What was that?
It certainly wasn’t the Super Bowl we were expecting.
Sunday’s 13-3 New England Patriots’ snoozer over the Los Angeles Rams had all the excitement of an NFL preseason game in Week 4 when the starters are on the sidelines in baseball caps.
Thanks in part to Dee Ford being offsides when the Kansas City Chiefs apparently had punched their ticket to Atlanta, we were treated to the lowest-scoring, unexciting waste of 3 1/2 hours that we can never ever get back in our lives as both defenses were way ahead of the offenses.
Had the Chiefs been in the game, we know there would have been a passel of points because NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes would have been special and the Chiefs’ defense would have made the game close by not stopping anybody.
Credit New England mastermind Bill Belichick for devising a defensive dragnet that turned Rams quarterback Jared Goff into a confused mess. It didn’t help that Goff received little support from his offensive line, which suffered from severe leakage, while MVP running back candidate Todd Gurley continued his mysterious end to the season as when you look at him, it’s like a blank stare and nobody is home.
To be fair, nobody saw this coming. The over-under was 50 total points and I have to believe the over garnered plenty of support. I, myself, had picked the Patriots to win 31-27, as they had been on an offensive roll while the Rams have put up points in bunches.
But it was evident early both teams’ offenses were in the proverbial quicksand. The Patriots ran the ball well early, then inexplicably got away from it, and when they returned it didn't have the same rhythm. The Rams were stale from the very start and my fear that Goff couldn’t go out and win the game came true as he really struggled against the myriad of schemes offered by Belichick.
The one player unaffected by the malaise was Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who earned MVP honors off the strength of his monster first half. This is a game where I thought a defensive player had a shot to win the honor, perhaps Stephen Gilmore of the Patriots, who had a key interception and some nice defends.
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski did have their one shining moment, a late pass completion that set up what proved to be the game’s only touchdown. But Brady looked all of his 41 years as he was off his game, while Gronkowski could very well have played his last game. Unless he can get his body back to some semblance of shape, he’s probably done.
I found it interesting today that the first odds came out from Vegas on the 2019 season and the Chiefs are the pick to win the Super Bowl. It’s tough to argue as they came oh so close this year despite a terrible defense that has to get better — it can’t get any worse.
The Rams are the early favorite to get back to the Super Bowl, but in the NFC there are just so many similar teams. It should be an interesting offseason to see which teams make the moves to consider themselves Super Bowl-worthy.