The Game Ball Thread: SB vs Rams

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
The MVP really should have gone to someone on the D. What a game these guys pitched! 3 points! In the modern NFL that is just so impressive. No matter how much this is noted, it is not noted enough. Hell, Phillips had an incredible plan too!
 

Jettisoned

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I knew that Edelman would get it, but Gilmore was incredible. Cooks had the most hollow 120 yards in Super Bowl history, and he didn’t Asante Samuel the interception. He was a machine.
Cooks must have had about 50 yards on that last drive but they were catches in the middle of the field with no timeouts and less than 2 minutes. Those plays basically closed out the game for the pats.
 

Bowhemian

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I’m hungover, completely in awe with what this team has been able to do in the last 20 years. Holy shit what a game. But I don’t know if my heart can take much more of this.

Game balls for everyone, and a special one for my liver for putting up with me for the last LIII years
 

Super Nomario

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For a “crummy” offensive game, the Pats still racked up 22 first downs and 407 total yards.
It was a weird game. The O wasn't helpless, Brady averaged 7.5 YPA, but they couldn't translate it into points. Hekker I think was LAR's defensive MVP; the Patriots had four drives that went for 40+ yards and got zero points, because three of them started inside their own 20. The offense was doing enough to flip the field and the D was stifling the Rams, but they couldn't advance the field position because Hekker was killing them.

Brandin Cooks.
I wouldn't necessarily put goat horns on Cooks, but he could have caught those two TD passes and been a hero and didn't.

Cooks played like an idiot against the Eagles last year. First the brain dead leap in to the defenders arms, followed up with running around in circles inviting a defender to level him.

He seems like a great guy and teammate. But if he'd come back to haunt us this year, that would've really sucked.
OTOH, there's no way we win the AFCCG without him. Jacksonville had no answer for him, and they have some great corners.
 

dynomite

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I knew that Edelman would get it, but Gilmore was incredible. Cooks had the most hollow 120 yards in Super Bowl history, and he didn’t Asante Samuel the interception. He was a machine.
Totally. Much as I adore Edelman, the more I think about it the more I think Gilmore needed to get the MVP on behalf of the defense.

They gave up 3 points. 3!! In the Super Bowl!

When the Broncos gave up 10 to Cam in 2015, Von Miller got the award.
When the Seahawks gave up 8 to Peyton in 2013, some random LB got the award.
When the Ravens gave up 7 to Kerry Collins in 2000, Ray Lewis slashed his name in the history books.

Someone on our defense deserved this one.
 

chilidawg

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Allen had 5 punts for 215 total yards, with 3 inside of the 5.

Not the MVP by any means, but very important player in this game.
I thought Allen out punted Hecker. Hecker had some great numbers but got the benefit of some lucky rolls. Allen was nailing them inside the 10 all night.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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I thought Allen out punted Hecker. Hecker had some great numbers but got the benefit of some lucky rolls. Allen was nailing them inside the 10 all night.
Hecker flipped the field twice from inside his 5 twice. Roll or not he kicked it so it couldn’t be caught. Twice it seemed we would have really good field position only to have him flip it. Both punters were damn good.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Hecker flipped the field twice from inside his 5 twice. Roll or not he kicked it so it couldn’t be caught. Twice it seemed we would have really good field position only to have him flip it. Both punters were damn good.
14 total punts, 8 inside the 20, 0 touchbacks. Both punters and both punt coverage teams were great.
 

