Within the Year of Offense, the N.F.L.’s championship game didn’t possess great. A dreary Expansive Bowl that featured a combined 14 punts ended with a sixth title for Tom Brady and the Unique England Patriots, who beat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-Three, on Sunday.
As he has so regularly, Take Gronkowski changed into there when Tom Brady wished him most, picking up a pair of mountainous first downs on what proved to be the decisive drive in the Patriots’ victory.
It changed into a One year outlined by offensive brilliance, but at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the game grew to turn out to be correct into a defensive slugfest outlined largely by the game’s punters.
Neither group had reached the purple zone till midway thru the fourth quarter but Brady, seeking to acquire something going, twice exploited a protection mismatch on Gronkowski, winding up passes of 18 and 29 yards to his extensive tight discontinuance, which location up Sony Michel’s 2-yard touchdown breeze that assign Unique England up to discontinue.
The throwback connection between quarterback and tight discontinuance proved to be too great for Los Angeles on a day when Coach Sean McVay’s spotlight-reel offense changed into compelled to punt on its first eight possessions of the game — and 9 cases total — and changed into cramped to supreme 205 entire yards.
Brady accomplished the day having passed for 262 yards whereas Goff, who reached the Expansive Bowl in his third season, struggled the entire game and accomplished with 229 yards.
Julian Edelman, with 10 catches for 141 yards, changed into named the game’s Most Treasured Player, winding up his comeback from a devastating knee wound closing One year by winning his third career Expansive Bowl.
“I’m pretty overjoyed,” Julian Edelman stated in an on-field interview “I’m emotionally pooped. Mentally and bodily pooped.”
In what would advise to be a crushing blow to the Rams, the Patriots were ready to note up Sony Michel’s touchdown with a turnover, as Jared Goff changed into intercepted by Stephon Gilmore leisurely in the fourth quarter, permitting Unique England to late the game down and depart away with a victory.
For Brady the procure gave him a sixth Expansive Bowl ring, breaking a tie with the Hall of Popularity defensive discontinuance Charles Haley for essentially the most by an person participant, and it tied the Patriots with the Pittsburgh Steelers for essentially the most by any group.
Here’s how the Patriots’ won their sixth title:
4th Quarter: Patriots Add Some Insurance
The Patriots supreme wished to chew up clock, and they did that and more, reeling off seventy two yards on nine plays, taking over Three minutes and 5 seconds, and rising their lead with a Forty one-yard field purpose by Stephen Gostkowski. They now lead 13-Three with 1:12 remaining in the game.
The most fundamental plays on the drive incorporated a 26-yard breeze by Sony and a 26-yard breeze by Rex Burkhead.
The Rams will receive the ball, but down by 10 choices without a timeouts they would possibly maybe must rating straight away, raise out an onside kick, after which rating once more.
4th Quarter: Rams’ Rally Ends With Interception
Presumably impressed by Unique England’s touchdown, the Rams began racing down the sphere with a chain of long plays, but after Jared Goff’s trail to Brandin Cooks supreme barely fell incomplete on the aim line, Goff tried to subject the Unique England defense on a 2nd consecutive play and he paid for it when Stephone Gilmore changed into with out complications ready to step in entrance of the trail for an interception.
The Patriots now possess the lead and the ball with four:17 remaining in the game.
Invoice Pennington: Expansive anticipation by Stephon Gilmore on the interception. Goff tried to head to Cooks in the identical enviornment as the outdated play that almost about resulted in a touchdown, but Gilmore changed into staring at Goff the entire play — he all but grew to turn out to be his abet and disregarded Cooks. When Goff’s trail fluttered, Gilmore watched it into his fingers the entire device.
4th Quarter: Brady to Gronk Used to be All This Game Needed
Tom Brady wished to acquire something going and Take Gronkowski changed into gay to oblige. Two connections between the long breeze Hall of Famers resulted in the game’s first touchdown, which changed into scored on a 2-yard breeze by Sony Michel. The Patriots now lead, 10-Three.
