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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Patriots dynasty rolls on with sixth title

Defense dominates in lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever

The 2018 NFL season was undoubtedly the greatest offensive showcase in league history. A record 1,371 touchdowns were scored in the regular season and quarterbacks absolutely feasted on opposing defenses, setting records for touchdown passes, completion percentage and passer rating.

With all of that said, Sunday’s Super Bowl proved that the old adage “defense wins championships” still rings true in the game of football. In the lowest scoring game in Super Bowl history, the New England Patriots captured their sixth Lombardi Trophy with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

It was a rather dull affair for fans, relative to some of the heart-stopping games witnessed all year long and throughout the playoffs, but that didn’t stop the Patriots from further cementing themselves in the history books and extending one of the greatest dynasties ever seen in professional sports.

New England is now tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowls won ever. In addition, Head Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady stand alone with the most Super Bowl titles of any single coach or player in NFL history.

Sunday’s game got off to a rough start for the Patriots, as quarterback Tom Brady threw an interception on the opening drive and kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a 46-yard field goal on the team’s second drive.

Meanwhile, the high-flying Rams offense was completely stifled by New England, as the team’s first eight possessions resulted in punts. Los Angeles never ran a single play from inside the red zone the entire night.

A 42-yard field goal by Gostkowski in the second quarter was the only scoring play in a completely uneventful first half.

Following a halftime show that featured the likes of Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi, the second half got underway and Los Angeles finally put points on the board with a field goal late in the third quarter.

The action didn’t start to heat up until midway through the fourth quarter. New England quickly drove down the field in five plays, on the strength of two key receptions by tight end Rob Gronkowski, and scored on a two-yard touchdown run to make it 10-3 with seven minutes left on the clock.

The Rams responded with a pass-heavy attack and threatened to tie the game, but quarterback Jared Goff was picked off on an errant throw at the New England four-yard line.

The Patriots effectively sealed the victory with a pair of 26-yard runs that set them up in field goal range. With just over one minute remaining, Gostkowski nailed a 41-yard attempt to wrap things up.

New England wide receiver Julian Edelman received the Super Bowl MVP award after a 10-catch, 141-yard performance. On the defensive side, cornerback Stephon Gilmore was equally as deserving with five tackles, three passes defended, one forced fumble and the game-sealing interception in the fourth quarter.

Looking ahead to next season, the Kansas City Chiefs are the early favorites to win the 2020 Super Bowl, per the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas, followed closely by the Patriots, Rams and New Orleans Saints.

Written by: Brendan Ogburn — sports@theaggie.org


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