Mooch

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McD needs a little more love. Belichick and the players credit him with changing the scheme in the fourth quarter to jumbo 22 package with Jules, Allen, Gronk, Devlin, and Burkhead, which lead to TD. They had not practiced that formation leading up to the game (though they used in in KC) and McDaniels went on instinct to make the call, which forced the Rams out of their sub defenses.
That was a great adjustment but the playcalling seemed off all night up until that point. Very little creativity and frustrating that they didn't lean on Michel more who was the best RB on the field last night. I remain mystified why they don't ride that kid in the power I formation more often.
 

lexrageorge

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Regarding Cooks, he had 2 catches for 17 yards in the first half. He was a better in the second half, and prior to Gilmore's interception he had still been held to 6 catches for 75 yards. His final 2 catches went for a total of 45 yards, but the Pats were smartly giving the Rams that pass by that point in the game. Prior to that desperation drive, his longest catch was for 19 yards, which seems to be mission accomplished as far as limiting the damage.

One of the knocks against Cooks last season was that he wasn't great at fighting for the ball, which can be a problem when going up against more physical corners. Granted, Cooks was great against Jax last year, so I'm not going to wish him hate. It's just the type of receiver he is; he probably could have had the ball that got knocked out of his hands by Gilmore on the goal line had he been a more physical receiver.

Regarding a defensive MVP: part of the problem is that it was such a team effort that it was really hard to identify one dominant defender. Hightower had 2 sacks, but Flowers and Van Noy were also all over Goff. Gilmore's coverage was outstanding, but Jonathan Jones was all over the field making tackles, JC Jackson seemed to have shut down his receiver all game, the McCourty twins both had great games, and Chung and Brown and the rest of the front 7 controlled the line during running plays all game. There was no Von Miller with 2.5 sacks and 6 tackles, whereas Edelman was noticeable on offense as the one guy that could get open against the Rams coverage (neither Hogan nor Dorsett had any catches, and White had only one).
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Totally. Much as I adore Edelman, the more I think about it the more I think Gilmore needed to get the MVP on behalf of the defense.

They gave up 3 points. 3!! In the Super Bowl!

When the Broncos gave up 10 to Cam in 2015, Von Miller got the award.
When the Seahawks gave up 8 to Peyton in 2013, some random LB got the award.
When the Ravens gave up 7 to Kerry Collins in 2000, Ray Lewis slashed his name in the history books.

Someone on our defense deserved this one.
Hard to just pick one guy though.

I have it as Edelman. In a field position game, he dominated. It’s one thing to be great in the slot where you have an over the top option or a great outside the numbers threat. The Patriots had neither. He was the only game in town other than Gronk for large portions of the game and was beating multiple guys over the middle where every route is a huge hit or interception waiting to happen.

The defense as a unit was the story of the game. But Edelman was the most valuable single player.

Even if viewed in part as a lifetime achievement award it is well deserved.
 

Red Averages

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Could you guys hear the crowd on TV? It was LOUD for a lot of the Rams plays pre-snap.

My gameball goes to Allen.
 

dynomite

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Could you guys hear the crowd on TV? It was LOUD for a lot of the Rams plays pre-snap.

My gameball goes to Allen.
McVay’s decision not to practice with piped in noise until Friday should go down in infamy. Of all the things you can’t control about football, expecting crowd noise and preparing for silent counts and audibles is so obviously something you need to prepare for.

“Typically what we do is we’ll really blare it depending on if we’re at home or away,” coach Sean McVay told Charean. “If we’re on the road, it’ll be blaring during offensive periods. If we’re at home, it’ll be during defensive periods. Now, in a static environment, we just kind of had it in the background. Hopefully there will be more Rams fans than Patriots, but you never know.”
https://www.google.com/amp/s/profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/02/02/rams-waited-until-friday-to-use-artificial-noise/amp/
 

SeoulSoxFan

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I thought Allen out punted Hecker. Hecker had some great numbers but got the benefit of some lucky rolls. Allen was nailing them inside the 10 all night.
Hekker (not Hecker) had beat out Allen at Oregon State.

Revenge of sorts.
 

