super bowl liii

Charles Woodson believes Stephon Gilmore could have won Super Bowl MVP

Charles Woodson believes Stephon Gilmore could have won Super Bowl MVP

Stephon Gilmore has solidified himself as one of the NFL's best cornerbacks -- and earned some pretty impressive endorsements along the way.

The latest praise for the New England Patriots cornerback comes from former NFL star Charles Woodson, who in a roundtable of legendary defensive backs singled out Gilmore as a player he loves to watch.

Woodson admitted he was down on Gilmore when he came to New England from the Buffalo Bills in 2017. But the veteran cornerback has impressed Woodson ever since -- especially in Super Bowl LIII, where Woodson said Gilmore delivered an MVP-like performance.

"I thought the way he played and the way he showed out in that Super Bowl -- he could have been the Super Bowl MVP," Woodson said.

That honor went to Julian Edelman, who caught a game-high 10 passes for 141 yards. But there's a pretty strong case for Gilmore, who tallied an interception, a forced fumble and three pass breakups to help New England's defense dominate the Los Angeles Rams.

An endorsement from one of football's all-time great cornerbacks isn't a bad consolation prize, though.

Gilmore has picked up right where he left off this season, holding quarterbacks to a 47.1 percent completion rate when they target him in coverage. Not that Woodson is surprised.

"This year, I thought he's stepped his game up," Woodson added.

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This supercut of Patriots' five Super Bowl banner ceremonies is a must-watch

This supercut of Patriots' five Super Bowl banner ceremonies is a must-watch

Welcome to New England, where Super Bowl banner-raising ceremonies soon will be counted on two hands.

The Patriots will unveil their Super Bowl LIII banner at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 8, ahead of their 2019 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That banner will join five others in the Gillette Stadium "rafters," a fact that's certainly not lost on the Patriots' social media team.

To get fans fired up for another night of championship celebration, the Patriots tweeted out an awesome video Thursday with video clips from each of the team's five previous ceremonies.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has brought some star power to the ceremony in years past: Elton John performed at the first banner unveiling in 2002 (ahead of the first game ever at Gillette Stadium), and Beyonce, Ozzy Osbourne and T-Pain since have followed suit.

The Patriots have stayed mum on who's coming to Foxboro in 10 days, but they've done this before, so expect quite the production next Sunday night.

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Here's the play Sean McVay regrets most in Super Bowl loss to Patriots

Here's the play Sean McVay regrets most in Super Bowl loss to Patriots

For someone who's moved on from Super Bowl LIII, Sean McVay has spent a lot of time talking about Super Bowl LIII.

The Los Angeles Rams head coach has rehashed that 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots on multiple occasions, praising Bill Belichick's ingenious game plan, sharing the lessons he learned from the defeat and admitting he may have overprepared by watching too much film.

That's enough discussion about a game that happened in February, right? Apparently not. In his latest "Football Morning in America" column, NBC Sports' Peter King published an interview with McVay from earlier this summer in which the Rams coach dove into detail about the one play he regrets most from Super Bowl LIII.

According to McVay, that play came with 4:25 remaining in the first quarter of a then-scoreless game, when Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks got behind the Patriots' secondary on a post route. Quarterback Jared Goff missed Cooks, though, and threw the ball away to avoid a sack.

(Check out the play at the 42:47 mark of this video.)

If Goff had connected with Cooks for a touchdown on that play, McVay told King, it may have altered the outcome of the game.

“I think it [could have] changed New England’s approach,” McVay said. "One of the things that I thought both Bill and [defensive coordinator Brian] Flores did an outstanding job of is, they’re gonna continue to play these coverages or these certain defensive structures until we made ‘em pay. We were never really able to do that. If you end up making a play like that early on in the game, then maybe it changes the narrative."

The Rams never found the end zone in Super Bowl LIII, as the Patriots' suffocating defense allowed just two Rams plays over 20 yards. McVay took accountability for that lack of offensive firepower, insisting he could have told Goff to look for Cooks on the deep post based on what he saw from New England's defense.

"Capability, guys can follow directions if you give specific orders," McVay told King. "But capacity is the ability to give them contingency plans and the tools to be able to solve the problems even if it’s maybe something that you haven’t gone in and really practiced throughout the course of the week.

"That’s where I feel like I fell short for my team."

As for the Patriots? They've long since moved on, taking their usual "tunnel vision" approach to their 20th season with Belichick and Tom Brady leading the way.

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