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Stephon Gilmore makes 'clutch' pick in Super Bowl win

ATLANTA -- The New England Patriots turned in an impressive defensive performance during a 13-3 win Sunday over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

After the game, defenders remarked about how key playing together was throughout the game. Among the assembled group, though, were standout individual performances, including one from cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Gilmore totaled five tackles, an interception, three passes defensed and a forced fumble. The pick came at a critical point of the fourth quarter with the Rams threatening.

"It was clutch," Gilmore said. "I mean, I knew he was going to throw it up and I knew I had to make a play. I knew he was going to force it up there. Our defensive line put a lot of great pressure and he chucked it up, and I was able to make a play."

The Patriots held a 10-3 lead late in the fourth quarter and the Rams were driving in New England territory. On second and 10 at the Patriots' 27-yard line, quarterback Jared Goff threw it deep down the right sideline for wide receiver Brandin Cooks, but the pass hung in the air, allowing Gilmore to jump and snatch the ball at the 4-yard line.

"I knew once they get down near the goal line they like to take shots," Gilmore explained. "So, I was able to get zone vision on it."

The turnover proved devastating for the Rams' comeback attempt, as the Patriots took off 3:05 from the clock during a nine-play, 72-yard drive, which was capped off by a Stephen Gostkowski 41-yard field goal for the final score.

So, while the Patriots' defense certainly played a stout game against one of the NFL's top offensive units, Gilmore more than did his part to help shut down the Rams' offense.

"The defense played so well and we finally helped them out by getting a touchdown there," Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. "They stopped them, got the interception, Stephon got the pick, and then we were able to run a bunch and Stephen kicked a field goal. That was a great way to end it."

And the game-sealing turnover from Gilmore came as no surprise to linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

"He's the best corner in the league," Van Noy said. "He's a beast."

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