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Patriots win Super Bowl LIII

The Patriots have won their 6th Super Bowl, beating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Atlanta

The New England Patriots have won Super Bowl LIII after beating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Atlanta on Sunday. 

The first half had been a very low scoring affair with both defences dominating. This had started with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throwing an interception on their opening drive of the game. Through the first quarter, Tom Brady had a passer rating of 59.9 and Rams quarterback Jared Goff had a passer rating of 51.5. The Rams had thrown for 17 yards and ran for 15 yards in the first quarter as it finished 0-0. The second quarter saw the only points of the half, coming from a Steven Gostkowski field goal. This came after the Patriots kicker had missed one in the first quarter with the Patriots leading 3-0 at the break. 

The half-time show saw Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi perform, the show was received with mixed reactions online. Before the show Maroon 5 announced that they were going to donate $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a non-profit that offers one-on-one mentors for children across the U.S. Both Travis Scott and the NFL have also made separate $500,000 donations to Dream Corps, a U.S. non-profit focused on social justice. 

The third quarter saw no improvement, the Rams were forced to kick 8 consecutive punts through the first three quarters which is a record for a Super Bowl, however, punter Johnny Hekker was able to kick a 65-yard punt, the longest in Super Bowl history by one yard. The Rams finally got the chains moving and got on the scoreboard midway through the third, Greg Zuerlein (or 'Greg the Leg' as he has affectionately come to be called) was able to make a 53-yard field goal, the second longest in Super Bowl history. 

The first touchdown of Super Bowl 53 came 53 minutes into the game itself, Brady's big pass to Rob Gronkowski was followed up by rookie Sony Michel's 1-yard run for the touchdown, putting the Patriots up by 7 with 7 minutes to go.  His 18 rushes for 94 yards had been vital in the second half improvement for the New England Patriots. The Rams had started to move after the touchdown, wide receiver Brandin Cooks dropped his second ball in the end zone, but the Rams fate seemed to have been sealed when Goff threw an interception to Stephon Gilmore. Goff finished with a QB rating of 57.9. The Patriots again pushed up the field with big plays for Michel and Burkhead. The Patriots extended their lead to 10 with a field goal from Steven Gostkowski, a Greg Zuerlein missed field goal with five seconds to go put the game beyond all doubt. 

The poor attacking performance by the Rams can be explained in their lack of ability to be able to run the football, gaining just 62 yards all day, cancelling out their usually reliable play action pass (where the play appears to be a running play, but turns out to be a pass play). This has been their main offensive play all season, meaning that the Rams struggled to adapt once they couldn't use it. 

The game itself is the lowest scoring game in the history of the Super Bowl, comfortably below the 21 points scored between the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins in 1973, when the Dolphins capped off their perfect season with a 14-7 win. The Rams are the first team to fail to score a touchdown in the game since the Miami Dolphins in 1972, they might be able to take solace in the fact that the Dolphins went onto win the Super Bowl the year after. 

For the Patriots, their sixth Super Bowl win means that they are now level with the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl wins of all time. They are the first team to win the Super Bowl after losing in the game the year before since the Dolphins in 1973. Quarterback Tom Brady's sixth ring means that he has won more than any other player in NFL history, after being tied with Charles Haley. Head coach Bill Belichick has now won 8 Super Bowls, six as head coach of the New England Patriots and two as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants in the 1986 and 1990.  This has all come in a season in which the New England Patriots were said to be in turmoil, after the loss in last year's Super Bowl against the Eagles and the controversial trade of Jimmy Garoppolo, they have shown their ability to fight through these setbacks and potentially class themselves as the best dynasty in NFL history.

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