The Game Ball Thread: SB vs Rams

Ralphwiggum

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 27, 2012
5,067
Needham, MA
Yeah, James Harrison’s corpse getting significant snaps in the Super Bowl last year should have told us something about the defense.

In addition to health, though, you have to credit scheme somewhat don’t you? The Pats were able to consistently get pressure in the playoffs and seemed to be blitzing a hell of a lot more than I ever remember during the “bend not break” era.
 

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
35,447
No Jordan Richards
No Jonathan Bademosi
Very little Elandon Roberts (until the Chung injury)
Hightower >> very old James Harrison
Better DL rotation (Adding Clayborn and Shelton, plus a big improvement in the Wise-Guy-Butler trio)
Goff <<< Foles
Also seemed like LAR couldn’t run at all, whereas Philly got enough from their running game to keep us honest.
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,687
Check out @coachescollab’s Tweet:
Has this play been linked yet? Hot damn.
Wow that was a flashback to McGinest destroying Faulk coming off the line of scrimmage 17 years ago. Van Noy was really good last night.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
34,980
Also seemed like LAR couldn’t run at all, whereas Philly got enough from their running game to keep us honest.
The dreaded RPO was a factor too, of course. Not that last year’s pass rush compared to what we saw last night, but my recollection is that it was mostly neutralized by a quick passing game, in addition to a credible enough run game and a gross lack of holding calls. Though on the last point I feel like I’ve seen enough evidence in the last year to believe that the league has deemphasized OL holding in pass protection, hands to the face aside.
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
59,669
Oregon
The Pats' offense didn't really help the defense at ALL last night.
I'd take issue with this. The offense helped them by running 44 plays in the first half. Sure, it gave the Rams heavy legs later on, but it simultaneously meant less wear on the Pats D, meaning they still had enough in the tank to go full throttle late in the game
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
12,692
Yeah, James Harrison’s corpse getting significant snaps in the Super Bowl last year should have told us something about the defense.

In addition to health, though, you have to credit scheme somewhat don’t you? The Pats were able to consistently get pressure in the playoffs and seemed to be blitzing a hell of a lot more than I ever remember during the “bend not break” era.
That might lead back to Foles v. Goff.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,021
Hingham, MA
Apparently JMC was 19.2 yards away from Cooks when Goff released the pass. That is like JBJ level of tracking.
 

Brand Name

thinks there's no 'i' in denial
Staff member
Dope
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 6, 2010
2,602
The Land of Thomas Cecil
Did we ever hear from Demetrius Walker?
Yes, but not in the way you'd expect. His father is Karl Malone, got the mother pregnant at 13, which is all kinds of gross. Wound up actually with an NFL career as a UDFA OL, few years with the Bills, then a big 5/32.5 deal with the Eagles that didn't work out.


I can't wait to watch the game film. Josh going to 12 and 22, espcially with Develin late, was absolutely awesome to see. The DL demolishing guys like Saffold, Sullivan, Whitworth. I always wondered what it would be like to witness, let alone win a low scoring Super Bowl, figuring I'd never see one, given how the game trends go now, and my age.

Shame most people can't respect this artful masterpiece for what it is, regardless of rooting interest, but that's their loss.

If anything, what I'm finding is that it's almost impossible to find a casual fan who enjoyed this, whereas I'm finding it hard to find invested, deep fans who don't appreciate what we just saw by the play schemes and their absolutely textbook execution.

Oh, and I fucking love that we had a two excelling punters, and I'd argue Hekker was somehow outdueled. Love me some special teams, probably second only to IdiotKicker on the whole page. Damn that was amazing.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,486
Really good breakdown of the game here:

https://www.si.com/nfl/2019/02/06/super-bowl-lii-53-film-study-breakdown-patriots-rams-defenses-real-mvp-belichick-goff-mcvay

Lots of interesting stuff in there. They give tons of credit to both defenses, in contrast to people who say that it was just a poorly played offensive game (we're looking at you, Mike Francesa). It's amazing how much new stuff the Patriots put into this game. We all know about how Josh McDaniels broke out the new offensive stuff they drew up on the sidelines in the fourth quarter. But this article talks about other things that were new. For example, using Jonathan Jones as a safety for the first time, and the 6-1 (instead of a 3-4 or 4-3) scheme that took away the jet sweeps and outside running.

Really fascinating. Coaching clinic by both Wade Phillips and Belichick/Flores.
 

