Belfast Telegraph

Brady set to target more history after sixth Super Bowl ring

By Adrian Rutherford

They call him the greatest of all time, and now there really can be no doubt.

Tom Brady won a record sixth Super Bowl as the New England Patriots overcame the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta.

A Patriots defensive masterclass secured a 13-3 victory, moving them level with the Pittsburgh Steelers' record of six titles.

For quarterback Brady it was a sixth Super Bowl ring - an outright record for a player - and afterwards the 41-year-old gave little indication that he is done with rewriting history.

"Look at this - how could this not motivate you?" he said, turning to the huge Patriots support. "I'm so happy for my team-mates. This is a dream come true for all of us."

Brady threw for 262 yards and engineered the game's only touchdown drive as Sony Michel gave New England the lead in the fourth quarter.

Julian Edelman was voted MVP with 141 receiving yards, with Rob Gronkowski also starring.

Brady added: "We ground it out. It was tough, they made every play tough. I give them a lot of credit, coach (Wade) Phillips (Rams defensive co-ordinator), all those players.

"They played really well on defence, fortunately our defence really played the best game they have all season. It was just an incredible win."

The Patriots' - and Brady's - sixth NFL Championship came on the 17th anniversary of their first.

In 2002 they beat the Rams, then representing St Louis, marking the start of a remarkable partnership between Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.

The Brady-Belichick era is now one of the greatest sports dynasties.

It was Belichick's game plan that stifled a Rams offence that averaged almost 33 points per game during the regular season.

In the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history, it took 53 minutes for the first - and only - touchdown.

The score was just 3-0 until late in the third quarter through Stephen Gostkowski's 42-yard field goal.

The Rams - whose lacklustre performance was epitomised by a misfiring Jared Goff - drew level through a 53-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein, but with seven minutes left, Brady lofted a perfect 34-yard pass to the ever-reliable Gronkowski to set up Michel, who surged over the line.

Gostkowski added a late field goal to complete another Patriots triumph.

Belichick, the most successful coach in Super Bowl history and, at 66, the oldest man to win it, spoke of his pride.

"I'm proud of our team, coaching staff, this entire organisation," he said. "These guys worked so hard all year going all the way back to the off-season programme in April.

"Players would come in, they worked extremely hard. We had our ups and downs.

"In the biggest moments when we had to play our best and compete the hardest, they did it."

On a frustrating night for the Rams, their key players froze on the biggest stage. Goff, in his maiden Super Bowl appearance, completed only 50% of his 38 throws for 229 yards. Star running back Todd Gurley was similarly subdued.

Rams head coach Sean McVay, the youngest coach to reach a Super Bowl, spoke of his devastation.

"There is really no other way to put it. I'm pretty numb right now, but I got out-coached," he said. "I didn't do nearly well enough for our football team.

"The thing that is so tough about all of this is the finality to it. Usually, you get a chance - if you go through some adversity - you can bounce back right away.

"This one is going to stick with you and it just stings in your gut. I have so much love for these players and coaches."

Belfast Telegraph

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