SB53: Pats vs. Rams Buildup

E5 Yaz

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Is that the genesis of that particular euphemism?

It took me a very long time to identify what the heck people were talking about, but I could never figure out the reference. I was a lurker on the site for along time, and remember the great joy I experienced when figuring out what "SiaS," "Fruitbat," "Flo," and "Cabin Mirror" (especially Cabin Mirror) were. Eventually someone pointed out a since-discarded glossary thread, but that took some of the joy of figuring out the wit away. But Scottish Game has always eluded me.
Another tip for lurkers ... simplyeric couldn't discern a clue in an episode of "Murder, She Wrote"
 

simplyeric

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That's the inspiration for the term, yeah, based on the idea that we should not name it or talk about it, or post replays from it.

"According to a theatrical superstition, called the Scottish curse, speaking the name Macbeth inside a theatre will cause disaster. A variation of the superstition also forbids quoting it within a theatre"

"The Scottish Game"
 

simplyeric

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Another tip for lurkers ... simplyeric couldn't discern a clue in an episode of "Murder, She Wrote"
Are you implying that I didn't know what the term was in reference to?
Is that the genesis of that particular euphemism?

It took me a very long time to identify what the heck people were talking about, but I could never figure out the reference. I was a lurker on the site for along time, and remember the great joy I experienced when figuring out what "SiaS," "Fruitbat," "Flo," and "Cabin Mirror" (especially Cabin Mirror) were. Eventually someone pointed out a since-discarded glossary thread, but that took some of the joy of figuring out the wit away. But Scottish Game has always eluded me.
Another tip for lurkers: there's some folks with some real anger issues around these parts. Like, what kind of simmering internal rot causes a guy to go out of his way to be like this? Like, don't people have better things to do? It would be inspiring, if it wasn't so goddamn sad.
 
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54thMA

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Yet the national media is focused on how Brady can possibly still be playing and not cheating the system while a literal walking billboard for performance enhancement gets a free pass. Obviously Donald has never been accused or caught but sorry that isn't natural.
I'll defer to Marciano on this one to get a definitive answer, but by looking at that picture, he looks to me like a walking pharmacy.
 

catomatic

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That's the inspiration for the term, yeah, based on the idea that we should not name it or talk about it, or post replays from it.

"According to a theatrical superstition, called the Scottish curse, speaking the name Macbeth inside a theatre will cause disaster. A variation of the superstition also forbids quoting it within a theatre"

"The Scottish Game"
Those of us who make our living in the theatre will confirm there's many old school types among us who still enforce the superstitious practice of requiring any who speak a line, a character, or, heavens forfend, the title from that play inside the theatre. You're made to leave the room/building, spit, swear and knock three times on the door whilst requesting permission to be let back in. FYI. As you were.
 

Soxy Brown

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Who was that backup LB/special teamer who got torched in the 2006 AFCCG by Peyton when the whole Pats D came down with the flu? Eric something?
Alexander. Eric Alexander. It was the first, and last, NFL game that he ever started on defense. That loss is only rivaled by The Scottish Game. If I'm being honest, I was more upset in the heat of the moment by that loss to the Colts. But that's neither here nor there.

On a positive note, this Athletic piece (behind a paywall) by Jeff Howe on Dante Scarnecchia's half-season as interim head coach of the Pats during the 1992 season is pretty fantastic. I hadn't realized that Pete Carroll was the one who first made Scarnecchia O-line coach.

A trio of good snippets:

Amid the turmoil, though, Scarnecchia impressed everyone in the building. And if he hadn’t, it’s possible he might not be a Patriot today, leading a group of offensive linemen who have been integral on the team’s march toward Super Bowl LIII. If not for that forgotten season in 1992, the current Patriots might not be on the verge of an unforgettable night in Atlanta against the Rams.

The Patriots finished 2-14 with the second-worst offense in the league.

“It was a nightmare,” Scarnecchia said. “The hardest thing for me was the balancing of the job I had in special teams and tight ends with all the media stuff I had to do. It wasn’t easy. It was a hard year and a lousy year. It was not an easy thing, just not easy.”

Scarnecchia didn’t seem to even enjoy a brief trip down Memory Lane all that much.

“We won two games that I was grateful that we won. That was a good feeling,” Scarnecchia said before pausing. “Just a tough deal. So hard.”