SMU_Sox

loves his fluffykins
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
6,187
Dallas
If you want to understand the Xs and Os as well as the scheme and for example who played what and why the 6-1 was effective you might want to listen to today’s Lockedon Patriots podcast. Or to quote Mascho, what’s old is new again.
Every time I read or hear a defensive breakdown I learn another thing that just makes me in awe of the game plan and what they did.
 

Dollar

Member
SoSH Member
May 5, 2006
7,500
Yes, but not in the way you'd expect. His father is Karl Malone, got the mother pregnant at 13, which is all kinds of gross. Wound up actually with an NFL career as a UDFA OL, few years with the Bills, then a big 5/32.5 deal with the Eagles that didn't work out.
Are you thinking of Demetress Bell? Or am I just missing the joke? Demetrius Walker went to New Mexico until being suspended indefinitely by the basketball team, then Grand Canyon U until he was dismissed from the basketball team, and is now a JV coach at JSerra High School (as of Nov 2016 at least).

If you want to understand the Xs and Os as well as the scheme and for example who played what and why the 6-1 was effective you might want to listen to today’s Lockedon Patriots podcast. Or to quote Mascho, what’s old is new again.
Every time I read or hear a defensive breakdown I learn another thing that just makes me in awe of the game plan and what they did.
Thanks for the heads up. The LockedOn Patriots pre-Super Bowl episodes were by far the best analysis I listened to in the lead-up to the game.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I just watched the Mic'Up video. Lots of clips showing the impressive job that the OLine did on Donald. Very impressive, especially by the interior 3. Considering all the pre-game prognosticating about how LA could mimic the NYG approach, this year's OLine put on a clinic to take that option away.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,021
Hingham, MA
I just watched the Mic'Up video. Lots of clips showing the impressive job that the OLine did on Donald. Very impressive, especially by the interior 3. Considering all the pre-game prognosticating about how LA could mimic the NYG approach, this year's OLine put on a clinic to take that option away.
My takeaway is Thuney >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Mankins
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,267
AZ
I just watched the Mic'Up video. Lots of clips showing the impressive job that the OLine did on Donald. Very impressive, especially by the interior 3. Considering all the pre-game prognosticating about how LA could mimic the NYG approach, this year's OLine put on a clinic to take that option away.
I think the team is just so incredibly fortunate to have Scarnecchia as a constant. When you watch Brady in the pocket, you can tell that he completely has a second sense about what's going on with the offensive line. We all can't stand when he seems to hear footsteps that we can't see or when he trows a screen at White's feet or whatever. No matter who the personnel, I think the fact that he's dealing with linemen who all are being taught the same technique really matters. Of his 10,000 drop backs, how many were behind lines coached that were learning techniques by Scar. 7,000 to 8,000? I think he knows what Scar teaches and so he feels -- consciously or not -- when he's in trouble or when he's not. He knows when the guard's and tackles's pads aren't level and so there's a spot for a defender. Whether the defender actually makes it through or not, he knows he needs to get rid of the ball. Etc. I'm not an X and O guy at all, but I know that offensive line technique is really complicated and can even be counter-intuitive. It's the kind of constant that you don't see in football.

Along the same lines, this year has been making me think a lot about the draft. We all focus on the picks and prospects. But, in the end, what was the most important pick of last year's draft? Michel probably I guess. But a very close second was the 49ers taking McGlinchey. When you're picking at the end of every round year after year I guess there are lots of other things you have to look at. Being in position to have scouted Brown and to be able to swoop in and get him once the 49ers were thinking that he might be redundant and while you have second or third day assets to offer is a real skill. I don't think they win a championship without that trade.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
21,706
Apr 7, 2006
2,254
Thuney played a great game. He has miles to go before he is as good a player as Logan Mankins. Mankins was playing hurt. Thuney becoming that good would ROCK.
 

mwonow

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
4,946
Yeah.. Brady through it behind him when he needed to lead him.. If Brady threw that out in front of him it's an easy catch as Hogan had his man beat there. It seemed to me like Hogan and Brady weren't on the same page all night, but seemed it was far more on Brady. He was throwing short all night and couldn't seem to make a pass out to the sideline for most of the night. Perhaps he wanted to make sure he didn't throw anything that could be returned for a TD/ was worried about Rams DBs undercutting short routes? His throws long seemed to be ok.
Disagree, every time I saw Hogan (fortunately, not too many) he was velcroed to a Rams DB - no separation at all. Passes in his direction had no chance all game.
 

