Rams lose to Patriots in Atlanta

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – 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 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 team to punt on each of their first eight
possessions in a Super Bowl, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
On the eighth punt, Johnny Hekker punted for 65 yards, the longest in
Super Bowl history. It was 1 yard longer than the previous record set by New
England’s Ryan Allen in Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.
“That punt probably rolled for half the total distance so I wasn’t
too happy with the way that one came off my foot but to have that next to my
name and to know that whenever I look at that opportunity I’ll think of the
guys that work their tails off during the week, the other 10 guys that are on
the field that have made that a possibility,” Hekker said.
The Patriots led 3-0 at halftime on Gostkowski’s 42-yard field goal
with 10:29 left in the second quarter.
The first half was the second-lowest scoring in Super Bowl history
with three points, only ahead of Super Bowl IX in 1975, when the Pittsburgh
Steelers led the Minnesota Vikings, 2-0, en route to a 16-6 victory.
The Rams were outgained 195 yards to 57 in the first half and trailed
12-2 in first downs.
New England’s first-quarter possessions ended with an interception of
a Brady pass by Rams linebacker Cory Littleton, a miss of a 46-yard field goal
attempt by Gostkowski and a punt by Allen.
The Rams punted on both their first-quarter possessions.
The Patriots outgained the Rams, 113-29, in the first quarter and had
eight first downs to the Rams one.
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.

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