It’s time! The New England Patriots will face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53 for the right to be named champions of the NFL. Can Tom Brady and company secure their sixth title? Or will the rising Rams start a dynasty of their own?
We have all the information you need to prepare for this game. We’ve been in Atlanta covering the Super Bowl all week; we have the game details; we have pregame shows; and we’ll be keeping you updated all throughout the game.
Here’s what you need to know:
Pats Pulpit Super Bowl Coverage
Date: Sunday, February 3rd, 2019
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
SB Nation affiliate: Turf Show Times
TV: CBS, with Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (color commentary), Tracy Wolfson (sideline) and Jay Feely (sideline)
Which Patriots could be playing their last games for New England?
Patriots fully healthy heading into the Super Bowl.
5 things to watch for between the Patriots and the Rams.
FILM ROOM: What previous games against Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh can tell us about Super Bowl game plans.
Dissecting the Rams’ favorite offensive personnel package.
Patriots inactives: Deatrich Wise and Danny Shelton are playing!
Patriots call heads, it is tails. Rams choose to defer.— Pats Pulpit (@patspulpit) February 3, 2019
Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff an excellent 38 yards to the Patriots 39-yard line to start the game. Sony Michel and Patterson ran the ball on the next four plays to pick up a pair of first downs, but then Tom Brady floated his very first pass of the day to Chris Hogan by the sideline and Rams linebacker Cory Littleton came down with an interception to take a potential three points off the board. Hopefully that mean Brady’s customary terrible interception is checked off the list and he can play a great game for the rest of the night.
Fortunately, the Patriots defense got out to a great start and forced a three-and-out on the Rams. Kyle Van Noy forced Jared Goff towards the sideline with an incomplete pass on second down and Adrian Clayborn generated great pressure up the middle on third down to force the punt.
The Patriots offense looks a little stilted, but Julian Edelman converted a third down, Rex Burkhead drew a generous “defenseless receiver” penalty for a helmet-to-helmet contact that resulted in a fresh set of downs, and then Burkhead moved the chains again to get towards midfield before New England called their first timeout of the game. Brady found Rob Gronkowski for another big gain to get into field goal range. Burkhead gained two on first down and Brady made an end zone shot to Hogan on second down, but Marcus Peters was in tight coverage and the pass fell incomplete. Brady called another timeout, the second of the drive. There’s still 21 minutes left in the half, so hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite them. The Patriots opted to run up the middle for 2 more yards and settle for a field goal attempt. Stephen Gostkowski lined up from 46 yards out and missed the kick wide left. The Patriots have left a ton of points on the board so far.
The Patriots defense has been outstanding, as Patrick Chung came flying towards Robert Woods on third down and knocked the ball away for another punt. New England gets the ball again on their own 19-yard line. The Patriots have yet to score a touchdown in the first quarter of their Super Bowls during the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era...with 3:25 left in the quarter, will this streak continue?
Can Brady stop throwing towards Hogan? Yikes. Peters almost came down with a first down pass around midfield, but Brady rebounded by finding Edelman for a huge game to get into Rams territory. Brady held on to the ball too long and fumbled the ball on the next play, but David Andrews was able to recover. Brady found Gronkowski to pick up most of the lost yardage to set up a third-and-5 on the 40-yard line, but the Aaron Donald generated pressure by walking Andrews back into the pocket and Brady had to throw it away. New England punted the ball back to the Rams and Matthew Slater downed the ball on the Los Angeles 6-yard line with 12 seconds left in the quarter.
C.J. Anderson ran up the gut for five yards to finish the first quarter.
John Simon knocked the ball away on third down to force a three-and-out and the Patriots will start with the ball from their own 37-yard line.
Another drive, another wasted target towards Hogan. There just really is nothing positive happening when Brady targets Hogan. Brady should just keep targeting Edelman, who picked up 25 yards to get into field goal range. Edelman and Gronkowski have 114 of Tom Brady’s 122 passing yards today. Gostkowski connected on the 42-yard kick to take a 3-0 lead.
