By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Coming off an offseason in which he faced perhaps more criticism than ever as Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick redeemed himself as greatly as any head coach in sports history.
Guiding the 2018 Patriots to an unlikely Super Bowl appearance after an uneven regular season, Belichick delivered one of his finest performances on the biggest stage. On paper he faced as tough an opposing coach and roster as he had all season. But Belichick wasn’t going to let a second straight Super Bowl slip through his grasp. Not even close.
Super Bowl LIII belonged to the Patriots defense, which held the mighty Rams offense to just three points in a 13-3 win. Plays were made all over the field, from nose tackle Danny Shelton to linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy to Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty in the secondary. Just about everyone stepped up and made an impactful play for the Patriots defense, which would have won a collective Super Bowl MVP award if that were a thing.
But the unit also owes great deference to their head coach, who had everyone prepared for a very dangerous offense and helped them adjust to the flow of the game for 60 masterful minutes. The Patriots also dominated the field position game with a great night for punter Ryan Allen and special teams ace Matthew Slater. And when they needed Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and actual MVP Julian Edelman to come up with big plays in the end, they all delivered too.
Belichick made the Rams’ wunderkind head coach Sean McVay, at the time considered the consensus No. 2 coach in the NFL, look as inexperienced as he really was compared to him. In some cases it was as simple as the Patriots throwing McVay and quarterback Jared Goff a 12-6 curveball with zone defense. They both whiffed throughout the night.
Super Bowl LIII should still be fresh in many fans’ minds. But you can re-live the glory of that victory and Belichick’s masterclass in that game in the below podcast from 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Belichick 20/20 series.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.