“Let’s just remember how lucky we were to get a classic in Minneapolis a year ago … and hope that things are better a year from now.”
Early Monday morning, the Star Tribune's Michael Rand posted this on his RandBall blog:
style="font-size: 100%;">More than great defense, the game contained lousy offense. Tom Brady threw a terrible pass on his first drive interception. Jared Goff was a nightmare almost the whole game, and what proved to be the game-clinching interception was a poorly thrown ball.
Todd Gurley continued to be a mystery. The MVP was a possession receiver. Julian Edelman was good, but it is fitting that the game’s best offensive player is most notable for keeping the chains moving.
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Neither team even ran a play in the red zone until the fourth quarter!
There wasn’t a single “Wow!” moment or whiff of controversy.
“It’s a shame more fans can’t appreciate that the Rams were ugly because the Patriots were historically beautiful on defense.”
Soon after, NFL writer Mark Craig countered in his analysis for Tuesday's print edition of the Star Tribune:
A Patriots team immune to the NFL’s laws of parity kept doing what they weren’t supposed to do. They finished the season beating the top two scoring teams — Kansas City (35.3) and the Rams (32.9) — while shutting both of them out in the first half.
“It’s 11 guys, man,” safety Devin McCourty said. “There was no God that did it all. It was 11 guys all day.”
With today’s rule book tilted heavily in favor of the offense, the Super Bowl came down to defense. Had the Rams made a few more plays or found an answer for game MVP Julian Edelman, we’d be talking about 71-year-old defensive coordinator Wade Phillips pitching his second Super Bowl masterpiece with a second team in four seasons.