JimD

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JMC for breaking up Cook's catch on a rare (for this game) busted play by the NE defense. Dude looked like he was shot out of a cannon (he was at the 10-yard line when Goff released his throw). After last year's disaster against the Eagles, it was just so satisfying to see our D making play after play to deny the Rams.
 

simplyeric

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These have pretty much all been mentioned, but indulge me with some picks beyond JE11, Gronk, and Gilmore:

1) Hightower and Van Noy...responsible for the amazing lack of production from RBs and TEs in passing game.
2) The refs... I reread the game thread and saw of ton of whining about calls that looked pretty reasonable to me. They let them play. Only egregious call was the hold on the Rams center.
3) JMac. He was terrific all game, even beyond the play on Cooks. Speaking of which...
4) Cooks. Nothing personal, I like him, but he left points on the field.
5) Develin and David Andrews. I call out Andrews after just about every game. Who’s a better center?
6) Flo. He don’t know that the boy he loves is Romeo.
7) Matt Slater. Great ST play made up for fucking up the coin toss.
8) Ryan Allen. Beyond the great punting, he made a great catch and hold on a terrible snap from Cardinal to nearly save the missed FG.
9) the SoSHer who stayed put in the couch.
Develin straight up created the hole for Michel


 

Old Fart Tree

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To have lost how they lost last year and come back and pitch a near shut out is just staggering. This was also not a case of massive offensive drives keeping the defense off the field with 8 minute drives.

Patriots we 3-12 on third down conversions. They kept giving the ball back and the defense never fucking broke.

It is one of the greatest achievements in modern football that I have ever seen.

Belichick is simply the GOAT. These players go in the books as the most resilient defensive Patriots ever.

THIS.

Given the rules changes, this is arguably the greatest defensive effort in the history of the super bowl.
 

Strike4

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I knew that Edelman would get it, but Gilmore was incredible. Cooks had the most hollow 120 yards in Super Bowl history, and he didn’t Asante Samuel the interception. He was a machine.
On Gilmore, it should also be noted how on the interception he made the quick decision to INTERCEPT the ball rather than knock it away because he knew at that point the game was about POSSESSION. So he wisely went down and stayed down rather than advance.
 

heavyde050

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THIS.

Given the rules changes, this is arguably the greatest defensive effort in the history of the super bowl.
Yeah, the closest performance I can remember is the 2004 AFC Divisional Round game against Manning (Pats win 20-3) that basically got the rules changed.
 

Jnai

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Could you guys hear the crowd on TV? It was LOUD for a lot of the Rams plays pre-snap.

My gameball goes to Allen.
It was hard to hear because of the broadcast but it looked like for much of the game the Rams were signaling the snap with the guard which is generally a hostile environment thing and had to have helped get off the ball.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Ryan Allen with another outstanding SuperBowl...guy is clutch. Slater...Gronkowski, of course.
 

JimD

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Have to give a nod to Sean McVay for his clever idea to outsmart the Patriots by letting the play clock run down to 15 seconds before having Goff set the formation - it didn't work against a savvy veteran D like ours and it let precious minutes bleed off the clock to boot.
 

fiskful of dollars

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Burkhead had a monster run in the game clinching drive. Best 4 minute drill in a long time. After the pick, ball on 4, still very tense. A 3 and out there sets up the Rams to tie.
 

Super Nomario

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That was a great adjustment but the playcalling seemed off all night up until that point. Very little creativity and frustrating that they didn't lean on Michel more who was the best RB on the field last night. I remain mystified why they don't ride that kid in the power I formation more often.
The run game really stalled out after the first drive, up until the last drive.

First drive: 13, 6 (jet sweep), 5, 3
2nd: 1, -4, 5, 2, 3
3rd: 4
4th: 1 (jet sweep)
5th: 3
6th: 3
7th: -1 (kneel-down)
8th: 4, 2, 8 (jet sweep)
9th: 2
10th: 1, 19, 5, 1
11th: 2 (TD)
12th: 1, 26, 3, 26, 4, 5, 0

So only two carries of more than 5 yards between the first and the last drive, and one of those was by Edelman. In the moment, I thought they were too patient with the run for most of the game, though it seemed to pay off late.
 

