Bill Belichick put on a coaching clinic and Sean McVaywas overmatched. Tom Brady kept his cool and delivered the big moments while young Jared Goff stumbled around like a deer in the headlights for a full 60 minutes. As a result the older, wiser team walked away with another Super Bowl victory and the Los Angeles Rams left knowing they turned in a total dud.
The 13-3 defeat was ugly. Finding a positive is difficult. But perhaps the way both the coach and quarterback were both so willing to face the music and accept blame for the high-profile failure is one moving forward.
"“I’m still kind of numb right now,” McVay said during his remarkably composed exit interview. “I got outcoached. I didn’t do nearly good enough for our football team.”"
Goff was equally frank in the aftermath — appropriately self-critical.
"“What really stings for me, especially as a quarterback, is that our defense played so well — and I wasn’t able to deliver,” Goff said softly as we stood outside the cleaned out coaches’ lounge in the Rams‘ locker room. “It was me. It was our offense. And we — well, I — couldn’t do my part. "
"“It wasn’t a game we needed 30 points to win. We needed two touchdowns, and I couldn’t get it done. That’s on me. I’m the guy who has to drive this offense.”"
There are no moral victories on Super Bowl Sunday. One team reaches the summit while the other slips off and dies with the rest of the league. There are, however, ways to measure the current and future resolve of a franchise.
And the Rams seem to have a strong backbone. There was no finger-pointing in the locker room. They lost as a team and fell over each other to accept the burden.
There will be more chances. McVay is a fantastic football mind and Goff knows how to execute the system. This is the beginning of the Rams’ story, not the final chapter.
Going a bit further, it was important for the young hotshot coach to show he’s as impressive in losing as he is in victory. Every team out there who hired someone tangentially connected to McVay is hoping his coaching tree will have similar personality.
It was also refreshing to see a couple of Millennials owning the moment, standing up and doing the bigger thing, riding along that high road. We truly are the Grate-est Generation, a canvas upon which to pin grievances and a scapegoat for whatever is perceived to be wrong with society.
It’s a small sample size, but Goff and McVay could actually be reflective of a new breed of athlete and coach. A healthier group with a better perspective. It’s a bit of a wild theory, but keep an eye on it.
The kids may be alright. Or, at least, not total lost causes.