The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LIII on Sunday. Given their streak of dominance in the 21st century, that’s not exactly news.
The fact that the Patriots beat the Rams for the championship isn’t groundbreaking either. It’s literally happened before, in Super Bowl XXXVI, albeit while the Rams were based in St. Louis.
But the way the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII? That’s genuinely stunning.
A Patriots defense that had struggled at times during the regular season and had given up a whopping 31 points in the second half of the AFC title game absolutely stymied the high-powered Rams offense en route to a 13-3 Super Bowl win.
When the second-highest scoring team in the league is held 29.9 points below their regular-season average, there’s plenty of blame to be handed around.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff looked overwhelmed in the moment and was unable to capitalize on various Patriots mistakes. The Rams offensive line was unable to contain a typically anemic Patriots pass rush. The refs certainly didn’t help.
The only ones who may be somewhat exempt from blame are the Rams defense, which held Brady and Co. to a meager 13 points. Even then, the defense was unable to get that last stop on Brady on the crucial go-ahead drive.
But one player who may have the most to be bitter about is Rams receiver Brandin Cooks. After a year in which he put up a career high in regular season receiving yards with 1,204, Cooks was involved in two of the most agonizing plays of the game.
First, there was this almost-touchdown by Cooks late in the third quarter of a three-point game. Yes, the ball was very late and underthrown. And yes, Jason McCourty made a brilliant defensive play. But Cooks still had a chance to catch the football.
.@RamsNFL v @Patriots #SBLiii is going to be hard to watch when they rerun this play. @brandincooks was all alone for an eternity waiting for this ball to land. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/xyXcSwbnSz
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) February 4, 2019
Then came this agonizing drop that could’ve tied the game late in the fourth quarter. Again, the Patriots made a big defensive play with a physical hit, but Cooks still could’ve caught the football.
— PirateLife Football (@PirateLifeFF) February 4, 2019
Exacerbating matters is the fact that Cooks has now lost two straight Super Bowls. He lost Super Bowl LIII with the Rams and lost Super Bowl LII with… the Patriots. That has to sting.
And yet, Cooks issued one of the best responses to his harrowing circumstances on his Twitter account.
Lord I love you beyond words! I hope someone was saved tonight through all circumstances. May you shine bright through it all. For your honor your glory and your praise. Show me the way for I cannot find it without you.
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) February 4, 2019
“Lord I love you beyond words!” Cooks wrote. “I hope someone was saved tonight through all circumstances. May you shine bright through it all. For your honor your glory and your praise. Show me the way for I cannot find it without you.”
That is powerful and heartfelt, to say the least. The young man who failed to make the most important plays in the biggest game and was beaten by the team that had just traded him away was able to find the good of it all thanks to his relationship with Jesus and God.
Cooks may not have his Super Bowl ring yet. It seems safe to say that he has something far more important.
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