SeoulSoxFan

Dope
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
18,693
My takeaway is Thuney >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Mankins
This is a hot take of hot takes, t4w. Mankins was a nasty, nasty guard who was one of the best OL this team had ever had. Thuney is getting there but recency bias.


Loved the part when Ngata dryly says "I think he enjoys run blocking."

One of the very few (if any) Patriot who trash talked the organization and still got a big contract afterward.
 
Last edited:

Bleedred

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 21, 2001
7,008
Boston, MA
I think the team is just so incredibly fortunate to have Scarnecchia as a constant. When you watch Brady in the pocket, you can tell that he completely has a second sense about what's going on with the offensive line. We all can't stand when he seems to hear footsteps that we can't see or when he trows a screen at White's feet or whatever.
It's funny, I used to feel this way too, but I've learned to appreciate that Brady almost always knows when to cut bait on a play and live for the next. When he seems to go down prematurely in the pocket or throws the ball at White's feet, I now believe it is Exhibit A of Brady's intellectual superiority as a QB. i.e. He knows the play is blown up, he knows his physical limitations, and chooses to go down and not take the punishment or throw the ball at White's feet on a screen that is covered rather than take the risk of something bad happening (or rather worse than 2nd and 10). It's a classic risk/reward analysis that Brady can now calculate in a split second. He's a better QB for it.
 

Al Zarilla

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
49,117
San Andreas Fault
It's funny, I used to feel this way too, but I've learned to appreciate that Brady almost always knows when to cut bait on a play and live for the next. When he seems to go down prematurely in the pocket or throws the ball at White's feet, I now believe it is Exhibit A of Brady's intellectual superiority as a QB. i.e. He knows the play is blown up, he knows his physical limitations, and chooses to go down and not take the punishment or throw the ball at White's feet on a screen that is covered rather than take the risk of something bad happening (or rather worse than 2nd and 10). It's a classic risk/reward analysis that Brady can now calculate in a split second. He's a better QB for it.
Goff could learn from Tom.


I couldn’t believe it when van Noy came from Macon to sack him.
 
Last edited:

simplyeric

aggressively nonsensical
SoSH Member
Feb 14, 2006
12,147
NYC
Goff could learn from Tom.


I couldn’t believe it when van Noy came from Macon to sack him.
It looks like just as Goff was about to throw his receiver turned his back to him. He was going to make a real throw, and couldn’t adjust to a dump fast enough so he pulled it back in.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
17,320
Newton
Rewatch the first Rams SB and you’ll see Brady do the same thing. On a few plays he scrambles out of bounds instead of throwing it away and I realized I actually cant remember the last time I saw Brady run out of bounds.

It’s a likely thing that comes with age (and, in the case of Bledsoe, didn’t come soon enough).
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
2,748
Imaginationland
In fairness to Goff, that was 3rd down in the super bowl - if there's ever a time to hang in and try to make a play, that's it.

A far worse play was the Brady strip sack early in the game. The Pats recovered, but it killed the drive. By my count he was stripped a full 6 seconds after snapping it, and considering the situation (1st and 10 on the Rams 45), that was a far worse play play (they ended up having to punt on 4th and 5) than when Goff was sacked by Van Noy.
 

Silverdude2167

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2006
2,091
NYC
Rewatch the first Rams SB and you’ll see Brady do the same thing. On a few plays he scrambles out of bounds instead of throwing it away and I realized I actually cant remember the last time I saw Brady run out of bounds.

It’s a likely thing that comes with age (and, in the case of Bledsoe, didn’t come soon enough).
I don't think Brady could run out of bounds if the entire defense lined up on the far hashmark from the sideline he was running too...
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
34,889
Van Noy was on Pardon My Take and said the Rams only ran one new play during the Super Bowl--a screen to Cooks.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,486
ITP has a fun article on the theoretical playoff MVP (not just SB MVP). For 2018-19, who do you think the playoff MVP was? The candidates, IMO:

Brady: 85-125 (68.0%), 953 yds, 2 td, 3 int, orchestrated two game-winning drives (one in the 4th Q and one in OT)

Michel: 71 rushes, 336 yds, 6 td

Edelman: 26 rec, 388 yds

Gilmore: 7 tackles, 2 int, great coverage all playoffs long on some very good WRs

