Patriots

Kyle Van Noy still baffled by Rams' vanilla Super Bowl LIII game plan

Kyle Van Noy still baffled by Rams' vanilla Super Bowl LIII game plan

The New England Patriots held the Los Angeles Rams to just three points in Super Bowl LIII thanks in part to excellent preparation and defensive game-planning.

But it's easier to be well-prepared when your opponent doesn't show you anything new.

Speaking Thursday on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast, Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy shared a pretty damning assessment of the Rams' offensive game plan and the lack of new twists it threw at New England.

Yeah. I couldn’t believe that, either. Like, they really didn’t do not one wrinkle. I was like, what the hell? They've got so many good players, they’ve got so many things they’ve done all year, and the one play they gave us which was a wrinkle was the [Brandin Cooks] screen that hit for a little bit. And that was it.

Cooks' 19-yard gain was the third-longest play for an L.A. offense that mustered just 260 total yards.

Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley was a virtual non-factor -- 35 rushing yards on 10 carries -- as a unit that averaged an NFC-best 32.9 points per game during the regular season slowed to a crawl.

Rams head coach Sean McVay, who called the plays in the absence of a traditional offensive coordinator, admitted he got out-coached in the loss, and Van Noy's comments suggest he's right.

"We weren’t necessarily a zone team -- we didn’t play zone very much all year -- and in the Super Bowl, we were predominantly a zone team," Van Noy added.

"And that kind of probably threw him off. Like, I saw a clip of Sean McVay reading the clip, and he said, like ‘Oh [shoot]’ in his head, ‘they’re running the Bears’ thing,’ or whatever the Bears did. Shout-out to the Bears, baby.”

McVay led the Rams to the Super Bowl at age 33 in just his second season as head coach, which is no small feat. But he learned rather quickly there's another level of preparation required to beat Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

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Tiger Woods-Phil Mickleson rematch could add Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as playing partners

Tiger Woods-Phil Mickleson rematch could add Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as playing partners

With the sports void dragging on, fans are looking for any and all options for watching a competitive event.

The possibility of a golf match, in this case, a rematch - with no fans and socially distant competitors - between two of the game's greats has been floated.

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Yes, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson II. Mickelson hinted over the weekend that it's being worked on. They met in a pay-per-view event in November 2018 with Phil besting Tiger after four playoff holes to take home the $9 million prize.

And now, for the new wrinkle in the rematch. Golf author and journalist Robert Lusetich hinted that two other all-time greats - quarterbacks, that is - are being mentioned as potential playing partners for the golfing legends this time around. 

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

Vegas is already putting out lines, Lusetich reports:

Brady and Manning, in addition to being longtime QB rivals (Tom leads 11-5 head-to-head overall; and in Super Bowls, 6-2), are old golfing buddies, if this clip from Manning's ESPN+ series "Peyton Places" is to be believed. The two hit some balls and talked some trash after "breaking into" CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz's house. 

While Manning has been out of football since he went out on top with a Super Bowl title in February of 2016. Brady is preparing for his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  So, would Tom have the time?

If they're all in, the question then becomes, who gets Tiger and who gets Phil as a partner?  

2020 NFL Draft: Prototypical Patriots fits at cornerback

2020 NFL Draft: Prototypical Patriots fits at cornerback

When it comes to drafted defensive backs, the Patriots have largely taken athletes who have tested very well — whether it was at the combine or at their pro days.

But this year, it's harder than ever to know exactly where certain prospects fall on the athleticism spectrum.

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With a drastically different schedule at the combine, laid out for prime-time television, many players opted to skip certain portions of the athletic tests. Others skipped them altogether, thinking they'd have a chance to record numbers at their pro days. 

Now that those pro days are wiped out, we're dealing with less information than usual at this time of year. Still, we can try to peg Patriots fits based on their heights and weights, their college résumés and the programs from which they hail. Here are the corners we've tabbed this offseason as "prototypes" for New England.

Click here for the gallery.