This year, the New England Patriots — and their roster of familiar faces — squared off against the Los Angeles Rams and their young stars at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. With the score 3-0 in the Patriots’ favor at halftime, this was a physically- and defensively-oriented game. The Rams punted their first eight possessions.
“The game itself hasn’t been that interesting if I’m being honest,” Gallatin senior Andrea Meyer said.
The halftime show provided a break from the defensive battle, especially for those less interested in football. Unfortunately, Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi of Atlanta’s own OutKast delivered a halftime performance that matched the first half’s lack of excitement and the low expectations for the brief concert. No number of lantern drones and “Spongebob Squarepants” memes, an homage to the late creator Stephen Hillenburg, could resurrect Adam Levine’s performance.
“The ‘SpongeBob’ appearance in Travis Scott’s performance was my favorite part,” CAS senior Ale Leipen said.
After the low-scoring first half, many expected both teams to make significant adjustments in the final 30 minutes. Tisch first-year Carina Kanzler, who grew up in a Patriots household, said the number of punts from both teams heading into the start of the third quarter surprised her.
Many students also eagerly anticipated the match-up between legendary Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Rams head coach Sean McVay, the youngest head coach to lead an NFL team to the Super Bowl.
Especially after the closely contested first half, anticipation for the battle down the stretch between the upstart Rams and the dynastic Patriots increased. However, Belichick and the Patriots came out on top 13-3 — a surprisingly low-scoring affair considering the shootouts in the Conference Championships and the two teams’ high-flying offenses.
Sixteen points is the lowest combined total for any Super Bowl. Before this year’s game, Super Bowl VII was the lowest scoring game with the Miami Dolphins beating the Washington Redskins 14-7.
Tom Brady, the veteran Patriots quarterback who now holds the NFL record for most Super Bowl wins with six, was held mostly in check by the tough Rams defense until the fourth quarter. With this victory, he cemented his spot as the greatest quarterback of all time. But Kanzler said she doesn’t know how much longer his run of success will last.
“Maybe it’s not his last season, but I think this is his last Super Bowl,” Kanzler said.
The title has further legitimized the Patriots fans’ claim that their team is the greatest NFL dynasty ever, and the team will surely be looking to strengthen their roster for another Super Bowl run next year.
But Rams fans should not be too disillusioned — this young team has a bright future ahead, led by innovative coach Sean McVay and star quarterback Jared Gof; both the Patriots and Rams are poised to be championship contenders for years to come.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, print edition. Email Nico Davidoff at [email protected]