Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is known for having a big brain, photographic memory, and the ability to recall any given moment or play he has been a part of at any given time. It’s that type of mind-power that has helped make him one of the NFL’s best coaches. So it should come as no surprise that it took just one play for him to realize what the New England Patriots were going to do in an effort to stop the high-powered Rams offense.
Watch and listen:
It didn’t take Sean McVay long to realize the Patriots took a page from the Bears’ book pic.twitter.com/uTzvDruMgH
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) February 9, 2019
“What did you think the first snap was – quarters, right? That’s the Bears defense.”
Quarters coverage (which you might otherwise know as a Cover 4) is a zone defense that features four-deep coverage with three defenders in zone underneath. The idea behind this coverage scheme is to force the opposing offense into lengthy drives by taking away areas down the field where the quarterback can stretch the field and make big plays. Vic Fangio’s Bears defense often used a hybrid Cover-6 defense that uses Cover-4 principles, which is probably why McVay had flashbacks to Week 14.
Few defenses gave the Rams offenses fits, but Fangio’s group was one of them. And it appears Bill Belichick knew that was the case and was able to create a game plan to mimic it. Good for him. That’s why he’s the best in the business.
The Patriots’ defensive plan worked as the Rams were forced into five 3-and-outs and three drives of five plays or fewer, all of which resulted in Johnny Hekker punts. In total, eight of the 12 Rams offensive possessions were five plays or fewer. That’s not quite what it looked like when the Rams were cooking defenses left and right throughout the regular season.
So if you’re wondering why that Patriots-Rams showdown at the Super Bowl looked so familiar, there’s your answer. The two teams were essentially replaying the thriller between the Bears and Rams on Sunday Night Football in Week 14. Don’t you love it when things come full circle?