By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
ATLANTA (CBS) — No, this is not a misprint. The New England Patriots are champions. Again.
For the sixth time since 2001, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady secured a Super Bowl victory for the New England football franchise.
This one was unlike the others, it defense was the story of the day. But in the end, Tom Brady’s offense did more than Jared Goff’s, and the Patriots won 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII.
The Patriots dominated in all facets of the game in the first half — all facets except the one that matters most. Despite owning the time of possession and outgaining the Rams significantly, the Patriots led just 3-0 at halftime.
Greg Zuerlein tied the game at 3-3 after hitting a 53-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
The Patriots scored the first touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter, when Sony Michel plunged in from the 2-yard line on a first-and-goal. That score was set up by a 29-yard reception by Rob Gronkowski, his second big catch of the drive.
The Rams were driving looking to tie the game after the touchdown, but Stephon Gilmore picked off Jared Goff at the New England 4-yard line to end the threat. The Patriots then relied on the running game to ice the victory, with Michel and Rex Burkhead breaking off big runs. Stephen Gostkowski, who missed a field goal in the first half, successfully kicked a 41-yard field goal to make the score 13-3 with 1:12 left in the game.
Zuerlein missed a field goal with 5 seconds left, before Brady went out to take a knee.
With the win, the Patriots have become the first team to win a championship in the season following a Super Bowl loss since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots also tied the Steelers for most franchise Super Bowls with six.
Brady, playing in his ninth Super Bowl, now has six Super Bowl victories. No other quarterback has won more than four, and no other player has won more than five. (Linebacker/defensive end Charles Haley won five — three with Dallas and two with San Francisco.)
With his sixth Super Bowl victory, Belichick extends his all-time lead over Chuck Noll (4), as well as Joe Gibbs and Bill Walsh, who each won three Super Bowls. Belichick also extended his all-time lead in playoff wins with his 31st; Tom Landry ranks second with 20, followed by Don Shula’s 19.
Coincidentally, this dynastic run of the Patriots began 17 years ago to the day, when they defeated — of all teams — the Rams. The Patriots won three out of four Super Bowls from 2001-04. After losing Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011, the Patriots regenerated a second coming of the dynasty with Super Bowl wins in 2014 and 2016, and now after a loss in last year’s Super Bowl, the Patriots have made it three out of five seasons ending with a Super Bowl win.