Not an easy call. All these guys were terrific. Anyone else to add to the list of contenders?
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
11,918
Mansfield MA
ITP has a fun article on the theoretical playoff MVP (not just SB MVP). For 2018-19, who do you think the playoff MVP was? The candidates, IMO:

Brady: 85-125 (68.0%), 953 yds, 2 td, 3 int, orchestrated two game-winning drives (one in the 4th Q and one in OT)

Michel: 71 rushes, 336 yds, 6 td

Edelman: 26 rec, 388 yds

Gilmore: 7 tackles, 2 int, great coverage all playoffs long on some very good WRs

Not an easy call. All these guys were terrific. Anyone else to add to the list of contenders?
FWIW Jeff (Feyerer, who wrote that article) called Michel as his playoff MVP. I think Van Noy (3 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FF, 16 tackles, 2 for loss, 4 QB hits) is another good choice. Or maybe someone from the OL. Gronk has kind of a sneaky case given his blocking excellence and arguably having the three biggest catches of the entire playoff run.
 

snowmanny

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
10,184
ITP has a fun article on the theoretical playoff MVP (not just SB MVP). For 2018-19, who do you think the playoff MVP was? The candidates, IMO:

Brady: 85-125 (68.0%), 953 yds, 2 td, 3 int, orchestrated two game-winning drives (one in the 4th Q and one in OT)

Michel: 71 rushes, 336 yds, 6 td

Edelman: 26 rec, 388 yds

Gilmore: 7 tackles, 2 int, great coverage all playoffs long on some very good WRs

Not an easy call. All these guys were terrific. Anyone else to add to the list of contenders?
I saw some video arguing Hightower. Said he destroyed the vaunted Rams play-action; ed- got good pressure etc
 
Last edited:

johnmd20

literally like ebola
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
37,898
New York City
My favorite was McVay just staring bug eyed at the field as the realization came over him that they were going to lose and how thoroughly he was out coached and impotent his offense was. Wonder if McVay's mind went back to all those texts he got after every game all year from BB telling him how explosive and amazing and impossible to stop the Rams offense was.
I think BB genuinely likes him, but wonder if there was a bit of gamesmanship at play. Basically feed the same offensive arrogance that Mike Martz had 17 years earlier and used it against him.
No. Martz was impossibly arrogant, which is why his team was favored by two TDs and lost. McVay just didn't have the talent on the offensive side of the ball. Cupp was out, Gurley was hurt, CJ Anderson isn't really that good, and Goff was so rattled, it was literally visible.

McVay did have talent on defense, which held the Pats to 3 points for most of the game and only 13 overall. It wasn't the coaching and I don't think Belichick was playing a long game with McVay. I think he respects him as a coach. The Pats were just a little more experienced, and this helped them prevail in the 4th quarter.

Man, people are acting like this was a 42-3 laugher and McVay was just outclassed everywhere. Until the Pats hit a FG with 50 seconds left in the game, every play mattered.
 

axx

lurker
Jul 16, 2005
6,094
Yeah, before the Cooks drop/Gilmore pick I was actually thinking the game might go to overtime. I think the Patriots still win in regulation but it would have been interesting if the Rams would have gone for two.
 

johnmd20

literally like ebola
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
37,898
New York City
Yeah, before the Cooks drop/Gilmore pick I was actually thinking the game might go to overtime. I think the Patriots still win in regulation but it would have been interesting if the Rams would have gone for two.
I mean, McVay took a laughingstock team to the playoffs last year and the Super Bowl this year and he's constantly getting shredded on this board. It's embarrassing, the guy is 33 years old and an unmitigated success.

He's a great coach. It's not an insult to Belichick (the greatest coach ever) to say this.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
34,889
He is but you do wonder why the Rams apparently only ran one new play in Super Bowl. If you only run what you’ve run all season BB is gonna figure it out.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,416
Everyone has less than stellar days, BB included. The perfect season Super Bowl against Coughln and Spagnuolo was no masterpiece.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
17,696
If Hightower didn’t drop INT / that tipped pass was not topped and went right to McCourty, it might have been closer to 42-3 than 13-3

There was also the fumble that managed to roll out of bounds just in time
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,021
Hingham, MA
If Hightower didn’t drop INT / that tipped pass was not topped and went right to McCourty, it might have been closer to 42-3 than 13-3

There was also the fumble that managed to roll out of bounds just in time
Even as it was, the Pats had the Brady pick in FG range on the first drive, the missed Gost kick on the second drive, then went for the 4th down in FG range later... those 9 points alone get you to 22-3.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,267
AZ
Patriots have left some points on the board in the playoffs. This year there was the decision to go for it in field goal range, the failure to get OOB at the half against the Chargers, the pick from the goal line against the Chiefs. A few other missed opportunities when they seemed to have at least a chance to score. I can think of a few others in the playoff run — the worst of which was the pick in the red zone by Carolina.

