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SUPER BOWL 53: Roberts, Patriots win battle of defenses over Phillips, Rams

Gold Ball City just got a little more golden, and it’s mainly because of the New England Patriots’ defense.

Elandon Roberts will attest to that.

The linebacker from Port Arthur won his second Super Bowl ring in his three NFL seasons, helping the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 Sunday night in Atlanta.

Roberts is one of nine players from Port Arthur to compete in a Super Bowl and only the second from the city to win more than one Super Bowl. Cornerback Tim McKyer won three (two with the San Francisco 49ers and one with the Denver Broncos).

The Port Arthur ISD houses 10 gold footballs from the NFL through its High School Honor Roll, nine representing each player and one head coach (Jimmy Johnson of the Dallas Cowboys) who’s competed in the Big Game. Johnson also won two Super Bowls, in the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

The Patriots won a defensive battle over the Rams and their coordinator, Orange native and Port Neches-Groves graduate Wade Phillips. Super Bowl 53 was the third championship game for both Phillips and Roberts, and it was the first to go without a touchdown in the championship game’s history.

Phillips’ mastery was shining through for three quarters, as the game was still tied at 3-3. It became the first Super Bowl to reach the fourth quarter without a touchdown.

Phillips’ defense came up with an interception on the Patriots’ opening series, but the Rams could not capitalize. Both offenses struggled on third down; New England went 3 for 12 on third-down conversion attempts, but Los Angeles went 3 for 13, thanks in large part to the play-calling of linebackers coach Brian Flores. (The Patriots do not have an official defensive coordinator, and it’s been reported that Flores has agreed to become the Miami Dolphins’ head coach for 2019.)

After Sony Michel’s touchdown run put New England ahead for good in the fourth quarter, Stephon Gilmore’s interception at the Rams’ 2 led to an insurance field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.

Roberts had only one tackle Sunday, but he can take pride in a New England defense that held Los Angeles to 260 total yards. New England totaled 407 yards.


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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