Super Bowl 53 Observations

I watched the condensed version of the game this morning, and I’m glad I didn’t pull the all-nighter in real time. It actually was entertaining (if still frustrating) that way, but I can’t imagine how bad it would have been with all the commercials and the half-time show.

• Everyone railed on Adam Gase for his bizarre usage of his backs this year, but what was Sean McVay doing with Todd Gurley this postseason? And why were there not more of those devastating screen passes to him that were such a big part of the Rams offense the last two years? Jared Goff was under pressure all game, so you’d think a couple screens would have slowed down the rush, but McVay stuck to an ineffective offensive gameplan. He simply did not adjust.

• Goff made a few good throws, but he needs to get rid of the ball quicker. Throw it away if you have to, but if you’re not Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes, don’t try to buy time and wind up getting sacked. Goff could be the starter in LA for 10 years, or on the backup circuit in three.

• Brandin Cooks (13-8-120) had a lot of yards, but a big chunk were in garbage time on the last drive. He had his hands on two passes in the end zone that were jarred loose too.

• I love that there were only 16 points scored in this game. I usually bet on the team with the better defense in the Super Bowl, but it’s only automatic if the team is an all-time defense. The Patriots were probably better defensively than I gave them credit for, but they did allow 31 points in the second half alone two weeks ago to the Chiefs.

• The Patriots, who were obviously in win-now mode, took a running back with the 31st overall pick. They won the Super Bowl, and Sony Michel (18-94-1) was a key part of their run.

• Tom Brady didn’t play especially well with one early pick and no TDs, but he made the big throw to Rob Gronkowski (7-6-87) when it counted and found Julian Edelman all day.

• Edelman (12-10-141) was open on every play. The only other wideout to catch a pass was Cordarrelle Patterson (2-2-14.) You’d think the Rams would devote more resources to stopping him, but they didn’t or couldn’t. It was the rare case where the wideout had a huge game and the QB did not, so Edelman won an improbable – though well-deserved – MVP. Chris Hogan had six targets and zero catches, though the deep throws to him might have had their intended effect.

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• Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time in any sport. To have won six Super Bowls and gotten there nine times in a 32-team league with free agency and a salary cap is insane. For the third straight game, he badly outschemed and outplanned his opponent.

• Brady deserves credit too – besides the early pick, he played a clean game and made the key throws. I’d still take peak Aaron Rodgers, Steve Young, Joe Montana and maybe a couple others over him if I had to win one game, but six rings and nine Super Bowls are untouchable. And who’s to say the Pats are done yet?