The drive began with Brady taking supreme thing about blown protection by Samson Ebukam to location up an 18-yard take by Gronkowski. Correct three plays later, Brady went to Gronk once more, this time for a 29-yard originate that ended with the supersized tight discontinuance sliding to a discontinuance supreme 2 yards short of the discontinuance zone.
From there it changed into pretty straightforward as Michel has been nearly unstoppable on the aim line in the postseason and he went into the discontinuance zone with out complications.
Invoice Pennington: The Rams desperately need a sustained offensive drive. Their defense is exhausted.
4th Quarter: Johnny Hekker Keeps Punting
The Rams managed to possess a nine-play drive generate supreme 23 yards as a outcomes of penalties and Johnny Hekker punted for a ninth time. This game has undoubtedly been terrific for Hekker’s fogeys, as he is up to 417 punting yards, but for every person else it has been remarkably frustrating to stare as neither group has been into the purple zone but.
At this level it is seeming love the game will reach all of the fashion down to a turnover producing choices in wish to either offense all of sudden waking up, even though with either squad choices would possibly maybe maybe furthermore all of sudden in discovering rapidly.
4th Quarter: Rams Defense Holds Stable
If you happen to love punters, this game is extensive.
After the Patriots picked up a first down by the utilize of a defensive conserving penalty, they got a 2nd on an interesting 19-yard breeze by Sony Michel in which the rookie running abet bounced off several defenders sooner than being brought down.
Michel picked up but any other 6 yards on a pair of carries to shut out the third quarter, after which on the fundamental play of the fourth quarter, Tom Brady’s trail try to James White fell incomplete, constructing but but any other punt.
There had been 12 punts to this level.
Third Quarter: Rams Tie It Up, Three-Three
Greg Zeurlein supreme barely lived up to his Legatron nickname, tying the game with a fifty three-yard field purpose that changed into not considered one of his signature booming kicks but did enough to acquire over the crossbar. The game is now tied, Three-Three.
The Rams offense had gotten the ball abet rapidly thanks to a pair of terrific defensive work from Marcus Peters, and they picked up a first down with a transient throw to Josh Reynolds and a breeze by C.J. Anderson.
Encouraged by the conversion, Jared Goff threw deep to Brandin Cooks for a image-most attention-grabbing 16-yard originate.
A breeze by Anderson went for Three yards, Goff threw an incomplete trail off Anderson’s abet facet to maintain far from a sack, and on Third-and-7, but Goff once more rocketed a ball downfield, connecting with Robert Woods for an 18-yard originate.
Goff threw incomplete to Cooks in the discontinuance zone, with Jason McCourty making play to forestall the touchdown, but Goff picked up Three yards on 2nd down with a transient trail to Anderson. On Third-and-7, Goff changed into absolutely demolished by Dont’a Hightower for a 9-yard loss that compelled the sphere purpose try.
While the sack of Goff changed into a bit of demoralizing, the young quarterback looked device more assured on this drive.
Third Quarter: Any other Punt, but This One a File-Breaker
The Rams had some excitement, but not the kind they wanted, narrowly maintaining off a security on a drive that began on their very earn 2-yard line.
The Rams got a bit of respiratory room to launch the drive with a pair of 2-yard runs by Todd Gurley. On Third-and-6 from the Rams’ 6-yard line, Jared Goff threw wildly to his upright to maintain far from a security, with the trail falling incomplete.
Johnny Hekker came out for his eighth punt and proceeded to location a Expansive Bowl narrative with a Sixty five-yard punt that changed into aided by a remarkably capable leap.
Hekker is up to eight punts for 378 yards and has been a mountainous support in maintaining Los Angeles from falling extra behind on this game.
Third Quarter: Edelman the Lone Knowing Space for Patriots
Marcus Peters broke up a third-down trail intended for Julian Edelman, forcing Unique England to punt on its first offensive play of the 2nd 1/2.
The Patriots had began the drive on their very earn eight-yard line after punt by Johnny Hekker, but they were ready to raise up a mountainous 27-yard originate by Edelman on a transient trail from Tom Brady. Once once more, Los Angeles took the blow in prance and persevered to play tight defense.
Edelman is up to eight catches for a hundred and twenty yards early in the third quarter, but the Patriots possess announced that their defense will be short-handed the the rest of the fashion, as Patrick Chung is officially out with an arm wound.
