ATLANTA — One punt after another.
Sailing, soaring, skyrocketing, the footballs flew. One that traveled 65 yards — the longest punt in Super Bowl history!
Fourteen punts in all. Covering 632 yards.
It was a thing of beauty, right?
By now you’ve probably heard people moan and wail and grumble about what a disaster Super Bowl LIII was. Not even a touchdown scored before the fourth quarter. The fewest points scored in Super Bowl history.
It’s a game that should be cherished.
The offensive rules changes have bastardized the game, with outcomes like the Rams’ 53-51 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs making a mockery of the league. The defenses weren’t playing with one hand behind their backs.
They’ve been playing as if completely handcuffed.
Which is why Super Bowl LIII was a joy to watch. A joy to watch the Patriots’ defense rough up Rams quarterback Jared Goff just as they did in the old days and sack him four times. A joy to watch the Rams intercept Brady’s very first pass — and sack him once, too.
Make no mistake. This was not a game absent of offense. For crying out loud, Julian Edelman, the Patriots’ wide receiver, won the MVP award after catching 10 passes for 141 yards. And Patriots running back Sony Michel, who scored the game’s lone touchdown, rushed for 94 yards and at one point broke off a 26-yard run.
Shoot, even as Goff struggled to dodge Patriots defenders, he still managed to throw for 229 yards. But it all ended blissfully.
Which is to say dominated by defense.
Jason McCourty dashed in to break up a touchdown pass from Goff to wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
It was another broken up pass in the end zone that foiled the Rams again.
And it was Stephen Gilmore’s interception at the Patriots’ 5-yard-line that saved the Patriots and the essence of football.
Defense. Dominating again.
It was a thing of beauty, indeed.
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