I appreciate a good defense-dominated game of football. The Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers rivalry in the late 2000s and early 2010s was genuinely compelling. Likewise the Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers at the peak of the Jim Harbaugh era. Super Bowl 53 between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams was not my cup of tea. It was a struggle just to do this Enemy Reaction, because it was so... meh. The previous two Super Bowls were so wild that I had to split them into two parts!
On the plus side, the Rams lost the Super Bowl and scored only three points. As Seahawks fans, that is our go-to for trash-talking heading into 2019, I don’t give a damn that the Rams swept Seattle in 2018. The amazing high-scoring juggernaut got held to a field goal with the Lombardi Trophy on the line. Let’s relive this trashfire of a game one more time, with some cameo appearances from other teams. Game threads for Pats and Rams fans are courtesy of Pats Pulpit and Turf Show Times.
Tom Brady gets picked off on his first pass (0-0)
Stephen Gostkowski pulls his field goal wide left (0-0)
What... what the hell is this, Jared Goff? (3-0 NE)
Patriots fail on 4th and 1 in Rams territory towards end of 1st half (3-0 NE)
Jared Goff nearly throws interception to Dont’a Hightower to start 2nd half (3-0 NE)
Goff is way late throwing to Brandin Cooks, as Jason McCourty prevents touchdown, Rams settle for FG (3-3)
Jared Goff had a touchdown, WIDE OPEN to Cooks but waited too long.pic.twitter.com/mq4IKMMaZq— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 4, 2019
GRONK, followed by Sony Michel for the game’s only touchdown (10-3 NE)
Stephon Gilmore picks off Jared Goff near the goal line (10-3 NE)
Bonus reaction from fans of the...
Stephen Gostkowski seals the deal (13-3 NE)
Greg Zeuerlein hooks his field goal wide left, Patriots win the Super Bowl (13-3 NE Final)
Bonus reaction from...
Post-Game: What an effort by New England’s defense (Ian Logue, Pats Fans)
For a group that took a lot of heat for much of the season, the Patriots defense had played arguably their best game of the year two weeks ago out in Kansas City.
On Sunday night, they proved they were far from finished. They took things even further against the Rams in what was the most dominant performances we’ve seen in recent memory, pitching a near shutout in a game that could have easily been a blowout had the offense performed better.
One of the stats mentioned following this game was the fact the Rams failed to pick up a yard or lost yardage on 27 of their 60 offensive plays. Here’s how that breaks down:
1) Jared Goff – 19 Incompletions
2) Jared Goff – Sacked 4 Times
3) Todd Gurley – Was stopped for no gain on a carry in the 3rd quarter.
4) Todd Gurley – Had a reception for a 1-yard loss early in the 4th quarter.
5) C.J. Anderson was brought down for a 3-yard loss on a carry in the second quarter.
Overall, the Patriots also held the Rams to 3-of-13 on third down, with Goff completing just 3-of-10 over that span. For a group that had one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league, the Patriots made them look mediocre in front of a crowd that largely favored New England.
Post-Game: Rams have some explaining to do regarding Todd Gurley (Dan Parzych, Ramblin’ Fan)
Speculation was high throughout the contest that Gurley’s knee injury was bothering him again, and while McVay constantly shut down this narrative by claiming this wasn’t the case, how can Rams fans not think it’s actually an issue after watching the Super Bowl?
With two weeks to prepare for New England, Los Angeles wanted to make it clear there were no concerns for Gurley heading into the Super Bowl, and their beloved running back would be good to go for the biggest game of his NFL career.
But after watching Gurley only receive 10 carries for 35 yards in the loss to the Patriots, the Rams can’t avoid the excuses anymore, and need to provide some sort of clear update over what has taken place these last few weeks.
Just acknowledging the fact that Gurley only saw 14 carries between the NFC Championship and Super Bowl is the perfect example of why so many fans are furious since a valuable running back like Gurley should have easily seen 20+ carries each game.
Hopefully, Los Angeles can provide some sort of update over the next couple days in regards to what really is going on with Gurley since hearing all of the nonsense surrounding his knee being a non-issue doesn’t seem believable at this point.
Post-Game Video: Rams fans react to Super Bowl loss
(Note: The New Orleans Saints game thread was really quiet, as they really went through with protesting the game)
And so concludes another year of Enemy Reaction here at Field Gulls. It’ll pop up sporadically in the offseason (taking suggestions from the community on classic games, specific major hirings, firings, signings, etc.) and then when the 2019 regular season approaches, I’ll do a “best of” review of the 2018 Seahawks season.
Thanks again for reading this and making this season of Enemy Reaction by far the most popular to date. Go ‘Hawks!