Last night's game was truly a travesty.
Now that the Super Bowl is over and we’ve had time to digest all the chicken wings and nachos humanly possible, not to mention, the game itself, we’re ready to talk (debatable) facts: Super Bowl 53 was one of the worst championship games in NFL history.
There are so many elements that go into each game that it can be a daunting task to break down what made one game worse than the other. Not to mention, the first Super Bowl was played back in 1967, long before many of the people reading this were born. Sure, there were probably some real stinkers back in the day, but after watching yesterday’s catastrophe of a game, it’s hard to imagine anything being worse.
The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in what was the lowest scoring Super Bowl of all-time. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady cemented his legacy as the best player of all-time, picking up a record sixth-championship. Meanwhile, Rams QB Jared Goff and head coach Sean McVay had their worst showing of the season, scoring just three points despite finishing the regular season with the second-best offense in the league.
Yesterday’s complete lack of offense had fans divided on social media; some said it was making the game extremely dull, while others enjoyed watching the two defenses slug it out. The issue here isn’t that the game was low scoring or that there was too much defense. Defensive football can be extremely fun to watch. Just look at the Seattle Seahawks and the Legion of Boom from 2013 or the 1985 Chicago Bears. Those were two teams that made defensive football a pleasure to watch. Yesterday’s game, though, wasn’t that. It was two high-powered offenses looking absolutely incompetent at the most crucial part of the season.
The first eight Rams possessions ended in a punt, which had some joking that the punter should be considered for the Super Bowl MVP. The Patriots didn’t fare much better. Brady threw an interception on his first possession and then kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter. The low score was much more about both teams’ ineptitude rather than the defenses ability to make big plays. McVay, the 33-year-old offensive mastermind couldn’t seem to find any of his signature creativity and kept running the ball on first down instead of going through the air. On the other end, Brady could only make a pass if it went to either Julian Edelman or Rob Gronkowski.
Back in 2014, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in a game that was pretty well over after the first quarter. In 1990, the San Francisco 49ers walked all over the Denver Broncos, winning 55-10 in the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history. Now it’s true, watching a blowout is a lot less fun than witnessing a tight game but at least those matches were entertaining. Both the Seahawks and the 49ers treated viewers to an offensive onslaught that made the game watchable, unlike last night.
Heading into yesterday’s game, fans expected an exciting, high-scoring affair but those expectations were quickly shattered once the first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie. These expectations were due in part to the fact that the Patriots and the Rams both had top 5 offenses that are known for keeping a high-tempo. If we knew going into the game that these were the two best defensive teams in the league, it would have been somewhat acceptable to have yesterday’s outcome. For instance, the Chicago Bears had the best defense in the NFC while the Ravens were the best in the AFC, according to ESPN. Neither of these teams were impressive offensively so a low-scoring Super Bowl between the two would have been expected.
Before the game, oddsmakers had the over/under for the game at 56 combined points with most bettors taking the over. EA Sports’ Madden 19 did a simulation of the game beforehand and had the Rams taking it 30-27 so there was plenty of evidence to suggest that the game would contain a ton of scoring. The fans were being promised a matchup between two offensive juggernauts and instead we got two teams playing like it was preseason, not the Super Bowl.
Usually, Super Bowls are filled with a ton of suspense near the end of the game as both teams are pushing for the win. That was not the case this time. The final moments were fairly anti-climactic, to say the least. The Patriots were up by a touchdown and with seven minutes to go, the Rams drove down the field and were close to tying it up. Goff, who was already having one of his worst games of the season, threw a horrible interception which allowed the Patriots to go down the field and score a field goal. Now down by 10, the Rams tried to rush down the field and get a quick field goal so they could attempt an onside kick and then try a hail mary to tie it. Well, absolutely none of that worked and the game ended on a missed field goal that would have made the score 13-6. It’s like they weren’t even trying.
To add insult to injury, one of the most hated franchises in all of pro sports, the New England Patriots had to be the ones to win it. If a more likable team like the Kansas City Chiefs or the New Orleans Saints had won this game, maybe claims of this being the worst Super Bowl of all time would be diminished. Instead, this game gave a sixth ring to Brady and his coach Bill Belichick who have been terrorizing teams since 2002 when they won their first championship.
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Once again, the lackluster score is really only a small portion of why this was a horrible Super Bowl. Incompetent play from two phenomenal offenses, a lack of drama and intrigue, mixed with an unlikable winner ultimately made Super Bowl 53 one of the most forgettable in the league’s history.
What did you think about this year’s Super Bowl? Was it as bad as people are saying or are we overreacting?