I’ve watched plenty of Super Bowls in my lifetime, and yes I will admit it: Super Bowl 53 between the Patriots and the Rams was rather dull. Hands down one of the most anticlimactic football games I’ve ever seen.
For three quarters, we essentially watched nothing but punts. Heck, that’s why 10 years from now, I will probably look back on this game and refer to it as “The Punt Bowl.” I saw way more of Ryan Allen and Johnny Hekker than I ever could have cared to. It was just brutal.
If my favorite team, the Patriots, hadn’t been playing in the game, there’s a good chance I may have actually dozed off during a Super Bowl for the first time in my life. Of course Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi certainly didn’t do much at halftime to keep me awake either.
That’s not to say that I didn’t appreciate watching the Patriots play their best defensive game of the year, completely demoralizing the No. 2 offense in all of football and shutting them out in the first half. That was an all-time defensive performance, and we have to recognize that. But still, this was the Super Bowl. We want to see a little bit of flare, right?
It’s all good, though. In the end, the Patriots still prevailed — New England 13, Los Angeles 3 — for title No. 6. And there were enough memorable moments in the fourth quarter to make up for the dreadful first three.
There was even one moment that happened with a few minutes left in the third, when our old friend Brandin Cooks had a go-ahead touchdown catch in his sights — at least until Jason McCourty literally emerged out of nowhere to break it up. It may have been the play of the game. Tony Romo was raving about it on the CBS broadcast.
On offense, of course, no play was bigger than Rob Gronkowski’s diving catch to bring the Patriots within the five-yard line with about seven and half minutes remaining. Gronk had a handful of big receptions in the game, but that catch was hands down his best of the game, and one of the best of his career. If we truly have seen the last of Gronkowski in the NFL (and I don’t think we have, but I had to throw that in here), he certainly went out in style.
And then, to be honest, this Super Bowl win wouldn’t have felt complete without a touchdown run from Sony Michel. The rookie running back has been a workhorse all year long, and he deserved to cap off his first season in the NFL by punching one in on the big stage.
However, my favorite moment of Super Bowl 53 — the only moment of the game that really brought me out of my seat — was when Stephon Gilmore intercepted Jared Goff with a little over four minutes remaining. That was the moment when I finally took a deep breath and said, “Man, I think we’re going to do this thing.” Did you see the look on Goff’s face as he walked off the field after throwing that pick? It was almost Peyton-esque.
Stephen Gostkowski tacked on a 41-yard field goal to make it a two-possession game, but it didn’t seem like it mattered at that point. You could tell the Rams just didn’t have it. The best Rams team since “The Greatest Show on Turf” and they had only put up three points in about 57 minutes of football? They were cooked, and we all knew it.
Sure, it might not be a Super Bowl that NFL Network will show replays of very often, but the fourth quarter gave us some exciting moments to cheer about. And most importantly, the Patriots won the game. It doesn’t matter if the final score was 13-3, or 30-3, or 100-3. The Patriots are still Super Bowl champions … again.
That makes six rings for Tom Brady. Now he really is the Michael Jordan of football.