ATLANTA - Defenses dominated what was supposed to be a super shootout until Tom Brady led one classic drive to win the New England Patriots their record-tying sixth Super Bowl.
Brady threw two perfect passes to Rob Gronkowski to set up rookie Sony Michel's 2-yard score - the only touchdown in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. That put New England up 10-3. A late field goal clinched the win over the Rams 13-3.
We'll have LIVE coverage as thousands of people get ready to leave Atlanta following the big game, on Channel 2 Action News This Morning
In a season in which all sorts of offensive records were set, this Super Bowl rewrote the defensive record book.
"Finally got a touchdown and the defense played the best game of the year," Brady said.
[PHOTOS: New England Patriots win Super Bowl LIII]
No Super Bowl had gone into the fourth quarter without a touchdown. This one did, tied 3-3 - even though these teams combined to average over 60 points a game.
When the Patriots needed a score, Brady, the oldest winning quarterback in a Super Bowl at 41, completed four straight passes, including a pair covering 47 yards to Gronkowski. The second , on which the star tight end beat two defenders, ended at the Los Angeles 2, the only time either team was inside the 20-yard line. Michel ran off left tackle for his sixth postseason touchdown.
[PHOTOS: Super Bowl LIII Halftime show]
"He knows to trust in me and throw that ball," Gronkowski said, "and I'm going to grab it."
Julian Edelman, the outstanding receiver who missed the 2017 season with a knee injury, was the game's MVP with 10 receptions for 141 yards.
With 4:17 left, All-Pro Stephon Gilmore picked off an ill-advised pass by Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who seemed overwhelmed by the big stage all night, at the New England 2.
Stephen Gostkowski made a 41-yard field goal with 1:12 remaining, completing a 72-yard march that took more than three minutes off the clock and included 26-yard runs by Michel and Rex Burkhead.
It was a workmanlike conclusion for the Patriots (14-5), whose losses all came away from New England. They beat the top two offenses in the Chiefs and Rams (15-4) in the postseason, and tied Pittsburgh for most Super Bowl titles.
Coach Sean McVay, whose Rams never had been blanked in a first half, let out a long, deep sigh just before halftime, recognizing how badly his team was manhandled, even though it trailed just 3-0.
It was the lowest score at halftime since Super Bowl 9, which Pittsburgh led 2-0 over Minnesota.
McVay, the youngest Super Bowl head coach at 34, admitted he was outcoached. He had no answers as Gurley, coming off knee issues, managed 35 yards rushing, Goff went 19 for 38 for 229 yards and was sacked four times. Brandin Cooks, a Patriots receiver last season, did have eight receptions for 120 yards.
Minute-by-minute updates from Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein below:
FINAL: New England Patriots defeat L.A. Rams to win Super Bowl LIII, 13-3
For the 3rd time in 5 years, the New England #Patriots are #SuperBowl champions! They outlast the Rams in Atlanta in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever, 13-3: https://t.co/eFOQmyd95d #wSB53 #EverythingWeGot pic.twitter.com/lHXuly3FuK— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) February 4, 2019
1:12 4TH QUARTER
Pats make field goal, making score 13-3
4:17 4TH QUARTER
Jared Goff throws an interception and the Patriots take over with a 10-3 lead.
7:00 4TH QUARTER
Sony Michel scores from 2 yards out and the Patriots lead 10-3.
END OF 3RD QUARTER
The game is tied 3-3.
2:11 3RD QUARTER
Greg Zuerlein's 53-yard field goal gets the Rams on the board. The game is tied 3-3.
7:52 3RD QUARTER
The teams continue to trade punts and the score remains 3-0.
The Patriots lead the Rams 3-0.
2:00 2ND QUARTER
The Patriots have the ball around midfield. They still lead 3-0.
10:29 2ND QUARTER
A 42-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal makes it 3-0 New England.
Patriots take 3-0 lead on 42-yd FG from Stephen Gostkowski— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) February 4, 2019
10:29 left in 1st H pic.twitter.com/3owyvXZ9aP
END OF 1ST QUARTER
The Rams and Patriots are scoreless after the first quarter.
START OF GAME
Los Angeles wins the toss and defers. The Patriots will get the opening kickoff.
LA wins toss... it was tails....— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) February 3, 2019
Collect your money
An awesome moment pregame between Rams head coach Sean McVay and his mother, Cindy.
Hometown legend Gladys Knight nails the National Anthem!
It appears to be a very heavy Patriots crowd.
We're less than 30 minutes away from kickoff and excitement is building.
Massive crowds are lined up outside trying to get into Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
What did they expect... small crowd? https://t.co/KQSZavVzdV— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) February 3, 2019
It certainly feels like a very Patriots-heavy crowd. Fans of New England have traveled well.
The NFL has announced the roof will be open before the game but closed during the actual game.
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