McMullen: The Wunderkind Gets Exposed
ATLANTA (973espn.com) - In a world full of Sean McVay imitators maybe the original is the best but the 33-year-old wunderkind head coach of the Los Angeles Rams was out of his league in Super Bowl LIII against the senior citizen with more jewelry than your favorite Kardashian.
Bill Belichick won his record sixth Lombardi Trophy in 18 years by completely shutting down the offense which was supposedly transforming the entire NFL.
Those who have been through the Belichick ringer before understand that what ever you're expecting the 66-year-old mentor to do, he's going to dial up something different especially when the stakes are at their highest and he's got extra time to prepare.
The Rams were the second-most prolific offense in the NFL this season, averaging 421.1 yards and 32.9 points-per-game. On Sunday that turned into 260 yards and one Greg Zuerlein field goal during a 13-3 loss to the Pats.
Jared Goff, the third-year quarterback with spectacular arm talent who some have joked serves as an exoskeleton for McVay's college-like, check-with-me offense, was prepared for a lot of man coverage, a tactic the New England defense had been using in recent weeks.
Instead Belichick and his defensive play-caller Brian Flores befuddled the young signal caller with a host of stunts backed with zone coverage. The result was a tentative Goff who wasn't sure of what he was seeing and the curtain being pulled back on the all-knowing wizard in his ear.
"The Patriots, they did a good job. Coach Belichick did an outstanding job," McVay admitted. "There's really no other way to put it. I'm pretty numb right now but definitely, I got outcoached and I didn't do nearly good enough for our football team."
A record was going to be set Atlanta, either the oldest coach in Super Bowl history was going to win or the youngest was.
There was always a chance the Rams would out-talent the Patriots and take the game but anyone who was expecting McVay to outscheme Belichick was being sold the Brooklyn Bridge at a bargain price.
McVay is still a very good coach especially when he's compared with the 31 others in this league not named Belichick but for those who practice ageism and were hoping to turn the page into a new era, they still have to wait out one guy.
-John McMullen is a national football columnist for Extra Points Media and 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen