Sunday, February 03, 2019

PIGSKIN 2018: Super Bowl LIII


Championship Weekend: 1-1
Overall Record:  99-127-11
Bagels in the Basket:  -45

**In an effort to get back into the black, I'm wagering one billion bagels!

  • "I Love L.A. We Love It!" ~ Randy Newman.  For those of you who never thought the city of Los Angeles would ever return to the Super Bowl ... what can I say.  Like thieves in the night, NFL officiating rob the New Orleans Saints of a second NFC title, and an appearance in Super Bowl LIII; a non-call so egregious on so many levels, the league had no choice but to admit their mistake and bury its head in the sand.  Poor Gayle Benson, who assumed principle ownership of the Saints upon the passing of her husband, Tom Benson.  She's got Roger Goodell's cell number.  I'm sure.
  • AFC Championship Game: Andy Reid catches a lot of crap for not being able to win the big one.  But he was brilliant last week, matching wits with Bill Belichick.  Both head coaches demonstrated the art of in-game adjustment.  It truly was a sight to behold.  Belichick exploited Patrick Mahomes inexperience; no more, no less.  And there was nothing Andy Reid could do about it.  But make no mistake, he coached a brilliant game against a brilliant adversary.  My only other point in regards to last week's Patriots victory over the Kansas City Chiefs: smash mouth football is not dead..!  I can't stress that enough.  As a Giants fans, it's something I incessantly harp on when blogging about Big Blue's ongoing folly.

Saturday Line/NYP

If you wanna be the man, you gotta beat the man..!  WooOO!!  Of course I'm picking the Patriots.  Did you think otherwise?  While I'm not a Patriots fan, surely you must know by now that I'm an unrepentant Hoodie minion.  I'm eternally indebted to Bill Belichick ever since he helped the Giants win their first two Super Bowls ... WoOoo!  That's what an aging Sith curmudgeon does - we pledge allegiance to and obey our master or die.  My son holds out hope than he can one day turn me away from what he deems my sad devotion to this ancient religion called smash mouth football.

Oh, the blissful ignorance of youth ... perchance to dream.  Perhaps by 10pm Sunday evening, he will finally come to understand Baby Boomers were meant to destroy planet Earth, which includes Rams head coach Sean McVay's best laid plans. 

Born of football pedigree, McVay is representative of the new age of professional football in which we now live.  He is a 33-years young innovator; he's brilliantly bold; and takes big chances in big moments.  He brings deception, trickery, and fearlessness to the table.  He'll no doubt present problems Bill Belichick must resolve before or during Sunday's game.  The Rams are also superior to New England's last two opponents (Chargers and the Chiefs), and therefore will provide more of a challenge through four full quarters of football.  I'm sure Ndamukong Sue and L.A.'s pass rush also stand poised to cause Tom Brady and company many disruptions.

But if Coach McVay wants the ball in Jared Goff's hands for any extended length of time, the Rams will need to stop Sony Michel and the Patriots running game, not Tom Brady.  Through New England's first two playoff games, the Patriots offensive line has created more daylight than the sun.  If the Rams can not throw some shade upon the Patriots rushing attack, they're d-o-n-e!  Lest I remind everyone the Patriots held the ball for 38:20 against the Chargers, and one second shy of FORTY freaking MINUTES against the Chiefs!  W ..W ... WooOOo!  Ya can't score points WOOo! if you don't have the ball.  Said another way, it's hard playing catch up with little to no time left on the clock.  Both the Chargers and Chiefs finally exerted themselves against the Patriots in the fourth quarter.  By then however it was too late, and that's by design.  The Chargers scored 428 regular season points, for a 26.7 average per game.  Against the Patriots, LAC scored 28-points, but didn't break through with 14 points until the fourth quarter.  The high-flying Chiefs scored 565 points this season, averaging 35.3 per game.  They wound up scoring 31 against the Patriots, but lagged until they put up 14-points in the fourth quarter.  Again, ladies and gentlemen, that is by design.  Point being, the Patriots play ball control, and if the Rams can't manage two good scoring quarters against them, they're done.  That said, the Rams averaged 28-points and 35:28 time of possession through their two playoffs victories over the Cowboys and Saints.  Will that be good enough against New England?  Every coach thinks they have a good plan until forced into matching wits with Simon Bar Sinister.  WooOoo!  Bill  Belichick's holy scripture defensive game plan designed to thwart the mighty Buffalo Bills offense in Super Bowl XXV has been on display in the Football Hall of Fame at Canton since before Sean McVay was born (obvious hyperbole..).


Grasshopper, beware!  McVay, this means you.  Sensei never reveals all.  Offensively, New England defeated the Kansas City Chiefs using plays straight out of Vince Lombardi's 1962 Green Bay Packers playbook.  And while I believe Andy Reid brilliantly countered Belichick, Bill still did things to Patrick Mahomes that were out of Reid's control.  Instead up beating him up, per se, the Patriots coerced and confused him.

But let's just assume the Rams (and the Patriots) do everything right, and this game boils down to a last second field goal.  Who do you trust more to put themselves in a position to kick it?

Put your faith in smash mouth, my sons.  Because there's no surer way to put a stop to all this new millennium flash, glitz and glam, than with a good slap to the face.


RAMS           3

Time of Possession
N.E.  33:10
L.A.  26:50

Total Yards:
N.E.  407
L.A.  260

Smash mouth football..!

If it wasn't for defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the Patriots might have blown out the Rams.  Head coach Sean McVey looked like a deer in the headlights.  To say he got thoroughly out-coached is an understatement.

I hope the Giants were watching.

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