Rough Night For CBS
The 44.9 overnight rating from this year’s Super Bowl matchup between the St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots was the lowest we’ve seen in 10 years. A variety of factors could be contributing to this including an increasing number of online viewers, Patriots fatigue, or an immature Los Angeles football market. Notably, a boycott from New Orleans Saints fans stemming from a controversial no-call in the NFC Championship Game led to the lowest New Orleans SB rating ever, and the lowest of any local market this year.
Perhaps also contributing to the decreased ratings was the fact that this year’s game was the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history. The 13 – 3 Patriots victory broke the previous record from 1973, when the Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins, 14 – 7. Additionally, this game had the lowest scoring first-half in 44 years and the most time elapsed without a touchdown scored. Surprisingly, the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history came at the culmination of one of the highest scoring seasons in NFL history.
Breaking the Endzone
On their game-winning drive, the Patriots ran the same play three straight times to finally set up the game’s only touchdown. The play – Hoss Y-Juke – led to completed passes of 13 yards, 7 yards, and 29 yards before RB Sony Michel dove into the endzone with a 2-yard run. Following the touchdown, the Patriots were able to intercept Rams QB Jared Goff deep in their own territory to seal the victory.
Rams Offensive Disappointment
The Rams came into the playoffs as the second-best offense in the NFL over the regular season, averaging around 33 points and 420 yards per game. During the season, their high-flying offense was led by Goff and RB Todd Gurley, both of whom struggled mightily in last night’s game. The Patriots defense was able to generate pressure on Goff on 42.9% of his dropbacks while maintaining tight coverage in the secondary. For Gurley, it’s still unclear why he only received ten carries last night despite assurances that he had recovered from the knee inflammation that forced him to sit out the final two regular season games. After the game, Rams coach Sean McVay shouldered the blame for his team’s offensive performance.
Sports betting was a hot topic this year after the Supreme Court ruling that opened the doors for legalized sports betting in 2018. One unlucky bettor lost over $3.8 million betting on the Rams across multiple wagers. On the flipside, one customer was prescient enough to bet $250 that the Rams would score exactly three points, resulting in a $100,00 payoff (400:1 odds). Looking ahead to next year, the Kansas City Chiefs are currently favorites for Super Bowl LIV with 6-1 odds, ahead of other contenders like the Patriots, Rams, and New Orleans Saints.