How did the New England Patriots' defense hold the Los Angeles Rams to nearly 30 points below their scoring average in Super Bowl LIII?
By utilizing the art of deception.
You may have heard how de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores sent in multiple plays to his defense: one look to show Rams quarterback Jared Goff and another to switch to with under 15 seconds in the play clock, after head coach Sean McVay's headset communication with Goff was shut off.
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But the Patriots added another layer of complexity: having defenders line up at new positions.
Here's one of those players, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, breaking down that plan Saturday on NFL Network.
"You had Jonathan Jones, who never played safety the whole year, he played safety in the (Super Bowl)," Van Noy said. "And (Patriots linebacker Dont'a) Hightower, who had been an on-the-ball kind of 'backer this year, he played off the ball.
"So, there's just things we did in the game plan that we hadn't shown all year. ... That's kind of the game plan (we) had: keep moving pieces around to have them keep guessing."
Jones and Hightower can attest to that plan's success. Jones led New England with six total tackles and added a sack, while Hightower recorded two sacks, three quarterback hits and a pass breakup.
Goff completed just 50 percent of his passes, his second-lowest completion percentage in a game this season, and looked visibly flustered by the Patriots' myriad defensive looks. And that's exactly how New England drew it up.
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