The New England Patriots secured a record-breaking sixth Super Bowl victory on Sunday with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the 53rd edition of the NFL's championship game.
Quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick combined to become the most successful pairing in NFL history, with 41-year-old superstar Brady becoming the most successful player in the league's history with his sixth ring in his ninth Super Bowl appearance. Brady broke the tie with former defensive player Charles Haley, who won five rings, two with the San Francisco 49ers and three with the Dallas Cowboys.
Wide Receiver Julian Edelman, another historic player in the postseason for New England, won the Super Bowl MVP honours after grabbing 10 passes for 141 receiving yards. Tight End Rob Gronkowski, another criticised Patriot during the regular season, had a solid game with six catches for 87 yards.
Brady connected with Gronkowski with a 29-yard pass in the fourth quarter to set up the only touchdown of the game, scored by rookie Running Back Sony Michel. Michel had a great game with 94 rushing yards on 18 attempts.
Coach Belichick made sure that the Rams could not generate any momentum in the football game, holding Sean McVay’s Rams to three points and 260 yards of offence.
Brady himself also remained checked throughout the game, outside of one great drive, which resulted in the Patriots’ only touchdown, struggling to make an impact against the Rams' solid defence.
Belichick successfully designed a rarely used front to stop McVay’s offense, which is built around the outside zone, lining up four defensive linemen with two edge defenders flanking the line, building a six-man front.
The plan forced McVay to call more inside zone, leading to more snaps for C.J. Anderson, who is superior on those runs. So Belichick was able to take away what the Rams do the best while, in turn, keeping their best offensive player, Todd Gurley, on the sideline.
The game fell on the shoulders of Jared Goff, who unfortunately had the worst game of his life. The young signal-caller grew frustrated by the Patriots intricate coverage disguises and blitz designs.
The game confirms Brady's stature as the greatest football player of all time. Although he wasn't at his best, his presence on the field was enough for the Rams to continuously worry about him, allowing the team breathing room to manoeuvre more freely. Many people calling for him to call it quits will have to wait a while. Although advanced in age, Tom has managed to carve out a fitness program for himself that has allowed him to function well into his early forties.
He will retire at his own time.
Patriots now stand level with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl titles in NFL history.Published 04 Feb 2019, 19:44 IST