Super Bowl LIII: Pat-ernal dominance for fathers Belichick and Brady

It was the Patriots’ day, but it wasn’t a Patriots’ start.


After losing the coin toss and being given the opening possession, solid runs were forgotten when Tom Brady’s opening pass ricocheted off hands into the awaiting arms of Rams defender Cory Littleton. Despite this signalling a horror start for Brady’s miserly comrades, it never eventuated into alarming territory, as the experienced defensive unit commanded by wise guy Bill Belichick ensured that the ball only went straight back to New England for the majority of Super Bowl LIII.


In the further expansion of a wonderful dynasty that now sits equal first on the all-time Super Bowl victories alongside the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patriots etched themselves into the history books with Lombardi Trophy number six on Monday. They never looked flustered in doing so throughout the three and a half hour start-to-finish proceedings, despite always being within the reaching distance of a distinguished more youthful Los Angeles Rams collective.


The Patriots constantly threatened the Rams defence – who stretched and pushed as hard as they could to mitigate the explosive potential of the vaunted trio in Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. They would ultimately relent after three quarters of holding on for dear life. Unfortunately, Edelman’s wonderful first half full of pass receptions and darting runs didn’t result in any form of scoreboard pressure, as New England’s stellar defensive effort to keep LA scoreless was sobered by them only putting up a solitary Gostkowski field goal (after said kicker also missed his first attempt – a rare occurrence in itself). Eventually, the Rams were brought undone by their sheer inability to even gain a first down when they had the ball, as the large amount of sacks on quarterback Goff highlighted the hardened desperation of the number one defence in the league.


Brady, unable to utilise the powerful running game that Sony Michel usually possesses due to the dangerous presence of 2017 and 2018 Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, was constantly forced to sit back and throw – playing into the hands of the Rams and former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.


But Goff, the quarterback to reach the Super Bowl in the shortest time, after being the number one draft pick (it only took him three seasons of being drafted to reach the coveted match), was pressured even more by Belichick’s deadly defence, as the likes of Hightower, Butler and Gilmore constantly ensured that Goff endured the most horrid day of his fledgling career.


There was always an air of dominance coming from New England, who looked in more control than they probably were, not scoring a touchdown until the last quarter. Even when the Rams drew level and Goff threatened to use the hampered runner in Gurley alongside breaking free of defensive shackles to throw some superb passes up field, Brady and his teammates never appeared to be fased. This may have been due to the battle of young against old – the wily Belichick became the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl title, while Rams coach Sean McVay would’ve been the youngest one to claim victory if his Rams had managed to perform better offensively.
By the time Brady broke the game open with a dynamic pass down the field to an outnumbered Gronk, who reeled in a wonderful completion to put the Pats on the cusp of a touchdown following a drive where a similar play was used continuously to Edelman and co, New England finally had justification for their confidence. If ever there was a match where the Patriots looked satisfied with the defensive proceedings, then this was it. Michel’s resulting stride into the end zone gave the Pats the lead they needed, and when Goff was picked off for a superb interception by Gilmore, the most successful outfit of the last 15 years looked headed for yet another title.


But the Rams gritted their teeth and strove for a miraculous comeback, although Gostkowski’s second field goal had pushed the margin beyond a single score game. It was like a younger brother charging his senior relation, only for the older boy to push against his head and easily keep him at bay. Belichick had his palm all over McVay, who couldn’t push past his wily adversary despite using all his might. The encounter was encapsulated by a late sack on Goff when LA were on their fourth down, as their refusal to punt yet again meant that Brady gained possession and could take a knee to gain an unprecedented sixth World Title.


Compared to other years the proceedings were lacklustre – a lack of scoring and no last-gasp close finish meant that the predictable Patriots won and Maroon 5-entertained Super Bowl LIII petered out into a low-key recognition of Belichick and Brady’s immense success. Brady was barely able to celebrate with his beloved Gronk and deserved MVP Edelman due to being surrounded by a heavy media throng within seconds of ending the game. Despite these dour celebrations for a deservedly heroic team, the New England Patriots continue to raise the ire of the NFL and defy the odds by continually winning championships when being written off. And isn’t that the hallmark of an athlete, coach and team that is perhaps the best we have ever seen?


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  1. Sean, thanks for the coverage of the Super Bowl. My pastor is a mid-westerner by origin and so a group of us converged on the manse to take it all in via ESPN. Mark was very excited to host us but, as it turned out, an underwhelming game was not his fault. The defensive nature of the play limited the spectacle and the triumph of experience over youth (both coaches and quarterbacks) was hardly unexpected. The Rams did well to hang in for as long as they did.

    Observations: 1. Brady won a sixth ring but played way below his capabilities (good defence). But the cream rises when it counts and his 4th quarter passes to Gronkowski and Edelman were the difference. 2. I couldn’t get over the way the TV and newspaper reporting media swarmed over Brady at game’s end – a case of celebrity mania or idolatry (especially since he had possibly his worst Bowl game ever)? 3. Whiffs of controversy with Edelman as MVP after a drug suspension at the start of the season. 4. In contrast to our practice here, over there the owner of the team receives the trophy! And Brady gets interviewed just because he’s Brady!

    Highlights: 1. Gladys Knight – class, respect and style! 2. The variety of food we got stuck into – chips, dips, Doritos, nuts, American hot dogs (from Aldi) and slaw with a choice of at least 6 sauces/relishes, beers (Australian or home brew), a solitary bottle of red, a scrumptious banana cake with lemon icing and several varieties of coffee also on call. 3. The company – ranging from the excitable knowledgable to the happy-to-go-along-with-it ignorant, and most points in between. 4. Some of the comments by Booger, especially the one inviting the Australian audience to look out the window for the Rams offence – it had to be out there somewhere!

    Lowlights: 1. Sport presented almost purely as an entertainment experience: we get enough of that (unwanted) crap here but it’s nothing compared to the palaver on show at the ‘Bowl’. 2. The after-game scrum of media trying to get meaningful interviews/comments from the players – just get the hell out of the way, please! 3. The much-hyped, hugely underwhelming half-time show – we came for the football, thank you very much. 4. The commentary generally – as bad as we have to put up with here, only louder.

    But, hey, we’ll all be back again next year for the LIV edition.

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