ZZZzzzzzz...

The Patriots and Rams play one of the most boring Super Bowl games ever

Howard Simon
February 04, 2019 - 11:41 am

Photo: Robert Deutsch - USA TODAY Sports

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Super Bowl LIII turned into a nightmare scenario.

The New England Patriots won, again, and it was one of the most boring Super Bowl games ever played. I do have an appreciation of outstanding defense and both defenses were dominant, but offense and points are entertaining, and this game probably put a lot of fans to sleep.

Of course we are used to seeing this. As a Buffalo Bills fan, we have lived through many games against a Bill Belichick-guided defense where it felt like getting into the end zone was never going to happen. That is exactly how it felt watching Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. An offense that averaged 33 points a game during the regular season was held to three points. They never even got in the red zone. The Rams got inside the Patriots' 30-yard line just one time. Goff looked confused and indecisive, as many young quarterbacks have the first time they face a Belichick defense.  

The Patriots were able to get Goff to hang on to the ball long enough for their pass rushers to get pressure. When pressured, Goff was 3-for-12 with one interception and four sacks.

Goff's best chance for a touchdown came when Brandin Cooks was wide open on his way to the end zone, but he took too long to throw the pass. That delay gave Jason McCourty enough time to get over and break up the play.

The Rams were also their own worst enemy. We always hear stories about how Belichick takes away the opponents' top weapon, but the Rams did that themselves. For some reason, Todd Gurley was used sparingly for the second straight game. Gurley was a huge part of the Rams offense during the regular season, and just three weeks ago in the divisional round, Gurley topped 100 yards rushing in the win over the Dallas Cowboys. However, he spent more time on the sideline watching the offense than being out on the field in the NFC Championship game and the Super Bowl.

This was why I was rooting for the New Orleans Saints to beat the Rams two weeks ago. I don't know if the Saints' defense would have played as well as the Rams did, but Drew Brees would have been a much better option at quarterback, having faced Belichick defenses many times over his NFL career.

This game did leave me with a deeper appreciation of Patrick Mahomes. Rookie quarterbacks and young quarterbacks have struggled mightily over the years when seeing Belichick defenses for the first time. In Mahomes' first meeting against New England, Kansas City scored 40 points. In the rematch at the AFC Championship game, Mahomes and company were shut out in the first half and then put up 31 points in the second half.

As if seeing Belichick and Brady win a record sixth Super Bowl wasn't bad enough for Bills fans, I'm guessing many of you cringed seeing former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore come up big in the big game. On back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter, Gilmore broke up, what would have been, a touchdown pass to Cooks that could have led to a tie game, and then he ended the Rams drive with an interception inside the Patriots' five-yard line. 

All in all, it was a very forgettable night for most football fans. It was also the lowest-rated Super Bowl since 2009, which is probably a combination of "Patriots fatigue" and no scoring.

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