Third Quarter: Rams Commence 2nd Half With Any other Stalled Power
Todd Gurley is here, but even that wasn’t enough to forestall but but any other Rams punt to launch the 2nd 1/2.
The giant title running abet took a 2nd down handoff and raced thru the Unique England defense for a 16-yard originate. He followed up that burst with two runs that combined for 5 yards, but on Third-and-5 Jared Goff’s trail to Brandin Cooks changed into knocked to the bottom by Stephon Gilmore.
Johnny Hekker came out once more, punting for the seventh time this day.
Patrick Chung, the Patriots’ broken-down safety, had to reach out of the game after performing to break his upright arm on Gurley’s 2nd breeze of the drive. He changed into replaced by Duron Harmon.
Third Quarter: Both Offenses Have to Figure One thing Out
After an nearly unwatchable first 1/2, this game can with out complications be taken over by either group in the 2nd 1/2.
For the Rams, the most fundamental will be discovering a technique to breeze the ball. Todd Gurley has been nearly totally absent without a explanation, and he and C.J. Anderson possess combined for supreme 20 yards on seven carries. That has let Unique England’s defenders pin their ears abet and trail after Jared Goff on each play. The third-One year quarterback has not answered successfully, winding up 5 of his 12 passes, with 18 of his fifty two yards approaching a trail to Robert Woods that very likely changed into an incompletion.
Within the 2nd 1/2, Goff needs to acquire abet to his assured downfield throws, letting Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods break off some extensive plays, and if the running game can’t support set that room, Goff will simply must obtain the ball out sooner.
For the Patriots, running the ball more would support, but they would possibly maybe maybe furthermore simply toughen simply by having the Rams regress to the indicate on defense. Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Nickell Robey-Coleman possess all played extensive games, thanks in share to the Rams placing stress on Brady, but the Los Angeles defense had to utilize almost about twenty minutes on the sphere in the fundamental 1/2, and each Peters and Robey-Coleman are inclined to errors if they are challenged regularly.
The Rams positively qualify as more frustrated as they failed to rating any choices despite producing an interception, a missed field purpose and a turnover on downs, but with how shut Unique England has tended to discontinue to their opponents in Expansive Bowls, the missed field purpose by Stephen Gostkowski in the fundamental quarter would possibly maybe maybe furthermore with out complications reach abet to haunt Unique England.
Halftime Demonstrate Lives Up to First-Half Motion
After a lackluster first 1/2 to the Expansive Bowl, halftime ticket headliner Maroon 5 took the stage — a gargantuan ‘M’ stretching forty yards correct thru the sphere — to a barrage of fireworks and flames. Sadly the one hundred million followers at residence weren’t given a respite from the game’s mediocrity.
The spotlight of the ticket came about halfway thru, when a drum line and choir joined Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine to belt out the hit “Ladies Love You.” (At residence, the spotlight for many changed into the SpongeBob SquarePants interlude.)
In thought, Travis Scott and Wide Boi were Maroon 5’s co-stars. Scott rapped “Sicko Mode” — heavily censored on television — early in the ticket, and Wide Boi seemed leisurely in a classic automotive, wearing a fur jacket. He sang the Outkast hit “The Potential You Transfer” with Levine taking part in the role of Andre 3000.
In note they easiest sang one music a portion. Levine even joined Wide Boi, unfortunately taking part in the role of Wide Boi’s Outkast co-giant title, Andre 3000.
It changed into in actual fact the Adam Levine ticket, as he ran thru all of Maroon 5’s hits: “Tougher to Breathe,” “This Esteem,” “She Will Be Cherished” and in a roundabout device ending the ticket with “Sugar.” Levine grew progressively less clothed at some level of the 15-minute ticket, and as he sang the closing bar of “Sugar” he changed into shirtless, with flames crackling correct thru him.
With the Expansive Bowl in Atlanta, the N.F.L. had a surfeit of native musicians to procure from for the halftime ticket: Outkast, T.I., Lil Jon, Future, 2 Chainz and Migos. The checklist goes on and on.