“I remember talking to Parcells,” Zolak said. “He said, ‘Tell me what you know about this Scarnecchia guy.’ I said, ‘I love him.’ He goes, ‘I’m getting that from everybody. I’m cleaning fucking house, and he’s the only guy here I need to keep.’ When Bill comes in, he does it his way with his people, cleans house, and Scar survived. It didn’t matter who he coached — tight ends, line, special teams — he moved around from position to position, and it says something for a guy who stays around that long. I always thought he was like the best special teams coach ever, and now he’s the greatest offensive line coach ever. Bill (Belichick) could make him running backs or safeties coach next year, and he’ll do just as good of a job. I think it’s a tribute to him.”
 

Super Nomario

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Belichick wound up keeping three guys from Carroll's staff: Scarnecchia, special teams coordinator Brad Seely (who coached through 2008), and Ivan Fears, who was the WR coach at the time.
 

bobesox

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Atlanta tidbit. Local traffic engineers synchronized all traffic lights ahead of team busses today.

Pats got from hotel to Georgia Tech stadium in under 4 minutes. Mirabelli esque.
 

Harry Hooper

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Atlanta tidbit. Local traffic engineers synchronized all traffic lights ahead of team busses today.

Pats got from hotel to Georgia Tech stadium in under 4 minutes. Mirabelli esque.
Professor Peach came out of retirement?

 

Marciano490

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I'll defer to Marciano on this one to get a definitive answer, but by looking at that picture, he looks to me like a walking pharmacy.
Yeah, that can’t be done naturally. Not that big and that lean, nevermind that big and lean while also playing a sport.
 

BaseballJones

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No no no no
This is exactly my reaction. Great health all year and now, just before the Super Bowl, Hightower is so sick he can't practice, and he'll probably get the whole team sick and it will be just like the Colts AFCCG when they all had the flu. Ugh.

(it's ok to be a little panicked at this point, two days before the game, right?)
 

koufax32

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Not sure what it’s been like in NE but this year’s flu bug here in the South is not as nasty as last year. Students are getting it and are returning in 3 days or so.
Definitely something to monitor though.
 

Harry Hooper

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Ralphwiggum

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My wife's company literally closed their offices today to do a thorough decontamination because so many people have been out with a stomach bug (including her which means I'll probably be puking my guts out come kickoff on Sunday). Not the flu but still a really nasty strain that has been going around.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I keep hearing from pundits the Rams are the better football team.

With Kupp out and Gurley either injured or just plain out of it, I just don't think that's true. If Gurley bounces back this game, we'll see.
 

Saints Rest

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I was listening to some radio sports this morning on NYC radio (so either Golic's show or Boomer's show) and they were interviewing Adam Thielen. Since the Vikes played both the Rams and Pats this season, they asked his opinion on who will win. He started with the usual "I expect a close game" blah-blah-blah, but then without equivocation said "I think the Rams will win." He thought their offense has too many weapons to be victimized by Belichick's usual "Take Away the Thing They Do Best" approach. He also thought that the Ram D would be too much for the Pats.
The hosts then said that every current player they had spoken to had picked the Rams, every single one. They wondered if it was because they really thought the Rams were better, or just were sick of the Pats. They then went on to sarcastically thank Thielen for giving the Pats more "Us Against the World" ammo.
 

Super Nomario

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I was listening to some radio sports this morning on NYC radio (so either Golic's show or Boomer's show) and they were interviewing Adam Thielen. Since the Vikes played both the Rams and Pats this season, they asked his opinion on who will win. He started with the usual "I expect a close game" blah-blah-blah, but then without equivocation said "I think the Rams will win." He thought their offense has too many weapons to be victimized by Belichick's usual "Take Away the Thing They Do Best" approach. He also thought that the Ram D would be too much for the Pats.
This is kind of my fear, to be honest - essentially a repeat of last year's Super Bowl. They can easily neutralize Cooks by doing what they did against Hill in the AFCCG. They can probably take away or at least limit Woods by putting Gilmore on him. But they still have to account for the Rams' run game and for Gurley in the passing game, plus the tertiary options LA has. It's a tall order. And the Rams have a better OL than KC or (especially) LAC, so the blitz-heavy tactics up front might be less effective.

I could see the Pats going either way, putting a bullseye on Gurley (like they did with Marshall Faulk in SB 36) and daring Goff to beat them throwing downfield, or saying "we won't give you anything deep; it's OK if you run for five or six because we don't think you can sustain a drive for 11-12 plays" - the Thurman Thomas SB approach, basically. But the Pats have to pick their poison because I don't think they can stop everything at once. In a perfect world, we see an early lead like in the past couple playoff games and the score takes away the run to some degree.
 

