BY MELANIE DASILVA, RYAN TOUHEY, & DAN GARDELLA
Sports Editors & Asst. Editor
For the third time in the last five years and for the sixth time in franchise history, the New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions. They defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53, 13-3, at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The lowest scoring game in Super Bowl history began with a miss. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski was unable to get New England on the board in the first quarter with a missed field goal from 46 yards.
As the game remained scoreless after one quarter, Gostkowski redeemed himself. The veteran kicker knocked down a 42-yard field goal at the 10:29 mark to give the Patriots their first points of the game.
The 3-0 halftime lead for New England was the second-lowest scoring first half in the game’s history. The Pittsburgh Steelers 2-0 halftime lead over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl 9 holds the record for the fewest points.
The Rams got on the board at the 2:11 mark of the third quarter, when their kicker Greg Zuerlein hit a 53-yard field goal to tie the game at 3.
The score remained 3-3 heading into the fourth quarter. It was the first time in Super Bowl history that a touchdown was not scored within the first three quarters of the game.
Tom Brady captured his sixth NFL title in 18 years by throwing for 262 yards without a touchdown. Brady then orchestrated the game’s lone touchdown drive, a five-play, 69-yard march, finished off with a 29-yard throw to tight end Rob Gronkowski. On the next play, it was capped off by rookie Sony Michel running it in from two yards away to extend their lead to 10.
The Rams, who boasted the best offense in the National Football League, were stifled drive after drive, only able to muster three points.
After the New England touchdown, quarterback Jared Goff moved the Rams down to the New England 28 with 4:30 left. The third-year quarterback threw a high pass near the end zone where it was intercepted by cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
The Patriots added to their lead after a 41-yard field goal by Gostkowski to make it 13-3. The Patriots offense worked the clock down on a drive covering nine plays and 72 yards.
With eight seconds remaining, the Rams elected to kick a field goal to trim the lead to a touchdown and hoped to recover an onside kick to force overtime. Zuelerin’s 48-yard field goal attempt sailed wide to the left, sealing their fate.
The Rams, who averaged 32.9 points per game this season, now join the Miami Dolphins, from Super Bowl 6 as one of the only teams to not score a touchdown in the championship game.
By contrast, the Patriots have not only won their sixth Super Bowl, but they have won all six within the last 18 years. They are now tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most titles all-time.
Julian Edelman captured the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award with a 10-catch, 141 receiving yard performance. With the award, Edelman becomes the seventh wide receiver to win the award and the first since Santonio Holmes.
Holmes did it 10 years ago as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Super Bowl win over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Patriots Championship parade is set for Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. in Boston.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.