Super Bowl 53 has come and gone, and the New England Patriots are once again world champions after a strange 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams. In what most expected to be a high-powered showing between two explosive offenses, we got the exact opposite. Two struggling offenses and two defenses stifling each other time after time. Unfortunately for the Rams, the Patriots made just enough plays to capitalize and win.
Let’s jump into the stock report:
QB Jared Goff
Jared Goff really struggled in his first Super Bowl, but to be fair, he wasn’t given any help what-so-ever. His two worst plays of the day were the late pass but would-be touchdown to WR Brandin Cooks who was running completely uncovered and waiting in the endzone, and his late-game interception to CB Stephon Gilmore. To be fair to Goff, he did have an absolute dime to Cooks on the right side of the field that absolutely should have been caught for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Goff, the very few chances the Rams had to make plays he just didn’t notice uncovered receivers. Outside of that handful of chances, he had absolutely no time to operate in the pocket and his receivers were covered like blankets.
What a terrible time for the offensive line to have their worst performance as a unit. Jared Goff was sacked four times and pressured on literally almost every dropback. Not only that, but the run game was absolutely non-existent as both Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson averaged three yards-per-carry.
WR Brandin Cooks
If you looked at the stat line, you’d think Brandin Cooks actually had a fantastic game as he reeled in eight receptions for 120 yards. The issue is that he dropped two touchdowns, one of which wasn’t his fault and one which slipped right through his hands. The missed opportunities hurt because they would have absolutely changed the entire outcome of the game, but there’s nothing you can do now. The Rams’ top dog needs to make those plays.
RB’s C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley
The duo which has looked electric both together and apart simply didn’t have it last night. Both players averaged three yards-per-carry and had a combined 57 rushing yards. The issue was the offensive line simply couldn’t open any holes, and when they did, a long run from Gurley was called back because of a “hold” by C John Sullivan. Also, C.J. Anderson was incredibly lucky his fumble bounced out of bounds because that could have been a crucial turnover.
ILB’s Cory Littleton and Mark Barron
In the biggest game of the year, both inside linebackers in Cory Littleton and Mark Barron absolutely balled. Both guys were extremely aggressive in filling gaps and making tackles in the run game, but not only that, they were incredibly active in coverage too. Littleton obviously started the game with an interception off a deflected pass by CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, and had multiple other pass breakups and solid plays in coverage. Barron on the other hand nearly had an interception himself and make plenty of tackles in open space.
DT Ndamukong Suh
I will stake my hot taek right now: There has been no better Los Angeles Ram since the playoffs started than Ndamukong Suh. Suh was absolutely unblock-able once again last night, even if the stat sheet only shows two tackles. He’s as pronounced as you can get in the run game, but he’s also been a bull as a pass rusher (particularly last night). It’ll be a shame if that’s the last we see of Suh in horns because his postseason performance wholeheartedly earned his years salary.
DT Michael Brockers
Just like his counterpart above, Brockers probably played the best game of his entire season last night. Brock had a combined seven tackles, though he was a monster in the run game. It was nice to finally see the duo next to Aaron Donald play to their capabilities.
CB Marcus Peters
After allowing a catch to Julian Edelman in his coverage, Peters was very solid and arguably the best defensive back on the team. From the top of my head I recall Peters being targeted 4-5 times and only allowing that single reception. He also had at least two pass deflections.