Jnai

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<null>

Great Twitter thread describing Patriots defense last night, using screencaps from the Lions game (which should not be surprising, I guess.)
 

Reverend

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I knew that Edelman would get it, but Gilmore was incredible. Cooks had the most hollow 120 yards in Super Bowl history, and he didn’t Asante Samuel the interception. He was a machine.
Totally. Much as I adore Edelman, the more I think about it the more I think Gilmore needed to get the MVP on behalf of the defense.

They gave up 3 points. 3!! In the Super Bowl!

When the Broncos gave up 10 to Cam in 2015, Von Miller got the award.
When the Seahawks gave up 8 to Peyton in 2013, some random LB got the award.
When the Ravens gave up 7 to Kerry Collins in 2000, Ray Lewis slashed his name in the history books.

Someone on our defense deserved this one.
Hard to just pick one guy though.

I have it as Edelman. In a field position game, he dominated. It’s one thing to be great in the slot where you have an over the top option or a great outside the numbers threat. The Patriots had neither. He was the only game in town other than Gronk for large portions of the game and was beating multiple guys over the middle where every route is a huge hit or interception waiting to happen.

The defense as a unit was the story of the game. But Edelman was the most valuable single player.

Even if viewed in part as a lifetime achievement award it is well deserved.
 

Mooch

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The run game really stalled out after the first drive, up until the last drive.

First drive: 13, 6 (jet sweep), 5, 3
2nd: 1, -4, 5, 2, 3
3rd: 4
4th: 1 (jet sweep)
5th: 3
6th: 3
7th: -1 (kneel-down)
8th: 4, 2, 8 (jet sweep)
9th: 2
10th: 1, 19, 5, 1
11th: 2 (TD)
12th: 1, 26, 3, 26, 4, 5, 0

So only two carries of more than 5 yards between the first and the last drive, and one of those was by Edelman. In the moment, I thought they were too patient with the run for most of the game, though it seemed to pay off late.
After that 4 yard gain by Michel on the 3rd drive (3 minutes left in the first quarter), he got one carry (4 yards) until a minute left in the 3rd quarter, when he ripped off that 19 yarder. We got too spread happy there for a while.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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It may be put best this way. Is there a single Patriot that played last night that didn’t deserve a game ball. Not many, certainly on defense. Everyone contributed.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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I'm not shocked today because of how good the game plans and execution were the last 2 games. But from the point in the season where we lost to the Steelers, I never thought we'd be last one standing. Just unreal based on how this season was shaping up. So many game balls, hell those even trickle down to guys like Dwayne Allen, in there for the last drives throwing blocks when everyone knew we were running it. Every little detail was executed to perfection. Small contributions and big, TEAM win.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Others have mentioned Slater and I want to add to that support. He did an amazing job of being exactly where he needed to be to either make a tackle or down the ball, usually inside the 5 yard line. The amazing thing is that he does this every game and the other teams still cannot find a way to stop him.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Have to give a nod to Sean McVay for his clever idea to outsmart the Patriots by letting the play clock run down to 15 seconds before having Goff set the formation - it didn't work against a savvy veteran D like ours and it let precious minutes bleed off the clock to boot.
I know Romo said this but that couldn’t actually have been what was going on could it? All we hear all week is to get Goff for McVay to tel him what to do. If that was actually what they were trying to do that’s insanity.

They seemed more disorganized, fighting crowd noise and unable to find any plays that worked
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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A really not very big point, but interesting to me. If the one just barely lateral pass goes for a forward pass to Edeleman he ends up with 149 yards, which would be 8th best for a Super Bowl. The lateral kept Jules just barely out of the top 10 and kept Deion Branch just in the top 10.

