It’s now official – with the New England Patriots defeating the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3, in a defensive chess match of a game, Super Bowl LIII is the lowest-scoring contest in the event’s 52-year history. Per ESPN, this didn’t come as a surprise after the Patriots held a 3-0 lead over the Rams at the end of the first half. However, the extremely low score wasn’t what oddsmakers were expecting after the over-under for this year’s NFL championship game closed at a comparatively high 56, the third-highest in Super Bowl history.
As noted by Sports Illustrated, the previous lowest-scoring Super Bowl in the event’s history took place in 1973, when the Miami Dolphins completed their historic undefeated season by defeating the Washington Redskins, 14-7. That’s good for a combined total of 21 points, or five more than the 16 combined points the Patriots and Rams scored on Sunday night. And quite fittingly, this was a Super Bowl where a defensive player, Dolphins safety Jake Scott, won MVP honors at the end of the game for coming up with two interceptions against the Redskins’ offense.
While Scott had two interceptions to earn himself Super Bowl MVP honors back in 1973, it wasn’t like the Dolphins were able to directly take advantage of them, as recalled by Fansided‘s Dawn of the Dawg.
“Neither of Scott’s [interceptions] were capitalized on by the Dolphins as they went three-and-out on the first trip. The last interception was wasted even more. The Redskins had driven all the way down to Miami’s 10-yard-line where Scott picked off Billy Kilmer and ran 55 yards to the Washington 48-yard-line. But even with the favorable field position, Miami’s drive stalled, [and] their field goal was blocked.”
This is historically dull. The lowest-scoring SB in history is VII, when Washington won 14-7. https://t.co/fahxX7cNd5— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) February 4, 2019
Despite the fact Super Bowl LIII set a record for futility with the lowest combined score ever, this year’s “Big Game” won’t go down as having the lowest-scoring half of all-time. According to ESPN, this record was set in 1975, when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings combined to score just two points in Super Bowl IX. This was, however, at the end of the first half, as the Steelers outscored the Vikings, 14-6, in the second half to win the game by a score of 16-6.
With a plethora of punts, quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jared Goff playing below par, and Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel scoring the lone touchdown of the game, Super Bowl LIII was widely considered by football fans to be one of the most boring of all-time, as the Kansas City Star observed. But regardless of what you may think of the game, it is officially in the books, having erased a record that had stood for a good 46 years.