Patriots Are Super Bowl Champions Again, Beat The Rams 13-3

 
New England Patriots player Julian Edelman holds up the Lombardi trophy, after winning MVP in the Patriots' 13-3 Super Bowl win over the Los Angeles Rams.

New England Patriots Julian Edelman #11 is seen with the Lombardi trophy after winning MVP against the Los Angeles Rams during NFL Super Bowl 53, Sunday in Atlanta. The Patriots won 13-3.

Gregory Payan/AP

In a testament to the enduring power of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots emerged victorious in Super Bowl LIII for the team's sixth championship victory since 2002, with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

The Patriots were winners in a slow-moving game with the lowest total score in Super Bowl history. That means the oldest quarterback-coach duo in Super Bowl history has defeated the youngest duo, Jared Goff and Sean McVay.

"[The Patriots] played like champions," Belichick said. "Everybody counted us out from the beginning of the season, the mid-season, but we're still here."

Wide receiver Julian Edelmen was named Super Bowl LIII MVP, after a remarkable showing with 149 yards and 10 receptions.

"It was an unbelievable year," Brady said after the game. "We fought through it more so than anything. It's unbelievable to win this game."

For the second time in as many decades, the Super Bowl featured a David versus Goliath clash between the Patriots and the Rams — but this time, the teams had swapped roles. The Rams weren't the big, bad favorites they were back in 2002, the last time they met the Patriots on the NFL's biggest stage. And the Patriots didn't stride onto the field as the lovable underdogs they were when Tom Brady was just a blushing sophomore.

These days, the Rams hail from Los Angeles, Brady's Hall of Fame career is old enough to vote and the question on the minds of everyone outside New England before the big game was some variation on the following: Could the Patriots please quit winning already?

As it turns out, no.

At the outset, pressure from the LA defense looked like it could pose an insurmountable challenge to quarterback Brady. That proved not to be the case.

The Patriots put the first points on the board with a second-quarter field goal, answered in the third-quarter by the Rams. But the teams went the first three quarters of the game without a touchdown — a first in Super Bowl history.

Viewers complained about the low-scoring game, while commentators suggested that Rams kicker Johnny Hekker's record for the longest punt in Super Bowl history – at 65 yards – was the most exciting part of an otherwise incredibly boring night.

And then the Patriots scored the first touchdown of the game. An impressive 29-yard catch by tight end Rob Gronkowski brought the Pats within scoring distance, and running back Sony Michel sealed the deal with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Any hopes for a comeback by the Rams were more or less dashed by a Stephen Gostkowski field goal for the Patriots in the closing minutes of the game.

"Coach Belichick did an outstanding job," said McVay after his team's loss. "There's really no other way to put it. You know, I'm pretty numb right now, but definitely I got out-coached."

The Patriots are now tied for most Super Bowl victories with the Pittsburgh Steelers — six apiece. It's their second victory in three years. And although the game was the lowest scoring in Super Bowl history, it was also the highest margin of victory for New England in any Super Bowl.

Story source: NPR