Saints Rest

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My sense, more from the various things I have read, including the lengthy Charlie Weis piece that was posted around here somewhere, is that Priority #1 will be STOP THE RUN. I think that Bill will take his chances against Goff if he can keep him in 2nd and longs and 3rd and longs. What crushed this team last year, including the Super Bowl, and for much of this year, was too many times giving up 6, 7, 8 yards on first down and then letting the opponent have the full playbook available on 2nd and short and 3rd and short.
 

BigSoxFan

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My sense, more from the various things I have read, including the lengthy Charlie Weis piece that was posted around here somewhere, is that Priority #1 will be STOP THE RUN. I think that Bill will take his chances against Goff if he can keep him in 2nd and longs and 3rd and longs. What crushed this team last year, including the Super Bowl, and for much of this year, was too many times giving up 6, 7, 8 yards on first down and then letting the opponent have the full playbook available on 2nd and short and 3rd and short.
Definitely true. The Pats D also gave up like 21 plays of 10 yards or more. Philly literally did whatever they wanted against our D last year. I would definitely focus on the running game and make Goff beat you through the air. If he does, tip your cap.
 

brandonchristensen

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The lead up reminds me of the 2013 World Series.

Everyone talking about the Cardinals and their insane line up (with Allen Craig!) and their unstoppable starting pitching.

In hindsight, the Sox were clearly better and the results showed it. I’m just not sure how the Rams are going to win without the Pats D completely melting down.
 

loshjott

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The lead up reminds me of the 2013 World Series.

Everyone talking about the Cardinals and their insane line up (with Allen Craig!) and their unstoppable starting pitching.

In hindsight, the Sox were clearly better and the results showed it. I’m just not sure how the Rams are going to win without the Pats D completely melting down.
Yes, the SB52 scenario. And McVay is smart enough to coach aggressively like Pederson. 4th down plays, strong possibility of fake kicks, etc.
 

Saints Rest

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There are lots of online game previews. Here's one that's pretty good from my local paper. The writer is pretty sharp. http://www.tampabay.com/data/2019/02/01/patriots-rams-super-bowl-preview-the-ultimate-guide-to-before-during-and-after-the-game/
My favorite part of this piece was the conclusion where he picked the Pats to win:
"Quarterbacks with three or fewer seasons of experience have a .200 win percentage against Bill Belichick. Quarterbacks with more experience have fared slightly better; they have a .275 win percentage.

In the playoffs, the difference is even more stark. Quarterbacks with three or fewer seasons of experience have won only two of 12 games. Quarterbacks with more experience have won eight of 28. The two inexperienced quarterbacks to beat the Patriots in the playoffs? Joe Flacco in 2009 and Mark Sanchez in 2010. Flacco and Sanchez, however, had something the Rams do not — a top-five defense. The pick: Patriots 35, Rams 31
."
 

Super Nomario

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My sense, more from the various things I have read, including the lengthy Charlie Weis piece that was posted around here somewhere, is that Priority #1 will be STOP THE RUN. I think that Bill will take his chances against Goff if he can keep him in 2nd and longs and 3rd and longs. What crushed this team last year, including the Super Bowl, and for much of this year, was too many times giving up 6, 7, 8 yards on first down and then letting the opponent have the full playbook available on 2nd and short and 3rd and short.
They did everything horrible defensively in the Super Bowl last year, so I'm not sure it's informative from a gameplan standpoint. They gave up big runs, big passes, and big third-down conversions when they put Philly in third-and-long. They were just wretched.

I could see this one either way, but I think the math might lead to the opposite of your conclusion - by conceding the run, you actually force more third-and-longs than if you focus on the run. If you give up 20-yard play action passes (and LAR leads the league in play action percentage), you're not going to put the Rams in tough situations. But if you take away the pass and dare them to run it over and over, sooner or later someone's going to miss a block and you get a run stuff and now you're in a better position. It's playing the odds that if you make them need to make six or seven first downs to get all the way downfield, they're going to mess up somewhere along the line, versus only needing three or four with the pass game.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Exactly.

Teams generally don’t have 6 play 80 yard drives running the ball. It’s too hard to reel off 10-15 plus yard runs consistently.

The play action game is the real killer among their weapons on offense. I’m not sure I’m exaggerating when I say that I’d be ok with instructing the LB and safeties to completely ignore run action from Goff outside of critical running situations like a series inside the ten.

They’ll murder you throwing off of an outside stretch run fake if you flow to the blocking and RB.