It's safe to say Super Bowl LIII did not go how we all expected it to. With the Rams and Patriots each having potent offenses, a 13-3 final score didn't seem possible.
The story of the game was the Patriots defense dominating the NFL's second-best offense in terms of yards and points per game. Many credited Bill Belichick and new Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, but who knew a backup quarterback would have had a role to play?
According to Albert Breer's story on MMQB, Brian Hoyer figured out the Rams' offense after watching an episode of Peyton Manning's "Detail" on ESPN.
Rams head coach Sean McVay was a tight ends coach for Kyle Shanahan with the Redskins from 2010-2013. When Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Browns in 2014, Hoyer started 11 games for him. After watching Manning's episode, he realized McVay's offense was the same as Shanahan's offense he ran in Cleveland.
Looking at the Rams tape confirmed it. Then, he saw an NFL Network interview where Goff and McVay discussed the coach being in the quarterback’s ear up until the 15-second play-clock cutoff, which was something Shanahan did with Hoyer. Then, Hoyer went back to Amazon’s All or Nothing series on the Rams; it was about the 2016 season but had footage of OTAs from McVay’s first spring there. Hoyer recognized the language.
Hoyer continued to give the Patriots' defenders tips in practice. If the safeties showed they were playing up, Hoyer told Devin McCourty the quarterback is just going to catch the snap and throw it deep. The biggest piece of knowledge he gave the Patriots defense centered around blitzes.
Having played in that offense, they don’t have an answer for all-out pressure. Their answer is for the quarterback to make a play.”
The biggest play in the Super Bowl was when Flores called a blitz in the fourth quarter with a 10-3 lead. The Rams were driving towards tying the game, but in the face of all-out pressure, Goff threw a bad pass and Stephon Gilmore easily intercepted.
Hoyer only threw two passes all season, completing one for seven yards, but he could have been a key difference in the Patriots capturing a sixth Super Bowl championship. Even the players who don't play on the Patriots seemingly do it better than anyone else.
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