The New England tight end GronKowski sparked a stalled offense during a critical fourth-quarter drive, catching two passes for 47 yards leading to a 2-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel. It was the Pats’ only trip to the end zone.
The Patriots hadn’t scored since early in the second quarter, allowing a Rams offense under young QB Jared Goff that was accomplishing little to stick around and eventually tie the game.
The first three quarters were a slog, featuring 12 punts and just six points, the lowest through that period in Super Bowl history.
Michel was selected by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the 31st overall pick. He was the third running back to be selected that year. In addition, he was the third of six Georgia Bulldogs to be selected that year. Michel & Isaiah Wynn were the first pair of college teammates selected by the same team in the first round since Auburn players Jason Campbell & Carlos Rogers were taken in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.
Michel suffered a knee injury in training camp causing him to miss the entire preseason. Michel made his NFL debut in Week 2, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, running the ball 10 times for 34 yards in the 31–20 loss; he also had a six-yard reception. In a Week 4 victory over the Miami Dolphins, Michel had a breakout game with 26 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. He became the first rookie to top 100 yards on the ground in a game for the Patriots since Brandon Bolden in 2012. In a Week 5 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, Michel rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown. In Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had 106 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 43–40 victory on Sunday Night Football. He became the first New England rookie to score on the ground twice in a game since Laurence Maroney in 2006. On November 25, Michel ran for a career-high 133 yards and a score against the New York Jets, the most rushing yards by a Patriot rookie since Bolden ran for 137 yards in 2012. This game was his third time breaking the century mark, making him the first Patriots rookie since Robert Edwards did so in 1998. In Week 16, against the Buffalo Bills, he had 18 carries for 116 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Overall, he finished his rookie season with 931 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. The Patriots won the AFC East and earned the #2-seed for the AFC Playoffs. In the Divisional Round against the Los Angeles Chargers, he had 24 carries for 129 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in the 41–28 victory. During the AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had 29 carries for 113 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 37–31 overtime victory. Michel broke the NFL record for most playoff rushing touchdowns for a rookie, scoring five between the divisional and conference championship games. On February 3, 2019, Michel scored the first, only, and game winning touchdown in Super Bowl 53 against the Los Angeles Rams.