Tom Brady has won his sixth Super Bowl as the veteran quarterback led his New England Patriots to a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
The 41-year-old threw for 262 yards and engineered the game’s only touchdown drive as Sony Michel punched the ball in to give New England the lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Julian Edelman – voted MVP with 141 yards receiving – and Rob Gronkowski also shined for New England, who now tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl championships.
The pair had 228 of New England’s 262 receiving yards, with both nabbing key receptions in the touchdown drive.
With the Patriots needing a score to tighten their grip on the Vince Lombardi trophy, Brady delivered.
Starting at their own 31, the veteran quarterback found Gronkowski with a short pass for 19 yards, then, out of the gun, hit Edelman for a 13-yard completion.
Now at the Rams’ 38-yard line, Brady found Rex Burkhead with a short seven-yard pass before finding 87 again as Gronkowski beat two defenders to finish two yards shy.
This was the only redzone visit of the night and Michel took advantage of good blocking to score his sixth postseason touchdown.
Plaudits should also go to the New England defence, who contained Jared Goff to just 229 yards and the Rams to just three points – having scored an average of 32.9 per game in the regular season.
The strong Patriots defensive performance was capped off when Stephon Gilmore read Goff and secured a pick on the New England two-yard line with just over four minutes remaining.
Super Bowl LIII was the lowest-scoring championship game in the history of the NFL, and it was the Rams who has their tails up early when cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman tipped Brady’s pass and linebacker Cory Littleton slid in for an interception.
However Los Angeles were unable to capitalise going three-and-out – bringing in punter Johnny Hekker for the first of his six punts in the opening 30 minutes.
The Rams failed to convert a third-down in the first half, and finished the opening half with 57 yards on offence.
But crucially, the New England offence was unable to put anything on the board in the first quarter – Stephen Gostkowski missing a 46-yard field goal.
Gostkowski was true with the boot from 42 yards early in the second as the Patriots went into the locker room 3-0 up.
The second half started in a similar vain to the first with defences prevailing and punters drafted in on three-and-outs.
Hekker grabbed himself a Super Bowl record when he sent the ball down 65 yards on a third-quarter punt – beating the old record by a solitary yard.
On their ensuing possession, the Rams drew the game level as Goff drove his side 42 yards including a deep pass to Robert Woods for 18 yards.
A vital sack on third and seven meant Los Angeles had to settle for three, with Greg Zuerlein doing the honours.
It would turn out to be the Rams’ only score all night as the Patriots found the end zone for a 10-3 lead with seven minutes left before Goff was picked off with less than five remaining.
Gostkowski made it a two-score game late in the fourth when he converted a 41-yard attempt.
For the Rams, it was do or die.
A holding penalty brought the drive back before it had even begun, but as the 24-year-old pushed the Rams down the field, so the clock ticked down.
Zuerlein was drafted in for a 48-yard field goal attempt with eight ticks remaining, which would have reduced the deficit to seven.
The attempt veered left and Brady took a knee to secure the title.
Don Crisman knows precisely when the streak began: January 15, 1967. The ticket price for the Super Bowl at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was $12.
On Sunday, Crisman, Gregory Eaton and Tom Henschel will attend Super Bowl 53 . They’re the last surviving members of the Never Miss a Super Bowl Club, the only known fans with a perfect attendance record for the NFL’s biggest game.
Ticket prices have soared through the years. Eaton said he paid $2,000 for his ticket to Sunday’s Rams-Patriots game.
It’s a unique club for the three who become mini-celebrities once a year.
Crisman is hoping his Patriots can win their sixth title. For now, Henschel’s Steelers have the record with six.
Eaton’s Detroit Lions have never made it to a Super Bowl. Year after year, he keeps his streak intact.
The New England Patriots have booked their third-straight Super Bowl appearance after overcoming the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 in overtime.
The Pats will face the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL’s showpiece game after they too needed overtime to defeat the New Orleans Saints 26-23.
Tom Brady, looking for his sixth NFL championship, helped guide New England to the win with a 75-yard drive in overtime, capped by a Rex Burkhead two-yard rush as the side secured the AFC Championship.
It was not all plain sailing for the Pats as Kansas City put on 24 points in the final quarter to force the game beyond the regulation 60 minutes.
Damien Williams scored three touchdowns for the Chiefs in the final 15 minutes while New England’s Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead also found the end zone as the lead changed four times.
Harrison Butker forced the game into overtime with a field goal in the dying seconds from 39 yards, but Brady went on to break hearts at the Arrowhead.
A Brady pass to Julian Edelman for 20-yards was followed by a second for 15 as the Patriots took up good field position.
Burkhead was the one to seal the deal with a two-yard rush up the middle.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day the Rams punched their ticket to the Super Bowl with kicker Greg Zuerlein holding his nerve to score a field goal from 57 yards in overtime to defeat the New Orleans Saints 26-23.
The number one and two seeds, who both finished their seasons with 13-3 records, faced off in the NFC Championship game and it was the Saints who made most of the early running.
Kicker Wil Lutz was true with the boot from 37 and 29 yards and quarterback Drew Brees found Garrett Griffin for a five-yard touchdown as the Saints led 13-0 after the first quarter.
The Rams bounced back in the second, Zuerlein making a field goal from 36 yards and Todd Gurley rushing from six yards to reduce the deficit to 13-10 at the half.
Brees – 26 of 38 for 249 yards – got his second touchdown of the day in the third, passing two yards to Taysom Hill, while the Rams QB Jared Goff got his first score to Tyler Higbee as the sides entered the final 15 minutes at 20-17.
A 39-yard pass from Goff to Gerald Everett gave the Rams decent field position late in the fourth, but Los Angeles had to settle for a field goal to tie the game at 20-20.
Brees was intercepted for the first time in overtime as John Johnson got the pick at the 46-yard line to give the Rams good field position.
The drive stalled as Zuerlein was, once again, called into action for a 57-yard field goal attempt.
The 31-year-old split the uprights as the Rams booked their ticket to the Super Bowl, 20 years since the Rams – then based in St Louis – beat the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.