The New England defense has been outstanding today. Jared Goff completed a questionable 18-yard pass to Robert Woods and Los Angeles got a play off before New England could see a replay and throw the challenge flag. Danny Shelton tackled C.J. Anderson for a 3-yard loss and Jason McCourty broke up a deep pass to Josh Reynolds on third down to force another punt. Edelman returned the punt 7 yards to the New England 17-yard line.
The Patriots offense was unable to generate much yardage and the Rams forced a three-and-out. Albert McClellan was flagged for holding to give Los Angeles an extra 10 yards and the Rams are in great field position at their own 45-yard line.
Todd Gurley took the first two carries to set up third-and-2 in Patriots territory, but Kyle Van Noy sacked Jared Goff for a ridiculous 14-yard loss. What an incredible play by Van Noy. Johnny Hekker punted the ball and a good bounce for New England sets the Patriots up on their own 27-yard line with 3:57 left in the half. Let’s see if the Patriots can lead a great 4-minute drive and put some points on the board before halftime.
Edelman is cooking! Brady found Edelman for a pair of completions to get to midfield and the two-minute warning. Out of the break, it’s clear that Brady isn’t on the same page as James White, either, with a pair of incomplete passes before finding Patterson for 9 yards to set up a fourth-and-1. The Patriots went for it, but it was a poor decision by Brady to throw to a tightly-covered Gronkowski in the middle of the field. The Rams defense was spread out and Brady probably should’ve gone under center and taken it himself. The Rams get pretty good field position with a chance to score before the half.
Dont’a Hightower sacked Goff for 6 yards and the Patriots defense forced yet another three-and-out. Hekker punted the ball to pin the Patriots on the 2-yard line and New England kneeled the ball to get to the break with a 3-0 lead.
This has been a weird game for the Patriots. They probably should be up 12-0 at the very least, and by a lot more if they were executing well. Brady can’t connect with a receiver other than Edelman (7 receptions for 93 yards) or Gronkowski (4 catches for 40 yards); he’s 1/7 on passes to James White and Chris Hogan for 5 yards. Brady has honestly been shot-putting a few passes and hasn’t have his usual zip on passes to the sideline.
The rushing attack has been limited by the Rams defensive interior, with Sony Michel (6 for 22) and Rex Burkhead (4 for 13) not being overly productive.
Honestly, Cordarrelle Patterson has been the third-most productive player on offense with 21 yards on 4 touches, which isn’t a great sign. New England really needs to get Phillip Dorsett involved in the second half, like they got Malcolm Mitchell involved of the second half of Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots defense has been stellar. Rams running backs have 20 yards on 7 carries (2.86 YPC), and Goff has completed just 5 of 12 (41.7%) for 52 yards- and a pair of those completions were arguably incomplete and should’ve been challenged. The Patriots defense is playing their best game of the season, as New England has out-gained the Rams 195-57.
The Rams get the ball after the half. Let’s hope the Patriots defense can continue to play at a high level and the New England offense can get on track.
The New England Patriots defense has come to play. After Todd Gurley broke free for 16 yards, the Patriots defense stopped the Rams with Stephon Gilmore breaking up the third down pass intended for Brandin Cooks. Hekker pinned the Patriots on their own 8-yard line.
Edelman is the current favorite for MVP. He converted a third-and-4 for 27 yards to get to the New England 41-yard line, and then gained 8 yards on a slip screen to get to midfield. New England was unable to convert on the good field position and Ryan Allen pinned the Rams on their own 2-yard line with an outstanding punt.
The New England defense did another great job of forcing a three-and-out, with Dont’a Hightower generating a ton of pressure on third down. Hekker punted a Super Bowl record 65 yards to flip the field, breaking Ryan Allen’s record of 64-yards from Super Bowl XLIX.
Again...please stop throwing the ball to Chris Hogan. The Patriots went three-and-out with Brady throwing a deep ball on third-and-5 to a completely covered Hogan. Put Dorsett in there. Or Patterson. Brady is a disastrous 0-for-6 on passes to Hogan. This is actively detrimental to the offense. Allen punted the ball back to the Rams, who will start on their own 23-yard line.
