The Rams quest to give Los Angeles its first NFL championship since the 1983 season ended with them being held to a Super Bowl record-tying-low point total in a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
Rookie Sony Michel ran two yards for the game’s lone touchdown with seven minutes to play in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl. The touchdown on the five-play, 69-yard drive came one play after Tom Brady’s 29-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski.
The Rams ensuing drive ended when Jared Goff’s pass was intercepted by Stephon Gilmore at New England’s 4-yard line with 4:17 left.
The Patriots then sealed the victory in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Stephen Gostkowski’s 41-yard field goal with 1:12 remaining to cap a nine-play,72-yard drive that consumed 3:05.
Michel ran for 41 of his game-high 94-yards on the field goal drive.
New England receiver Julian Edelman was selected as the MVP for catching 10 passes for 141 yards, both game highs.
“He just played the best game he has all year,” Brady said. “So proud of him (and) what he’s accomplished coming back from his ACL (injury). He just fought it out, grinded it out just like everyone else.
“He’s been an incredible player for this team in the playoffs and he just cemented himself, again, in the history of the NFL for what his accomplishments are.”
Brady completed 21 of 35 passes for 262 yards as he became the first player to play on six Super Bowl-winning teams. His first pass was intercepted, the Patriots only turnover.
Brady completed all four of his passes on the touchdown drive for 67 yards, including 18- and 29-yard passes to Gronkowski.
Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker-defensive end Charles Haley had played on five Super Bowl-winning team as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s and 1990s.
Goff completed 19 of 38 passes for 229 yards with one interception. He was sacked four times before a capacity crowd announced at 70,081.
“I wish I would have played better,” Goff said. “I wish we would have played better on offense and offensively as a whole. I wish I could have had a million plays back, but there is nothing you can do about it. You just have to learn and move forward.”
Rams coach Sean McVay said “the play selection didn’t really give him much of a chance.”
“I think it starts with me, and that is where you have to look back and see what are the things that we can do to be better for our players and
then what can the players do better to execute,” McVay said. “Those will be
the things that we look at.”
The Rams were outgained, 407 yards to 260, trailed 22-14 in first downs and 33:10-26:50 in time of possession.
“I got out-coached,” McVay said. “I didn’t do nearly good enough for our football team.”
The Rams tied the score, 3-3, on Greg Zuerlein’s 53-yard field goal with 2:11 left in the third quarter. The field goal came three plays after Goff’s pass intended for Brandin Cooks in the back of the end zone was broken up by Jason McCourty.
The previous lowest-scoring Super Bowl was Super Bowl VII in 1973 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins combined for 21 points.
That game was best remembered for Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian’s
bobble after a blocked kick that was grabbed by Washington cornerback Mike Bass
and returned 49 yards for a touchdown in Miami’s 14-7 victory.
The Dolphins were held to three points in their 24-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl VI in 1972.
The Rams were the first Los Angeles team to advance to the Super Bowl since the then-Los Angeles Raiders in the 1983 season, when they defeated Washington, 38-9, in Super Bowl XVIII.
Super Bowl LIII came exactly 17 years after the Rams’ previous most recent Super Bowl appearance, a 20-17 loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, the first of New England’s five Super Bowl titles.
Super Bowl LIII was the Rams fourth and second when they were based in Los Angeles. They lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-19, in Super Bowl XIV on Jan. 20, 1980.
The Rams also played in the NFL Championship Game five times before the Super Bowl was established in the 1966 season, including once when they were based in Cleveland.
The Rams won one NFL championship when based in Los Angeles in 1951, one in Cleveland in 1945 and one in St. Louis for the 1999 season.