Super Bowl LIII: The tale of four eventful quarters and how we became the Brady Bunch
After last year’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Patriots fans have been waiting to see their team be victorious.
The Los Angeles Rams won the coin toss and elected to kick off. The New England Patriots started on offense and quarterback Tom Brady began an efficient-looking drive, but his pass was intercepted by the Rams’ Cory Littleton at 12:14. The Rams could not gain the momentum after the interception and punted the ball back to the Patriots. New England started another well-executed eleven play drive, using 5:40 minutes, only to have Stephen Gostkowski miss a 46-yard field goal. The Rams and Patriots then traded punts, neither able to sustain a drive, leaving the Rams to punt with just under a minute of play left in the first quarter. The first quarter ended without either team having scored.
The Patriots scored on a 42-yard field goal by Gostkowski at 10:33 in the second quarter, giving them Patriots a three-point lead. After that score, neither team could achieve a scoring drive. Finally, with 1:14 left in the first half, the failed an attempted first down on fourth and one from the Rams’ 32-yard line. The team could have been 9–0 — but only came out 3–0 because of misses. At that point, it remained to be seen if those missed points would come back to haunt them. Statistically, the Patriots dominated the first half, having the ball on offense for 19:52 of the 30 minutes in the first half and gaining 157 total yards, while the Rams only gained 57. Still, points scored are the only statistic which counts, and the Patriots had a smallest of leads heading into the second half.
With 6:33 left in the third quarter, the Rams’ offense finally showed signs of life, as Jarod Goff led a productive drive to the Patriots 29-yard line, and it seemed that the Rams were on the way to scoring a touchdown. However, Dant’a Hightower sacked Goff for a loss of nine yards. Greg Zuerlein nailed a 53-yard field goal, tying the score 3–3, which held to the end of the third quarter. It was the first time in Super Bowl history that no team had scored any touchdowns before the fourth quarter.
Crunch time! At 9:49 in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady reached into his bag of tricks and led a 69-yard drive which resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel, giving the Patriots a 10–3 lead with seven minutes left in the game. Jared Goff then led a desperate drive, trying to tie the game. A promising drive was stopped as Stephon Gilmore intercepted a Goff pass intended for Brandin Cooks at the Patriots four-yard line. Brady, again playing as though he had ice in his veins, calmly led the Patriots down the field, leading to a 41-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that clinched the Patriots and Brady’s record sixth Super Bowl. Julian Edelman, who caught ten passes — many as clutch plays — for 141 yards was awarded the MVP.
Following the game, Patriots fans celebrate their teams win with fireworks and the Patriots Super Bowl Victory Parade. It is expected that 50,000 fans will be in attendance. The parade is set for Cambridge today at 11 a.m., set to follow the same route as in 2017 and beginning at the Hynes Convention Center. Next, the parade will head down Boylston Street, up Treadmont, then turn onto and finish on Cambridge Avenue. There will, however, be no rally before the parade this year.