For a very long time Sunday, Julian Edelman was the only offensive player for either team who looked anything like a champion.
Tom Brady was terrible in the first half. Jared Goff (5 of 12 for 52 yards, 54.9 passer rating) was worse.
As for Todd Gurley? He was the Invisible Man, carrying the ball three times for 10 yards.
In all, the teams combined for just three points, making for the second-lowest scoring first half in history (only Super Bowl IX was lower). It didn’t get much better. With the game tied at 3-3 entering the final period, it was the fewest points scored in Super Bowl history through three quarters.
But Edelman, who has made some of the biggest catches in not just Patriots playoff history, but NFL playoff history, was a machine.
Edelman, who entered the night with two Super Bowl rings, consistently found gaps in the Rams’ secondary. Los Angeles seemingly forgot to even pick him up or even jam him at the line. He got free release after free release.
As a result, Edelman went over 100 yards receiving early in the second half.
The Super Bowl rules for halftime nipple exposure:
OK for men. Massive FCC fine for women.
How else to explain the NFL green-lighting Adam Levine taking off not only his jacket and then his tank top during Maroon 5’s finale Sunday night?
In other words, we’ve come a long way from Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” of Super Bowl 38?
The other highlight of the performance? When Outkast’s Big Boi made a surprise appearance, singing a verse of the Atlanta group’s hit song, “I Like The Way You Move.”
▪ Patriots safety Patrick Chung appeared to break his right arm while making a tackle on Gurley in the opening moments of the second half. Medical staffer immobilized the arm with an air cast — Chung angrily through his mouthpiece in disgust — and the team quickly ruled him out for the night.
▪ Salt in the wound for Saints fans? Had to feel that way when officials flagged Nickell Robey-Coleman for a phantom hit-to-the head penalty in the first quarter. That came two weeks after a missed pass interference call on Robey-Coleman cost New Orleans a spot in the Super Bowl.
Earlier in the game, a deflected Tom Brady pass by Robey-Coleman led to a interception by Rams linebacker Cory Littleton.
▪ Los Angeles’ Johnny Hekker broke the record for longest punt in a Super Bowl when he uncorked a 65-yarder in the second half, aided greatly by a very generous roll.
▪ More special teams news: Greg Zuerlein’s 53-yard field goal late in the third quarter was the second-longest made kick in league history, behind only Buffalo’s Steve Christie in Super Bowl 28.
▪ Despite outside temperatures nearing 60 degrees with clear skies at kickoff, the NFL elected to play the game with the roof closed at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was open for pre-game festivities.
▪ Ndamukong Suh might not be dirty, but he’s still plenty nasty. Just ask Sony Michel, whom Suh crushed with a near-clothesline hit in the backfield in the first half. Suh, the ex-Dolphin, lined up everywhere on the defensive line in the first Super Bowl of his decorated career.
▪ Three members of the 2009 St. Thomas Aquinas team were represented Sunday: Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, New England running back James White and
▪ Announced attendance for Super Bowl 53: 70,081