The Super Bowl The NFL Deserved
Super Bowl 53 certainly didn't live up to its billing with a high flying Los Angeles Rams offense and the iconic duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. A total of 16 points scored left a lot to be desired in this era of offensive driven football. This type of game would have been much better received 20 years ago.
A lot of the two weeks leading up to Super Sunday was spent discussing the non-call of pass interference in the NFC Championship Game between the Rams and the New Orleans Saints. While Roger Goodell dipped, dove, and dodged real answers to questions regarding the missed call in such an enormous moment it seemed difficult to really focus on the actual game.
When the game did actually get kicked off it started how you might expect the biggest game in North American sports to start, lots of nerves, and the Rams/Pats feeling each other out.
However, that feeling out period lasted far longer than just the first quarter as neither offense could muster much of anything against the other's defense. We saw a total of three points in the first half, a field goal by Patriots Stephen Gostkowski in the second quarter that gave New England a mere 3-0 lead at the half.
The lone touchdown was scored on the only real successful drive of the game either way in the fourth quarter when Tom Brady connected with tight end Rob Gronkowski for 29 yards which set up Sony Michel for a two-yard score.
The Rams never had a chance, even as they were driving late in the fourth quarter, the Patriots defense dialed up a perfectly timed all-out blitz and forced Jared Goff into a mistake.
Patriots win 13-3.
In a day in age where the offense is so prevalent, the rules seemed tailored towards quarterbacks/wide receivers it was the defense that stole the show. The reason those rules are tailored towards the offense is that when points are being scored it grabs viewers attention, i.e. Rams-Chiefs from week 11 this year. If you polled most NFL viewers, outside of their favorite team, they would probably tell you that was the most exciting NFL game from this past season.
Why would they say that? Because 105 points were scored in that Rams-Chiefs game, that is just what draws the majority of people nowadays is high flying offense and the NFL realizes that.
So, when the NFL has a controversy that is unresolved that pretty much allowed one team to qualify for the Super Bowl over another because of a clearly blown call by the officiating. You pair that with two teams that were top 5 in the league in total offense and they produce 16 points on the biggest sports stage in North American sports it's no surprise the ratings were as poor as they were. For goodness sakes, the media scrum after the game was more entertaining to watch than the actual game.
Don't get me wrong, I don't need to see 105 points being scored to find a game entertaining but I certainly need more than what we saw Sunday night. It would be nice for there to be a bit of back and forth from the offenses with some big defensive stops or some going for it on fourth down mixed in.
Amidst the controversy, the NFL got what they deserved, a low scoring, boring Super Bowl with all of us asking for more (other than Patriots fans, they have enough).