Super Bowl LIII
PATRIOTS PLAY IN NFL-RECORD 11TH SUPER BOWL OVERALL; 10TH OF THE KRAFT ERA
New England played in its 11th Super Bowl in franchise history, a total that is the most all-time in the NFL. The Patriots appearance in Super Bowl LIII was its 10th Super Bowl appearance since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a total that is the most in the league over that span (Pittsburgh and Denver are second with four).
Patriots 13, Los Angeles 3
February 3, 2019
In a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI, 17 years to the day, the Patriots defense silenced the Rams (who were averaging 32.9 points per game) to help the club capture its sixth Super Bowl, tying Pittsburgh for most Super Bowls in NFL history. The Patriots also won their 37th playoff game, moving past the Steelers for most postseason wins in NFL history, and added to their NFL record with their 11th Super Bowl appearance.
Julian Edelman notched 10 receptions for 141 yards and became the first wide receiver since Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes (Super Bowl XLIII) to win the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player Award.
Both defenses excelled, as the 16 combined points marked the lowest scoring game in Super Bowl history. But the Patriots defense was truly dominant as they recorded four sacks, forced nine punts and joined the 1971 Dallas Cowboys as the only team to allow just three points in the Super Bowl.
The Patriots were driving on their first possession when Nickell Robey-Coleman jumped a short route, deflected Brady's pass, and Cory Littleton intercepted it at the Rams' 27. The Patriots forced a punt and the offense drove 60 yards, but Stephen Gostkowski's 46-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
Early in the second quarter, Edelman had a 25-yard catch on third-and-one to set up Gostkowski's 42-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 10:29 left. With 1:16 left in the half, the Patriots reached the Rams' 32, but Brady's fourth-and-one pass fell incomplete. The Patriots' defense allowed just 57 yards and two first downs in the first half while forcing six punts with the Rams getting no closer to the end zone than the Patriots' 42.
In the middle of the third quarter the Rams' defense forced a punt. The offense started at their own 23-yard-line and Jared Goff completed a 15-yard pass to Brandin Cooks and an 18-yard pass to Robert Woods to set up Greg Zuerlein's 53-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3 with 2:11 left in the third quarter. The damage would have been worse, but three plays earlier, Jason McCourty chased down a wide-open Cooks in the back of the end zone and broke up a potential touchdown catch.
Following an exchange of punts, Brady and the Patriots regained possession starting on their own 31-yard line with 9:49 to play. Brady completed four consecutive passes: 18 yards to Rob Gronkowski, 13 yards to Edelman, 7 yards to Rex Burkhead and a key 29-yarder to Gronkowski to the Rams' two-yard line. Sony Michel scored on the next play for the game's only touchdown to give New England a 10-3 lead with 7:00 remaining.
Goff completed passes of 19 yards to Cooks, 11 yards to Josh Reynolds and 17 yards to Woods to reach the Patriots' 27. On first down Goff threw down the right side but Duron Harmon knocked it away. On the next play, Goff – facing a blitz from Harmon – again lofted a pass down the right side, and this time it was intercepted by Stephon Gilmore at the four-yard-line with 4:17 to play.
Both Michel and Burkhead had 26-yard runs on the ensuing nine-play, 72-yard drive that culminated with Gostkowski's 41-yard field goal with 1:12 remaining. Without any timeouts, Goff completed passes of 24 and 21 yards to Cooks to reach the Patriots' 30 with eight seconds left. Needing two scores, the Rams attempted a 53-yard field goal but Zuerlein's kick sailed wide left, cementing the Patriots win.
Bill Belichick joined George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only NFL coaches to win six NFL championships and Tom Brady broke a tie with Charles Haley as the only player to play on six Super Bowl-winning teams. He also passed Adam Vinatieri with his 237th victory overall, the most in NFL history.
The Super Bowl win was the third in the past five seasons for the Patriots, who finished the season with a 14-5 record. Brady and Belichick each earned their record (for player and coach) sixth Super Bowl ring.
The New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, February 3, 2019.