The Los Angeles Rams destroyed the New England Patriots 24-3 on Thursday night and dealt a serious blow to the latter’s playoff hopes in the process.
After the game, during the customary embrace between the head coaches, Patriots legend Bill Belichick had a nice word for Rams head coach Sean McVay.
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Belichick: “Great Plan”
Belichick knows when he’s been bested, and he generally has no problems giving coaches on the opposite sideline their due respect. We saw another example of that on Thursday when Belichick met McVay in the middle of the field to give him his props on an excellent gameplan and his team’s execution.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 16, 2020
The Rams dominated the Patriots at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football. Their defensive line wreaked havoc on the Patriots’ passing game. The Rams recorded six sacks and limited the Patriots to just 113 passing yards, no touchdowns, and Aaron Donald’s savvy play to hold up Damien Harris who was en route to catch a screen pass, lead to a pick-six.
The Rams’ running game gashed the Patriots front seven and it’s cornerbacks. The line held their own against the Patriots defensive front, but it was LA’s wide receivers and tight ends’ blocking on the edges that paved the way for rookie Cam Akers to rush for 171 yards on 29 carries.
To put it plainly, the game was an example of one team’s pure domination over another.
Much Different Than the Last Time
Needless to say, the last time Belichick and McVay met, things were very different. In Super Bowl LIII, it was the Patriots’ defense that held the Rams to just 3 points as New England won 13-3. Belichick completely dismantled everything the Rams tried to do in the running and passing game and did enough on the offensive end to capture their sixth Super Bowl title in 20 years.
Because this was the result of the last meeting, it had to feel good to McVay, Donald, Jared Goff, and every member of the Rams’ squad that is on the current roster, who were also on the team for the Super Bowl failure.
The Path is Very Thin
As of now, the Patriots are still mathematically alive for the postseason, but those hopes are on life support. New England has to win all three of their remaining games to do their part, and that won’t be easy.
It starts on Sunday when the Patriots travel to Florida for a rematch with the Miami Dolphins. That game will be followed by a second meeting with the Buffalo Bills, and finally, the Patriots end the year against the winless New York Jets.
Even if the Patriots manage to come away with three straight wins to close out the regular season, they still need tons of help from other teams if they’re going to make the playoffs.
Patriots' playoff odds dwindling even further after this Ravens win. To get in, they need to win out and have three of the following five scenarios happen: pic.twitter.com/USMzHOwPuD
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) December 15, 2020
Welp, Belichick did say McVay “killed” them. Perhaps he meant New England’s playoff hopes too.
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