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US Sports

04th Feb 2019

New England Patriots come out on top in Bill Belichick Super Bowl masterclass

The over/under was 56.5...

Darragh Murphy

It was like Jose Mourinho vs. Tony Pulis at stages.

Defence was the main talking point as Bill Belichick masterminded his sixth Super Bowl triumph on Sunday night, when the New England Patriots claimed a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The over bettors on the bookmakers’ over/under 56.5 total knew early on that it was going to be a frustrating evening as the quarterbacks struggled to move through the gears throughout the opening stages.

After a scoreless first quarter, New England took the lead with a field goal in the second before the Rams levelled things up in the third quarter from the trusty boot of Greg ‘The Leg’ Zuerlein.

The fact that Johnny Hekker’s longest punt in Super Bowl history was celebrated by the commentary team spoke volumes about the lack of action in one of the least eventful Super Bowls of all time but the better team won on the night.

As the third quarter came and went, the game looked destined to be decided by a field goal or defensive error but it was then that Tom Brady turned it on.

It might have taken a couple of real-time hours for Brady to find his rhythm but find it he did on an incredible drive with seven minutes remaining, when the 41-year-old called a near-identical play on three consecutive occasions, floating a sumptuous throw to Rob Gronkowski on the third attempt and ending up two yards from the end zone, handing it off on the next play for the game’s first and only touchdown.

Patriots’ cornerback Stephon Gilmore combined with Duron Harmon to deny what appeared to be a surefire Rams touchdown before Gilmore followed it up with a well-read interception to ease any Belichick nerves on the sidelines.

Belichick and Brady are used to swimming in such deep waters and there was no panic as they got themselves within field-goal range to treat themselves to some breathing room.

Stephen Gostkowski provided that relaxing end to proceedings as he bookended the evening with a field goal from range to secure the win and continue the Patriots dynasty.