Winners and Losers from Super Bowl LIII
It is not what the average viewer wants to see in a football game, especially the Super Bowl, but for defense fans this game was fantastic. Neither team wanted to give up anything, with the Patriots only having 407 total yards and only 260 total yards for the LA Rams. The defensive line for New England was a new animal, sacking Rams QB Jared Goff four times, and hitting him eight other times. Both teams recorded an interception, granted the Patriots' pick was better timed and practically won them the game. Multiple scoring records were broken with no touchdown scored until the fourth quarter and only three total points in the first half. The best players on defense for the Rams were probably LB Cory Littleton, DT Aaron Donald, and CB Marcus Peters. On the other side of the ball, CB Stephon Gilmore, LB Kyle Van Noy, and LB Dont'a Hightower. I understand that the average football fan doesn't want a really defensive and low-scoring Super Bowl, even I was getting a little bored. But you just have to give credit to both teams whose defenses gave it all.
New England Patriots
I believe it is now appropriate to consider this era in New England as one of the greatest dynasties in the history of American sports. With the Super Bowl win Sunday night, the New England Patriots under HC Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady have now won six Super Bowls in 18 years together, with three of those titles coming in the last five years. Brady didn't have the best game of his Super Bowl career, but it was good enough. He kept finding TE Rob Gronkowski (87 yards on six receptions) and WR Julian Edelman (141 yards on ten catches), who even went on to win Super Bowl MVP. I have already preached about the New England defense, but is was spectacular. RB Sony Michel also had a great Super Bowl debut with 94 rushing yards and a touchdown. This Patriots team is unreal, and I don't see them slowing down. Brady has repeated that he is not considering retirement, and is wanting to play until he is 45. The only pivotal player that is considering retirement is Gronkowski, but one good trade or draft choice may do the job.
This may be the only year in Super Bowl history that a punter was being considered as a MVP candidate, but Rams P Johnny Hekker deserved it. If the Rams would have somehow won, I would have voted Hekker as MVP. He had to punt in the first EIGHT Los Angeles drives. He averaged 46.3 yards per punt, and only had two returned for a total of two yards. But the best part of the Super Bowl in my opinion was when he broke the Super Bowl record for the longest punt with a punt of 65 yards. The initial punt was only 40ish yards, but it bounced for an additional 20+ yards and got him the record. He had a career game, it just sucks for him that he was one of the only good players not on defense that played well.
Honorable mentions: Brandin Cooks, Tony Romo, Stephon Gilmore, and Tom Brady's other ring hand
"He was the chosen one!" That was what most LA fans were saying about young Head Coach Sean McVay after their embarrassing loss in Atlanta. McVay seemed to have no answers to the New England defensive scheme, and wouldn't put in RB Todd Gurley very often in the game. The plays being ran most of the game didn't make sense, or the Patriots knew exactly what kind of play was coming and was well prepared. McVay just wasn't ready for the occasion, and it showed. He is still a really young coach with a great team with the possibility of success in the future.
LA Rams offense excluding Brandin Cooks
This offense was supposed to be one of the best in the league. They were scoring consistently almost every game and seemed to be destined to beat one of the best franchises in this century. But, they appeared to have a relapse to the 2016 season and failed to appear until the fourth quarter. QB Jared Goff chose to have one of his worst career games on the biggest possible stage. RB Todd Gurley failed to show up, but that may have been more McVay's fault than his own. RB C.J. Anderson actually did the job he was initially assigned to do, which was a backup running back who picks up the slack. WR Brandin Cooks was the only offensive player who had a decent game. The offense going into last season will still be very good if all players don't have a slump.
The at-home audience
That was possibly the most boring Super Bowl I have ever watched. And it showed, with 98.2 million people watching, which is the worst since 2008 (97.5 million). The game really didn't get interesting until the fourth quarter, with only one field goal from each team being scored. I struggled to enjoy the game, and even at times muted the TV for the actually game and only payed attention to the commercials. But even the commercials weren't fantastic. There was a select few great ones (Bud Light, Pringles, and Hyundai), but some like the Olay commercial were just not good enough for the Super Bowl. I feel bad for the people in the stadium, because they missed all of the commercials and they had even less to feel excited about. At least we got an "Avengers: Endgame" trailer, I guess...
Dishonorable mentions: All Patriots receivers not named Edelman or Gronkowski, James White, Tracy Wolfson, and the half-time show.
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