete.
Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower
Had either of these players not been able to participate in Super Bowl LIII, the Patriots would have lost without a doubt. Van Noy and Hightower have progressed into the powerhouse behind the Patriots defensive dominance. The two linebackers combined for 5 tackles, 3 sacks for a total loss of 29 yards, 3 tackles for loss, and 6 quarterback hits. They were monsters. Kudos to Rams quarterback Jared Goff for being able to get up after all those attacks. On top of the pain inflicted on Goff, the pair was also able to neutralize Los Angeles’ biggest threats: Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson. The two running backs combined a mere 17 carries for 57 yards and 0 touchdowns. It’s also worth mentioning that of the Rams’ 14 first down conversions, only 2 were achieved via rushing. No two players could have ended this season on a better note.
It truly is incredible how indispensable Julian Edelman has become to the Patriots. As each game slowly became harder to win, the wide receiver took it into his own hands to be Brady’s option of last resort. Need a 3 and 9 conversion? No problem, Julian’s got this. Brady can’t throw a single pass on target? Pass it to Julian, he’ll catch it. This proved no different in the Super Bowl. Edelman finished with the greatest amount of yardage covered by any player in the game. He caught 10 of 12 passes for 141 yards and had 8 critical first down conversions (of the team’s total 22 first downs). Edelman was the only receiver capable of catching one of Brady’s weak, wobbly passes.
Oh yeah, he was also Super Bowl MVP.
Sony Michel… with a little help from Rob Gronkowski
Sony Michel was the best thing to happen to New England this 2018-2019 season. Michel paired with White and a splash of Burkhead or Patterson gave the Patriots every edge when it came to the running back position. It’s only fitting the rookie be given a reward for his hard work: a touchdown (rather, the only touchdown) in the most important game of the NFL season. Of course, he had a little help. The Patriots more than likely wouldn’t have made it all the way downfield had it not been for the prior play. Brady launched a bomb to Gronkowski with about 7:30 left in the fourth quarter and he caught it between 3 Rams defenders— only The Gronk could pull off a reception like that. So with Gronkowski’s assistance, Michel was able to tear up Los Angeles’ defense, racking up 18 carries for 94 yards and 1 touchdown. Not a bad start to this rookie’s career.
This really can’t be emphasized enough, but now that Brady has won his 6th Super Bowl ring, can he please retire? The quarterback was no help to the game; in fact, he is the reason they almost lost (again). Rewind to the very start of the game, 15:00 in the first quarter. Patterson returns the punt for 38 yards. Michel carries the ball for 13 yards and an easy first down. Patterson runs and it takes 3 defenders to take him down. Michel takes on the next two plays with gains of 5 and 3. Their run game was so strong, everything was perfect. The momentum, the pace, the energy— New England had this game in the bag. Then Brady decided to throw the ball. His very first pass of Super Bowl LIII… intercepted. All that electricity in New England’s favor, gone. Completely ruined.
Numbers can’t show how much confidence was lost with that one pass. Confidence lost by his teammates, by his fans, by his coaches, and in himself. Everyone knows the Brady Era is over, why doesn’t he?
It’s tragic to see anyone injured in a football game. The wound hurts a little more when there is so much riding on the line, like a Lombardi Trophy. Patrick Chung was taken to the locker room after suffering a right arm injury in the third quarter. The cornerback was unable to return to the game after being taken for x-rays. Had the Patriots lost, Chung would have been left wondering if he hadn’t gotten injured, maybe there was a way he could have prevented defeat. Chung has spent nine of his ten NFL seasons with the Patriots, earning him two rings out of four trips to the Super Bowl— so it’s not like he doesn’t have any wins under his belt. Still, his team was able to pull out a victory and give the cornerback his third championship ring.
Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi
Anyone who doesn’t care about the actual Super Bowl game will still watch for two reasons: the commercials and the halftime show. The commercials weren’t the greatest of all time, but still decent. The halftime show, on the other hand, was almost as uneventful as the game. Adam Levine is a great singer, but his performance was so bland! Stripping can only get an artist so far. Travis Scott and Big Boi were just as disappointing. If they ever get a chance to perform again, they should take tips from Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Now those were halftime shows.
With the conclusion of the game, both teams set a new record for the lowest scoring Super Bowl of all time (13-3 New England). Although this was by far one of the most uninteresting Super Bowl’s in its 53 year span, the players who competed deserved to be there. New England has a lot of reworking to do before next season, including finding a new quarterback.
-Caitlyn Allen is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow her on Twitter @caitlyyyn_allen