The Rams finally put together their best drive of the night as we head to the end of the third quarter. Goff connected with Cooks for 15 yards and then Robert Woods for 18 yards to get into field goal range. Jason McCourty made an incredible pass breakup on a wide-open Brandin Cooks in the end zone and Hightower sacked Goff for a loss of 9 yards to set up a 53-yard field goal. Greg Zuerlein connected to tie the game 3-3.
New England handed the ball to Sony Michel, who gained 25 yards on three carries to set up a third-and-4 from the Rams 44-yard line to end the quarter. According to the CBS broadcast, this is the first Super Bowl without a touchdown through three quarters.
Brady threw an incomplete pass to James White and the Patriots had to punt the ball back. Allen pinned the Rams on the 6-yard line.
Goff connected with Anderson for a 9-yard gain to start the drive, and the Patriots defense was in disarray as the Rams picked up a first down to get to the 23-yard line. The Patriots were confused again and had to use a time out. Goff threw an incomplete pass on thkrd-and-11, but Gilmore was flagged for defensive holding to give the Rams a new set of downs. Goff connected with Cooks for 16 more yards in front of Gilmore, but a 10-yard holding penalty by the Rams set up a first-and-20, Jonathan Jones absolutely leveled Goff for a loss, and then Trey Flowers stood up Gurley on third down and a Hekker punt set up New England on the 31-yard line with 9:49 left in the game.
What a championship drive! Brady and the offense was unstoppable, as Gronkowski picked up 18 yards, Edelman gained 13, Rex Burkhead picked up 7, and Gronkowski picked up another 29 to get to the Rams 2-yard line, all through the air. Sony Michel ran the final two yards for a touchdown and a 10-3 lead with 7:00 left in the game.
The Rams picked up 19 yards on the first play of their drive on a screen to Brandin Cooks, and found Josh Reynolds for a first down on third-and-9 to get into New England territory. Robert Woods caught a pass to get to the New England 27-yard line, and Duron Harmon crushed Cooks in the end zone to force an incompletion, and then Stephon Gilmore intercepted a floater from Goff to give New England the ball on the 4-yard line with 4:17 left in the game. Can New England end it here?
The Patriots put together an incredible drive to drain a huge portion of the remaining clock. Michel and Burkhead combined for seven carries and 68 yards to get to a third-and-1 at the two-minute warning. The Patriots are in field goal range and a first down would end the game. Michel came up inches short of the first down, but Gostkowski barely connected on a 41-yard field goal attempt to take a 13-3 lead with 72 seconds left in the game. The Rams don’t have any more timeouts and they’re down two scores.
The Rams picked up some chunk yardage, with 10 yards to Woods and 24 yards to Cooks on a catch-and-run, and another 21 yards to Cooks to get to the Patriots 30-yard line with 17 yards left on the clock. The Rams opted to kick the field goal and try for the onside kick, but Zuerlein missed wide left and the Patriots get the ball and win Super Bowl LIII!
Tom Brady finished the game 21/35 for 262 yards and an interception. Julian Edelman was named MVP for his 10 catch, 141 yard performance. Sony Michel picked up 94 yards and scored the only touchdown of the game. Rob Gronkowski gained 87 yards in a near-vintage performance.
Not enough can be said about the New England defense. The defensive front held the potent Rams rushing attack to 62 yards on 18 carries (3.4 YPC). Outside of the final drive, the secondary mostly held Rams receivers Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods in check. Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty were studs in the secondary, and Duron Harmon and Devin McCourty played well, too. Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy combined for 3 sacks and 3 additional quarterback hits and a pass defended.
And who could forget Ryan Allen, who had one of the best days punting the ball of his career? And Matthew Slater having one of his best games as a gunner?
Congratulations to your Super Bowl champion New England Patriots!
Use this as the open thread for discussion.