3 - 13
February 3, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Atlanta, Georgia

Super Bowl LIII

On February 2, 2019, the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots competed for the title of the Super Bowl LIII champions. This game marked the ninth Super Bowl that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and starting quarterback Tom Brady have been to in 17 years. Out of the nine Super Bowls played, the duo has won six of them. 

Although you can likely predict who won Super Bowl LIII, this article will walk you through the lead up to the big game, game day MVPs, the halftime show, top commercials, and more. 

The Lead-Up to Super Bowl LIII

With a Super Bowl winning history like that of the New England Patriots, they were the clear favorite to win Super Bowl LIII; however, many fans thought it would be a nice upset if the underdog Los Angeles Rams could flip the game. 

The Rams were coming out of a 13-3 season, while the Patriots only laid claim to 11 wins in the 2018-2019 season. All in all, the teams were pretty evenly matched.

Game Day Highlights

The Rams won the coin toss, but deferred to the second half which allowed the Patriots to kickoff the game.

First Half

On the Patriots' opening drive, the Rams linebacker Cory Littleton intercepted the ball. Unfortunately, after they took hold of the ball, the Rams went three-and-out on their first drive. 

The game was off to a relatively slow start. At the bottom of the first quarter, the Patriots tried for a field goal but placekicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the 46-yard kick. The first quarter ended without either team on the board. 

The second quarter of the game saw a bit more action than the first quarter but not by much. The Rams punted the ball and the Patriots took possession of the ball which allowed their kicker Gostkowski to make a 42-yard field goal bringing the score to 3-0 Patriots with roughly 10 minutes remaining in the quarter. 

Throughout the remainder of the first half of Super Bowl LIII, there were a few traded punts between the teams and at less than two minutes left in the quarter, Tom Brady attempted a pass from the 32-yard line, but the pass was incomplete. The first half of the game concluded as the second-lowest-scoring half in Super Bowl history (the lowest scoring being Steelers v. Vikings 2-0 in 1975). 

Second Half

Upon returning for halftime, both teams stormed the field with renewed vigor and there were two punts from each team. The Rams even set a Super Bowl record with a 65-yard punt by Johnny Hekker. The Rams also scored a field goal at the bottom of the third quarter by Greg Zuerlein, which tied the game at 3-3. This was the first time in Super Bowl history that not a single touchdown had been scored in the first three quarters. 

The fourth quarter of the game finally saw a touchdown coming from Sony Michel of the New England Patriots. Brady had started at the 31-yard line and through a series of passes, Gronkowski was able to bring the ball to the 2-yard line. Michel was able to score the touchdown from there, thus soaring the Patriots into the lead with a score of 10-3. 

The Rams offense attempted to redeem the score in their favor; however, the Patriots intercepted their one shot at a touchdown and scored a field goal with one minute left in the game. 

Although both teams played well and were very evenly matched, the game ended with a sixth Patriots Super Bowl victory and a final score of 13-3. 

Super Bowl MVP

Wide receiver Julian Edelman — not Brady — earned the Super Bowl MVP honors. 

MVP
Julian Edelman
Receiving Yards
141
Receptions
10

Halftime Show

The Super Bowl LIII halftime show was performed by Maroon 5 with guest appearances by Travis Scott and Big Boi; however, they all were selected late in the process and received backlash for agreeing to perform in the halftime show at all. In order to understand the backlash, we’ll need to rewind a bit and give some context. 

It all started with Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 taking a knee for the national anthem before games. What began as a small act of protest against the police shootings of unarmed black Americans became a National Football League phenomenon and pretty soon nearly every NFL player was kneeling for the national anthem. Due to the political nature of the kneeling, it quickly became divisive and many conservatives began urging an NFL boycott. 

In 2017, Kaepernick was without a job on any NFL team and in May 2018, the NFL updated their policy mandating that players stand for the national anthem. However, many of the players protested this new policy by kneeling anyway. 

What does all of this have to do with the Super Bowl LIII halftime show? The kneeling controversy spanned throughout the 2018-19 season and many artists turned down the opportunity to perform in the halftime show in protest of the May 2018 policy. Rihanna and Pink both turned down the halftime show gig. 

Finally, Maroon 5 was chosen and confirmed for the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, but many NFL fans signed a petition for the band to drop out of the show. Due to the controversy and backlash, Maroon 5 wanted to have an artist of color join them for the halftime show and, after reaching out to multiple artists, finally brought on Travis Scott and Big Boi. 

Viewership & Rating

Super Bowl LIII did not have the viewership appeal that most Super Bowls have generated. In fact, Super Bowl LIII had the smallest television viewership in over a decade. The game had an average of 98.2 million viewers on CBS, only slightly topping Super Bowl XLII’s viewership of 97.4 million. 

Average viewers
Average cost of tickets
$2,900
Attendance
70,081

The lower viewership could be on account of a few different factors, namely the low scoring nature of the game and the political unrest around the NFL’s policy regarding kneeling for the national anthem. 

Although viewership on television was down from prior Super Bowls, 70,081 fans were in the stands cheering on their favorite team.

The average cost for a ticket to Super Bowl LIII was around $5,240. 

The Super Bowl LIII Ring

Every year for the Super Bowl, the winning team comes out with an elaborate ring to celebrate their win. Since the Patriots have won 6 Super Bowls, they are no stranger to designing an intricate and exquisite ring. The ring for their Super Bowl LIII win is actually the largest Super Bowl ring ever made. The ring itself is 10-carat gold with 422 diamonds and 20 blue sapphires. 

On the inside of the ring, it says on one side, “We are all Patriots” and on the other “Still Here” which is something the team says during the playoffs. 

Super Bowl LIII
CHAMPIONS

Conclusion

Super Bowl LIII was full of halftime controversy and a predictable Patriots win.

Overall, Super Bowl LIII was not the most exciting Super Bowl of all time, but it will go down in history as the year that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick officially can no longer fit all of their Super Bowl rings on one hand.