Blame it on the defense. Or blame it on you eating too many carbs in the first half.
A year after the Patriots found themselves in a shootout with the Eagles, Bill Belichick's men instead relied on their suffocating defense to limit Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and the rest of the Rams to just three points. Kicker Greg Zuerlein was responsible for Los Angeles' lone score, and missed a late field goal in an attempt to add three more.
New England was the first to miss an opportunity for points, with Stephen Gostkowski's 46-yard field goal attempt hooking wide left with less than six minutes to play in the first. The Patriots seemed to spend the majority of their night with the ball near midfield, failing to reach the red zone on multiple possessions, stopped by the Rams' front-line defenses near Los Angeles' 40-yard line. Gostkowski eventually made an attempt, from 42 yards out with 10:33 left in the second.
That was all we were provided in the first half.
The 3-0 halftime score was the second-lowest score in the history of the Super Bowl. Only Super Bowl IX's 2-0 halftime difference -- a lead owned by the Steelers -- was lower, which is also the lowest possible score barring a scoreless tie. Super Bowl IX ended in a 16-6 win for the Steelers over the Vikings.
We witnessed two defenses playing at their peaks, with New England taking advantage of Los Angeles' minor weakness on the interior of its line, and the Rams' defense standing tall on multiple third-down scenarios in the shallow end of its own territory.
The difference, though, showed when the Rams' defense, forced back onto the field with minimal time to rest thanks to Los Angeles punting on its first eight possessions, allowed Tom Brady to march the Patriots 69 yards down the field in just five plays for the game's only touchdown. Los Angeles, achiever of multiple timely stops, couldn't get another in the middle of the fourth. That score -- a 2-yard Sony Michel touchdown run -- proved to be the difference.
Meanwhile, Goff couldn't get comfortable in the pocket for much of the night. The unrelenting pressure got to Goff, who on L.A.'s most promising drive lofted a pass off his back foot toward the end zone, severely under throwing the ball and making for an easy interception for Stephon Gilmore. That pick wiped out the Rams' best chance at six points.
Instead, Brady won his sixth ring.