Well, we sure didn’t see that coming. Chalk it up to a learning experience for Sean McVay and Jared Goff because they certainly were outplayed and outcoached by the New England Patriots. The Los Angeles Rams failed to score a touchdown for just the second time this season, and unfortunately for them it came in the biggest game of the year.
We expected the Rams defense to be strong and the group certainly held up its end of the deal. Holding Tom Brady and the Pats to 13 points should have been good enough for a win. But the Rams, especially Goff, struggled mightily against New England’s schemes. As a result, the favored Pats covered the 2-point closing line while the teams easily cashed the under with the fewest combined points ever scored in a Super Bowl.
With their sixth Super Bowl victory the Pats matched Pittsburgh’s record total. And the legacy of Brady continues to grow. After opening as a slight underdog when the spread hit the board two weeks ago, the line was quickly wagered in favor of the Pats and got as high as +2.5 before settling in on its closing number. It also marked the seventh time in their last eight Super Bowl trips that the Pats closed as the favorite covering the spread for only the second time in those seven games.
NFL Super Bowl Betting Summary
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Super Bowl Betting Recap
It wasn’t the most entertaining Super Bowl, unless you like watching the punters hog the spotlight. But it was close and that made for some tense moments down the stretch. With all the offensive exploits we saw during the regular season and points scored in bunches, this was a throwback football game with hard-nosed defense stealing the show.
The score could have been much worse for the Rams if not for an early interception of Brady and a missed Stephen Gostkowski field goal. But the way New England played defense, it didn’t matter. The Pats followed up a first half blanking of the Chiefs in the AFC Championship by throttling the Rams. And just to make sure a repeat of the second half two weeks didn’t occur, the Pats kept coming.
The league’s second-highest scoring team during the regular season had no answers for the schemes Bill Belichick and his defensive staff threw at them. The Rams managed just 260 total yards and Goff was only 19 of 38 for 229 yards and a pick. After hearing how Todd Gurley was going to play a bulk of the snaps in Super Bowl LIII after having only five touches in the NFC Championship, the Rams may have over thought their game plan.
Gurley had 11 touches against the Pats for 34 total yards. It’s hard to say if Gurley would have made a difference with more touches, but he did have a nice run negated by a holding penalty that thwarted a drive. C.J. Anderson had a great stretch to end the regular season and deserved some carries on Sunday, but leaving your best offensive weapon on the sideline is a move that’s going to be scrutinized for years to come.
New England’s dynasty came full circle with the win. The Brady era started with the Pats defeating the St. Louis Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf offense manned by Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Torrey Holt in the 2002 Super Bowl. The Pats were 14-point dogs in that game. It began a stretch that saw the dogs go 7-9 straight up and 12-4 against the spread prior to Sunday’s game.
Meanwhile, the Rams are still looking for their first Super Bowl title while based in Los Angeles. They fell to 1-3 overall in the Big Game with the middle two of those four coming in a three year span. The St. Louis Rams won the only title in franchise history in Super Bowl XXXIV over Tennessee, only to lose two years later to Brady. The Los Angeles Rams made an appearance following the 1979 season losing to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XIV.
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