Also, when you start wondering how Jules stacks up for playoff stuff you start looking at stuff that just makes your jaw drop about Jerry Rice.
 

bosox4283

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Have to give a nod to Sean McVay for his clever idea to outsmart the Patriots by letting the play clock run down to 15 seconds before having Goff set the formation - it didn't work against a savvy veteran D like ours and it let precious minutes bleed off the clock to boot.
I heard the announcers mention the 15-second thing a few times but did not understand. Do the in-helmet earpieces turn off at 15 seconds? Does the system prevent the coaches from talking with players when there are less than 15 seconds remaining on the play clock?
 

Super Nomario

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After that 4 yard gain by Michel on the 3rd drive (3 minutes left in the first quarter), he got one carry (4 yards) until a minute left in the 3rd quarter, when he ripped off that 19 yarder. We got too spread happy there for a while.
I disagree. The spread was what saved them (almost all of the game-winning TD drive was from spread). The run game wasn't gaining consistent enough yards to avoid third downs; they moved the ball much better through the air. I guess they could have given Michel more reps than Burkhead in that stretch, but they weren't running the ball well with anyone for a big chunk there, so it made sense to ride the better pass-catchers (White did very little; Burkhead wound up third on the team in receiving yards but with just 15).
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I heard the announcers mention the 15-second thing a few times but did not understand. Do the in-helmet earpieces turn off at 15 seconds? Does the system prevent the coaches from talking with players when there are less than 15 seconds remaining on the play clock?
Yes. Usually the conventional wisdom is that if a QB can get to the line quickly he'll have the advantage of getting to have the coaches see the defense while they can still communicate to the QB.

Romo was saying that it looked late like the Rams were deliberately waiting until the green dot helmet on defense went silent so that coaches couldn't talk to Hightower after the Rams formation showed itself.
 

drleather2001

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I heard the announcers mention the 15-second thing a few times but did not understand. Do the in-helmet earpieces turn off at 15 seconds? Does the system prevent the coaches from talking with players when there are less than 15 seconds remaining on the play clock?
With 15 seconds left on the play clock, the communications between coach and player is cut off.

So, per the announcers, McVay has Goff wait until there's 15 seconds left to form up so that BB doesn't have the opportunity to help diagnose offensive formations.

And, so help me God, you just know that if BB was employing that tactic, it would not be characterized as "clever", but would be the subject of an off-season panel on whether such tactics are really against the spirit of the rule and should be outlawed or some such.
 

Bleedred

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Not worthy of a game ball, but I thought the Refs did a nice job keeping most of the flags in their pocket. The "late" hit on Brady when Donald threw him to the ground; the "late" hit on Goff when Jones ran him to the sideline; some probable holding calls on WRs (Edelman, Gronk, Woods, Cooks) not being called. Overall, I thought it was a well officiated game, even if I was frustrated at times with perceived no-calls.
 

BaseballJones

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THIS.

Given the rules changes, this is arguably the greatest defensive effort in the history of the super bowl.
I said it in the game thread. I said it again afterward. I'll happily say it again here. You are right on the money.

LA was the #2 scoring offense in football (32.9 points a game).

The Pats' offense didn't really help the defense at ALL last night.

Until their last 45 yards' worth of essentially garbage time yardage, the Rams managed 215 total yards (18 of which came on a pass completion that actually wasn't even a completion, but because NE had burned time outs already, couldn't challenge) and 11 first downs. Just 3 points total.

They didn't bend-but-not-break. They didn't bend. They never allowed the Rams into the Red Zone. Not even one single time all night. They could have registered three turnovers - they got the one pick, Hightower dropped an easy one, and then the fumble, if it had just taken one little bounce in any other direction than directly out of bounds, would have been recovered by the Pats.

They shut down the vaunted running game of the Rams. They choked off the passing game. They limited the big plays. They buried them on third down. They rushed the passer. They held the Rams to 0 or negative yards on an astounding 45% of their plays.

This was an absolute defensive clinic. The best I've ever seen, considering the circumstances, and the era in which this game was played.