It all kind of balances out though. It’s just the consequence of having a 40 game sample. You can find a little of everything. Atlanta had 3 points pretty close to locked up when it was second down at the 23 with 4:00 left. But then, they didn’t.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
11,918
Mansfield MA
Patriots have left some points on the board in the playoffs. This year there was the decision to go for it in field goal range, the failure to get OOB at the half against the Chargers, the pick from the goal line against the Chiefs. A few other missed opportunities when they seemed to have at least a chance to score. I can think of a few others in the playoff run — the worst of which was the pick in the red zone by Carolina.

It all kind of balances out though. It’s just the consequence of having a 40 game sample. You can find a little of everything. Atlanta had 3 points pretty close to locked up when it was second down at the 23 with 4:00 left. But then, they didn’t.
The Super Bowl for sure should have been a blowout. I did a piece for ITP about the role Johnny Hekker played in limiting the Pats' points in the Super Bowl - it's kind of crazy that they put up 400 yards of offense, only turned the ball over once, and walked away with just 13 points: http://insidethepylon.com/nfl/teams-nfl/afc-east/new-england-patriots/2019/02/07/super-bowl-liii-blowout-wasnt/
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,267
AZ
Good stuff. Hekker was great. I think it was a combination of other things that also contributed too.

While it goes in the books as a 1 turnover game, the missed field goal and turnover on downs were effectively also turnovers. Also, they were unusually bad on third down. They converted two with long Edelman catches but were horrible on the others. Average yards per third down looks ok because of those two plays but average yards isn’t the best way to really judge third down, since failure to convert is almost always a drive ender.
 

54thMA

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2012
5,651
Westwood MA
Atlanta had 3 points pretty close to locked up when it was second down at the 23 with 4:00 left. But then, they didn’t.
I still to this day can't believe they got zero points out of that possession; run the ball three times, kick the FG, game over, but the worst possible outcomes happened. A sack and a penalty knocked them out of FG range.

That drive and the drive where they got zero points after the failed onside kick are both head scratchers.

As annoyed as I was after the Scottish game and losing the SB last year to the Iggles, as a Falcons fan, how do you ever get over that horrific SB loss?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,267
AZ
I still to this day can't believe they got zero points out of that possession; run the ball three times, kick the FG, game over, but the worst possible outcomes happened. A sack and a penalty knocked them out of FG range.

That drive and the drive where they got zero points after the failed onside kick are both head scratchers.

As annoyed as I was after the Scottish game and losing the SB last year to the Iggles, as a Falcons fan, how do you ever get over that horrific SB loss?
I wonder how many times a team has won in the playoffs with a failed onside kick?

Edit: Actually, I wonder how many times it has happened in any game including regular season. Can’t be many.
 
Last edited:

loshjott

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2004
7,827
Silver Spring, MD
If Hightower didn’t drop INT / that tipped pass was not topped and went right to McCourty, it might have been closer to 42-3 than 13-3

There was also the fumble that managed to roll out of bounds just in time
And if Brady’s fumble bounces in a different direction the game may have changed dramatically.

That said, these Rams are the first Pats SB opponenent, win or lose, that I’ll be rooting for next season.
 

sheamonu

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 11, 2004
937
Dublin, Ireland
He is but you do wonder why the Rams apparently only ran one new play in Super Bowl. If you only run what you’ve run all season BB is gonna figure it out.
I get the feeling that, unlike the Patriots who will try to introduce a new play somewhat formally- even if it’s just a walkthrough in the hotel ballroom on the morning of the game- McVay’s “new plays” more often take the form of improvs on the headset after he’s had a chance to get a look at the defensive sets. BB prevented this by holding off on revealing the final formation until after the 15 second blackout began. Goff didn’t have the chops- or maybe the authority- to construct an answer on his own. Point to the Pats for both the strategy (having a play beforehand) and the tactic (waiting in D until the headset shut down).