The Super Bowl was a showcase of two dominant defenses, anticlimactic to the story of a season driven by offensive powerhouses. But as always defense comes into play in big games and New England’s defense was able to make the plays necessary for them to come out on top.
Looking back on the game, Belichick didn’t do anything flashy on defense he simply told his guys that they were going out there to stop the run. He did this by employing a 6-1 front crowding the line of scrimmage limiting LA’s output in the running game. The Rams got just 62 yards on 18 rush attempts averaging under 3.5 yards per attempt. While it would be easy to say that Todd Gurley should have gotten the ball more than just 10 times, the run just wasn’t working for McVay. With New England maximizing its resources on stopping the run, the play action was indeed available for Goff but he was unable to capitalize on the opportunities that were there for the taking.
On the defensive side of the ball for LA DC Wade Phillips came in with a tremendous game plan and executed it thoroughly, holding the Pats to just 13 points. With that said this game turned out to be a defensive brawl and whichever defense could hold their ground the longest would prevail. Entering the 4th quarter in a 3-3 ball game, LA’s defense couldn’t hold on as Brady’s 4th quarter expertise kicked in. He picked apart the Rams secondary with ease on the game-winning drive to set up Sony Michel’s TD.
All things said Brady and Belichick didn’t start this game off like themselves, scoring only 3 points in the first 3 quarters. But they stuck to running the ball as they have all season long and got the ball to their playmakers in Gronk and Edelman when they needed to most. Goff and McVay will look back on this game as a learning experience, one in which they had New England exactly where they wanted them but couldn’t close the deal.