If Super Bowl LIII had an oddly familiar feel to it for Bears fans, there’s a reason. Until the Rams’ final game, the team who had held the NFL’s second-best offense to its lowest point total of the season was Chicago. The Bears’ 15-6 win over the Rams in week 14 was the first time the Rams had been held without a touchdown all season. It didn’t happen again until the Super Bowl.
Rams RB Todd Gurley finished with 35 yards on 10 carries in the Super Bowl, and had only 28 yards on 11 carries against the Bears. Chicago held Gurley to his lowest rushing output in the regular season. In the playoffs, Gurley ran for 115 yards and a TD against Dallas in the Divisional round, then had only 10 yards on the ground against New Orleans in the NFC Championship game.
Unfortunately for Rams QB Jason Goff, he also saw arguably his worst performance since that Bears game in the Super Bowl. Against the Bears, Goff was 20-of-44 for 180 yards. He threw 4 interceptions, and was sacked three times. His QB rating in that game was a paltry 19.1. Against the Patriots—he was 19-of-38 for 229 yards and an INT, for a 57.9 rating.
Stifling Gurley and shutting down Goff is no easy task, but both the Bears and Patriots were able to do so, and both won their respective games. If only the Bears defense had had the chance to face the Patriots… but that’s a feeling Bears fans know all too well.