It appears moderately telling of something that they chose Maroon 5. — Kevin Draper
Halftime: What Used to be That?
The first 1/2 changed into a mess of punts and offensive ineptitude, with neither group searching love the powerhouses they had been at some level of the playoffs.
It’s the lowest first-1/2 rating since Expansive Bowl IX, when the Steelers led the Vikings, 2-zero, on the 1/2.
The Rams defense has played better than someone would possibly maybe maybe furthermore possess predicted, conserving the Patriots to supreme Three choices and regularly stopping promising drives with tenacious trail defense and low bursts of interior stress. But that quiet added up to Los Angeles being down at halftime thanks to a horrendous effort from the Rams’ offense, with all six Rams drives ending in punts.
The Rams offense generated supreme 57 yards in the fundamental 1/2, with Jared Goff going thru a extensive deal of stress and never being ready to acquire anything going, which is at least partly a outcomes of Los Angeles not being ready to set the breeze in any appreciate behind Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson.
Tom Brady threw for a hundred and sixty yards in the 1/2, regularly picking up first downs to Julian Edelman, but to this level he has been nearly totally stymied by the Rams’ defense which has clearly made a level of handing over hard hits and never being downhearted despite the occasional Edelman outbursts.
The celebrities of the game, if someone qualifies, are Edelman, who has ninety three receiving yards, and Johnny Hekker, who has punted for 267 yards.
Invoice Pennington: In three postseason games this One year, Invoice Belichick’s Patriots possess now given up 7 choices. That’s towards some pretty decent opponents: Chargers, Chiefs and Rams.
2nd Quarter: Patriots Turn the Ball Over on Downs
Tom Brady’s throw to Take Gronkowski on a 4th-and-1 from the Rams’ 32-yard line resulted in an surprising turnover on downs, ending but any other promising Unique England drive.
Brady had began the drive with an eleven-yard trail to Julian Edelman in which Edelman ran over Aqib Talib to real the fundamental down.
After a transient breeze by Rex Burkhead, Edelman picked up but any other first down, this one with a 9-yard take-and-breeze in which he changed into ready to acquire to the brink to real an additional yard or two.
The Patriots picked up but any other first down a pair of plays later thanks to the Rams having 12 males on the sphere, but after Brady threw incomplete on consecutive passes he found himself with a Third-and-10, and his trail to Patterson fell supreme short of fixing when Marcus Peters knocked Patterson down supreme short of the marker.
That location up the 4th down play in which Gronkowski would possibly maybe maybe furthermore not moderately obtain to Brady’s trail.
Invoice Pennington: Jared Goff is speeding his throws, out of sync in the pocket. The Rams ought to snatch a online page out of the Patriots’ playbook and judge for some shorter throws. Getting the ball out of Goff’s hand sooner would possibly maybe maybe yield a pair completions and support alongside with his self belief and sense of timing in the pocket.
2nd Quarter: 5 Possessions, 5 Punts for Rams
The Rams, who averaged 32.9 contains a game this season, possess had the ball five cases and they’ve punted five cases.
Todd Gurley changed into in a roundabout device abet on the sphere, which gave the impression in discovering it irresistible in most cases is a morale boost for Los Angeles, and he picked up eight yards on a pair of speeding plays to launch the drive. On Third-and-2, Jared Goff rolled out after a play-action misleading, averted one sack, but then changed into knocked backward for a 14-yard loss thanks to terrific stress from Kyle Van Noy.
Johnny Hekker has already punted for 209 yards.
2nd Quarter: Rams Opt up, then Lose, Some Rhythm
The Rams offense would possibly maybe maybe furthermore not solution the Patriots’ rating, going 23 yards on 5 plays, giving the ball abet to Unique England with a punt.
It had temporarily looked love the Los Angeles offense had woken up when Jared Goff found Robert Woods on the sideline for an 18-yard originate that will perchance furthermore simply possess benefited from a irascible call, as Woods did not clearly obtain each toes down. Unique England held solid after the play, permitting a Three-yard trail, knocking C.J. Anderson abet for a Three-yard loss, after which taking part in extensive defense on Josh Reynolds on a third-down trail that fell incomplete.
