There is an obvious choice of play that had the biggest impact on the Super Bowl. By now everyone has seen it a thousand times, but just in case, here’s a link so you can familiarize yourselves with it. Yes, it is a play from a different game, and no that was not a mistake on my part. The Super Bowl was decided before it began because of that no call and the Rams got exactly what was coming to them.
The importance of coaching and experience in football is greater than in any other sport, which is why the exhausted storyline of the age disparity between the Patriots QB and head coach and the Rams QB and head coach should have tipped everyone off on exactly what kind of game this was going to be. Sixty minutes of watching the Patriots defense absolutely dominate the Rams offense. I won’t go into how the game played out because little of interest happened throughout. The only thing you need to know is that the embarrassing total of three points which the Rams put up may actually make their offense seem as if it was more effective than it was.
The Rams have been winning all season with their offense carrying the load. They did it by out planning and preparing their opponents in the week leading up to the game. Sean McVay, the Rams head coach, would create the perfect game plan to attack the opposing team’s defense and they would execute it flawlessly. The issue with the system is that the Rams don’t know how to adjust or improvise. They create their plan of attack and follow it through, and it got them all the way into the Super Bowl with the help of one egregious missed call (please refer to the link above).
Enter Bill Belichick: a coach that can match McVay in the intensity of his study but is miles ahead of him in experience. Belichick’s ability to adjust in game is unparalleled and left McVay with no answer to the defensive looks he was showing. Goff’s dependence on McVay’s preparation became shockingly apparent in a game where Goff looked well out of his depth. It was also compelling to see the juxtaposition between the Rams’ offense under McVay and the Rams’ defense under Wade Phillips, widely accepted as the most experienced and respected defensive coordinator in the league. The Rams defense played admirably, outperforming what should have been expected of them considering the position the offense had left them in.
My intent is not to disparage the abilities of McVay and Goff, who have accomplished incredible things in their two years together and likely have very bright futures ahead of them, but rather to dispel a notion which seems to have taken root across the league and among its fans over the last few years. This is the idea that hot new offenses run by young coaches with new philosophies are more valuable than the experience that comes from decades of coaching. People have a tendency to be attracted to shiny new things, but this Super Bowl showed us that this trend will die and that experience cannot be replaced.
COVER PHOTO: Hollywood Life