The New England Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl title last night, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for most championships in NFL history.
There are so many things that they’re doing right that the Cardinals have failed to emulate in their own games in the 2018 season.
Tom Brady was well-protected by his offensive line, being sacked only once in the postseason. Schematically on offense, it’s not very difficult to see through their game plan. Get the ball out as fast as possible and make sure to get their playmakers involved.
Josh Rosen was sacked 45 times this season. Steve Wilks and the Cardinals knew that their offensive line was a weakness. But they failed to adjust their play calls to counter it. David Johnson was used in the most ineffective way possible and the team had a lot of deep-ball plays that they should not have been called.
Call plays, identify weaknesses, adjust, and execute. Cardinals couldn’t do it but the Rams couldn’t either.
Here are the stats for the Super Bowl teams’ top offensive playmakers:
New England Patriots:
- RB Sony Michel - 18 carries, 94 yards, 1 touchdown
- WR Julian Edelman - 10 receptions, 141 yards
- TE Rob Gronkowski - 6 receptions, 87 yards
Los Angeles Rams:
- Todd Gurley - 10 carries, 35 yards
- WR Brandin Cooks - 8 receptions, 120 yards
- WR Robert Woods - 5 receptions, 70 yards
The best part about getting the ball out quickly early in the game is keeping the offensive line fresh. Such that when those teams are in need of big chunk plays in either the run or passing game, the offensive line will have the stamina to do so.
As we saw last night, the Patriots’ offensive line helped Michel breakout in the second half to help secure the victory. They didn’t give up on their run game and they didn’t lose their identity.
Despite the admirable job by the Rams’ defense in containing the Patriots, I can’t say the same about the Rams’ lackluster offense.
Jared Goff held onto the ball for way too long throughout the duration of the game, being sacked four times in the Super Bowl. The Rams made themselves a one-dimensional team by limiting Gurley to only 10 carries. This can’t happen if you want to win a Super Bowl. Get him the ball and trust the process.
This is where the Patriots are so good. They know how to stay calm and play in these type of situations. They identified the Rams’ weakness. Pressure Goff and he’ll likely make a rookie mistake. He threw a ball up for grabs in hopes of a miracle that sealed the game for the Patriots but against one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, Stephon Gilmore.
Brady and the Patriots rarely ever make mistakes like that. But give some credit to Bill Belichick, the mastermind behind their dynasty.
He’s a genius that can exploit weaknesses and knows how to get his team situated in big moments like this.
I’m not a big fan of the Patriots winning a title every year but they have a championship formula. Despite losing players like Josh Gordon and Danny Amendola, the next-man-up mentality worked out well for them. If we don’t want them to win, then beat them. Dethrone them. But that’s easier said than done.
But one thing is for certain: Sean McVay was out-coached by Bill Belichick in every possible way.
Let’s hope Kliff Kingsbury can lead the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl next season to have their shot against the most accomplished team in NFL history.