The New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and company, smothered the LA Rams and Sean McVay in this latest Super Bowl 13 - 3. It was a defensive affair to be sure. Some fans, anticipating the kind of points put up by both teams during the 2018 regular season, were greatly disappointed. The argument over whether you enjoy a barn-burning offensive assault or a defensive struggle is one I’ll have with you any day of the week.

Football fans were in disbelief

The majority of fans without an ax to grind were bored to tears given this year’s Super Bowl LIII match-up that didn’t produce a touchdown until a mere 10 minutes were left in the game.

On the other hand, if you were a student of the game, you couldn’t help but follow the chess match on the sidelines. There was head coach Belichick, whose defensive prowess for the New England Patriots has been documented over eleven super bowls - 9 with New England and 2 as coordinator for the New York Giants in the ‘80s; and Sean McVay the 33-year-old, heralded head coach of the Rams, coming immediately out of college as a player onto the staff of an NFL team.

However, an interesting subordinate story involved the defensive coordinator for McVay, 71-year-old Wade Phillips. Phillips a longtime NFL coach with the Broncos, Texans, Cowboys, Broncos and now Rams owns a championship ring of his own, earned with the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning during his last stop before retirement.

The lowest scoring Super Bowl game in history

It was Wade Phillips brilliant defensive scheme which, right from the first set of downs, matched wits with Brady and stymied the Pat’s offense step for step, in a game that would eventually end up in a shutout for the six-time Super Bowl champion Patriots.

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In fact, the Patriots were also held to 3 points for more than 3 ½ quarters into this championship contest.

While the average observer may have had their senses dulled by the extremely low score, lost is the fact that Sean McVay and the Rams high flying offense had no answer for a Patriots defense which had allowed less than a touchdown only twice during the regular season to the lowly NY Jets, and Buffalo Bills.

Sean McVay was not up to the task

Sean McVay with his second-year quarterback, Jared Goff, and the previous year’s all-world running back, Todd Gurley, racked up and an average of 33 points per game and a total of 527 over the sixteen-game regular season. The fact is that this day, they ran a vanilla offense at Belichick and the Patriots, with Gurley playing ineffectively for most of the game. This left it up to Goff, to drop back and pass without the benefit of a play-action-threat, and with predictable results.

McVay’s team was forced to punt the ball, at one point, on eight straight drives. With only 4 first downs in the game mid-way through the 3rd quarter, the writing must have been on the wall for the young head coach. Yes, he was being schooled by a master. He must have known that without his star running back running to form, and his second-year quarterback, forced to decipher all the schemes that Belichick could throw at him, that he would not climb his way out.

It was just a matter of time before the combination of excellence, experience, and wisdom led Bill Belichick's Patriots to just enough points to win the game; which, after all, is the point isn’t it?

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