Los Angeles has had absolutely no offensive rhythm on this game whereas their defense has been device more impressive.
2nd Quarter: Patriots Establish on the Lead
Stephen Gostkowski linked on a 42-yard field purpose try, placing the Patriots up Three-zero with 10:29 left in the fundamental 1/2.
The scoring drive changed into location up as a outcomes of a really grand third down reception by Julian Edelman — no shock there — as he grew to turn out to be a Third-and-1 correct into a 25-yard originate.
Unique England struggled after that connection, failing to convert a first down even after Tom Brady found Take Gronkowski on a transient trail, but they had gotten shut enough for Gostkowski to hit pretty with out complications, making up for his miss earlier in the game.
2nd Quarter: Offenses Survey Flat
The teams punted on consecutive drives, but the Rams made a defensive assertion on their closing discontinuance of the fundamental quarter, placing some right stress on Tom Brady whereas furthermore going thru some long beneficial properties from Unique England’s receivers.
The quarter closed in a scoreless tie, with neither group threatening beyond Stephen Gostkowski’s missed field purpose try, but Los Angeles has to be encouraged after John Franklin-Myers produced a strip-sack, Marcus Peters very almost about intercepted a trail, and Aaron Donald compelled an incompletion as he whipped Brady to the bottom, a play that resulted in Unique England’s first punt.
The Rams possess but to assemble anything on offense on this game, but they’ve an interception, they are getting to Brady, and they’ve persisted a pair of of Julian Edelman’s signature third-down conversions with out giving up a rating.
Invoice Pennington: The Patriots ran twice as many plays as the Rams in the fundamental quarter. Rams had easiest one first down and were zero-for-Three on third down. The Rams defense is taking part in with moderately a pair of vitality and fire but the offense appears to be dreary and unsure.
1st Quarter: Rare Scurry over for Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski
Unique England had of mission to head up Three-zero but Stephen Gostkowski missed huge-left on a forty six-yard field purpose try.
The Patriots had began the drive on their very earn 12-yard line, but got into their identical outdated rhythm, executing a chain of short plays that constantly moved the chains. The Rams twice had mountainous defensive alternatives plug far from them, once when Julian Edelman ripped off an eleven-yard take-and-breeze on Third-and-9, and once when Nickell Robey Coleman’s crushing hit of Rex Burkhead on a 2nd-and-14 changed into resolute to be a defenseless receiver violation and an computerized first down.
A good play-action misleading following the penalty resulted in a 19-yard trail to Take Gronkowski, nonetheless it changed into followed by a breeze try by Rex Burkhead that went for 2 yard, a deep trail try to Chris Hogan that fell incomplete in the discontinuance zone, and a breeze by James White that went for Three, leading to Gostkowski’s ill-fated field purpose try.
As a outcomes of what looked as if it would be verbal exchange considerations, Unique England changed into compelled to utilize two of its timeouts on this drive.
Invoice Pennington: The Patriots haven’t scored but if the Rams secondary doesn’t trail closer to the road of scrimmage and tighten up its protection, it’s going to be a protracted day for them. Brady will snatch these throws below all day long.
Gostkowski had not missed a kick in his closing five games including the playoffs. But he did miss five of 32 field purpose attempts in the regular season and one extra level try.
1st Quarter: Brady’s First Scurry Intercepted, but Rams Scurry Nowhere
The Patriots were riding down the sphere pretty with out complications, picking up a pair of first downs on three consecutive runs, but Nickell Robey-Coleman, the defensive abet who committed the controversial trail interference in the N.F.C. championship, changed into ready to tip away a trail try to Chris Hogan, leading to an interception by Cory Littleton. Fully a mountainous turnover on a drive where the Patriots seemed to be marching their technique to a first quarter rating.
The Rams managed supreme two yards on their first two offensive plays, with a 2-yard breeze by Todd Gurley and an incomplete trail by Jared Goff. On Third-and-eight, Goff tried to hit Josh Reynolds on a crossing route but the group’s third huge receiver would possibly maybe maybe furthermore not handle the trail and it fell incomplete, leading to a Johnny Hekker punt.