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Super Bowl proves importance of a smart QB, good coaching strategy

One of the best things Bill Belichick did on Sunday was prove that at some point, the coach on the sideline can’t win the game.

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Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Don’t worry, we’re not going to spend a long time talking about yesterday’s excuse for football entertainment that led to the wrong team winning, but there was a particular factor in the Patriots’ victory that bears highlighting.

Ryan Edwards and his 1st and 10 @ 10 crew on Orange & Blue Radio discussed a comment from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Bill Belichick used a particularly crafty technique to neutralize the Rams’ high-octane offense. We’ve always known that Belichick is the master of exploiting a team’s weakness, and in this case, the true weakness Jared Goff’s total reliance on his head coach to read the D and call a play.

So Belichick made that impossible - by adjusting his defense after Goff’s in-helmet headphone had to be turned off.

As Edwards put it, “He made Jared Goff read the defense, not Sean McVay.”

And Steve Atwater noted, “That shows the importance of disguising coverages. They showed how you do it. Goff didn’t have any clue what they were in.”

Deadspin broke it down nicely:

“The way the Rams thrive is to frequently show teams the same look, then to attack them based on what McVay and Goff see at the line of scrimmage pre-snap. Their preferred method for doing this is to line up quickly, and for McVay to help Goff with diagnosing the defense before his in-helmet headset shuts off with 15 seconds remaining on the play clock. But, as Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported, the Patriots countered this by basically having two play calls sent in—one each for before and after the snap. The intent was to confuse Goff, and it worked.”

So aside from having to remind ourselves that the real MVP of the Patriots is Bill Belichick, this points out a very good lesson for the Broncos - the importance of a smart quarterback.

Today’s NFL has complicated defenses, and no matter how good McVay is, his quarterback still has/had to run the show. And he couldn’t do it. A quarterback with a big arm, who “can make all the throws” (my least favorite football cliché, by the way) but can’t read a defense will eventually get beat.

So as John Elway and his new coaching staff figure out what direction they want to go with quarterback this offseason, I hope they were paying attention to Belichick’s masterful behind-the-scenes performance yesterday.

And that brings up the secondary lesson from the Super Bowl - the importance of a coach with game-winning strategy.


In the first hour of 1st and 10 @ 10 today, the guys lament a little with Steve Atwater about him not getting into the Hall of Fame but he did make it into the Top 10. But Atwater was awesome as usual - happy for Pat Bowlen and Champ Bailey and sure his HOF nod will come: “My time will come; my time will come.”

I know most of us here didn’t expect anything good from those Hall of Fame voters, but it sounds like Atwater’s candidacy gave them a lot to think about. Alex Marvez and Peter King, who publicly stated they voted for Atwater, also indicated there was a lot of talk about Atwater, so it looks good for 2020.

“I felt like minds and heart and eyes were opened especially this past year, pointing out some things in Steve Atwater’s resume,” Andrew Mason said.

The guys also gave a shout out to Mile High Report for our 27-in-27 series promoting Atwater, so even if we didn’t convince the Hall of Fame this time, we did show No. 27 the love he deserves - and he felt it.


For no reason whatsoever...what did you think of the NFL 100 commercial?

This poll is closed

  • 48% part of the entire four-hour experience
    (207 votes)
  • 11%
    (51 votes)
  • 23%
    It had Peyton and Von...I can deal with it.
    (101 votes)
  • 12%
    Didn’t watch...just like I didn’t watch the game.
    (55 votes)
  • 3%
    (15 votes)
429 votes total Vote Now