He is back here again. How is he here again? Seriously. For the love of Lombardi, he’s here again and the world outside of New England shudders.
At some point during this NFL season, they thought his tyranny had ended. They spoke openly of his demise. Some even celebrated it.
Back like a cold sore?
But while the world whines of Patriot fatigue for Super Bowl 53, they’re missing the greatest generation battle since the Titans of Mount Othrys fought the young turks of Mount Olympus in the Titanomachy — the ten year battle of the gods.
Belichick vs. McVay.
With respect to the great Brady and the talented Goff, the game will be decided on the sidelines between men as different as network and Netflix.
The external is almost comical: one has a scrunched face — nearly always bitter-beered — and goes for the bum-cool look with his appearance; the other — the second-generation football son and specimen of the times — doubles for Bradley Cooper.
But the chess match between the two will be fascinating. Is McVay — with help from venerable defensive coordinator Wade Phillips — a worthy opponent for The Brain?
McVay is the voice in Goff’s head and has proven most of the year to be prescient. But even with C.J. Anderson helping ease a gimpy Gurley, the Rams run game isn’t what it was when the offense was rolling in October. That offense also had Cooper Cupp in the slot — a more dangerous weapon than Josh Reynolds.
And this Rams offense is definitely not the Chiefs offense that Belichick slowed in the first half. If not for the ridiculous ability of Patrick Mahomes, the Patriots roll to the Bowl.
— Belichick completely erased Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce from the game.
— The gameplan on offense was to employ the fullback — Burkhead as the dot of the I formation in throwback fashion. Chiefs now departed DC Bob Sutton ran a lot of man-free under — a run defense — but still couldn’t stop it. The result limited the Chiefs to three full possessions in the first half.
It was only when Sutton employed a goal line defense — his BEAR defense — in the second half that he stopped Pats’ run game, forces Brady to throw and sped up the game the third quarter.
Look at what Belichick did the previous week to the Chargers. He pressured Phillip Rivers consistently with five and jammed the San Diego receivers and completely derailed Anthony Lynn’s gameplan.
The answer of who wins this game lies within this Darth Vader-Luke Skywalker matchup.
You can expect Belichick to try to slow down the Rams running game — since their entire offense is based on play action — and then shut down Brandin Cooks and leave anything for Reynolds.
He will also try to fortify the middle of the line and utilize quick throws for Brady especially to James White.
The one area to watch is if Phillips can generate pressure up the middle and spook Brady with Aaron Donald and Monster Suh.
So when it comes to the pick for the game all roads lead back to Belichick.
It took a blessed performance by Nick Foles for the Eagles to beat him last year — and the Patriots had a far-worse defense compared to this season, even before he suspended his best player in Malcolm Butler.
Ask yourself this: is McVay ready to out-scheme Belichick? Will Belichick lose two Bowls in a row?
Patriots 30, Rams 24
Some props you might want to look at:
1. Josh Reynolds over receiving yards
2. Brady over completions
3. Gronk over receiving yards
4. Under Burkhead rushing yards
5. White over receiving yards
6. Goff under passing yards
7. Over CJ Anderson rushing yards