Super Bowl 53: Patriots’ path to sixth championship

first_imgBelichick did every single one of those things by April. In March, the Patriots signed Adrian Clayborn as a free agent and traded for safety Jason McCourty, who went on to have the biggest pass breakup of Super Bowl 53.This should’ve been a Goff to Cooks TD for the #LARams. When Cooks is open on the left hash, #Patriots Jason McCourty is outside the right numbers. This pass breakup is incredible#SBLIII— Midwest Sports Network (@MWSNsports) February 5, 2019In April, the Patriots traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick to the Rams for two draft picks, including No. 23 overall in 2018. Cooks would go on to drop a key pass in the fourth quarter and that first-round pick would be very important as well.New England took Isaiah Wynn with the 23rd pick, but because it had that additional selection, it allowed them to take another key player at No. 31 overall — Sony Michel, who would score the Super Bowl’s lone touchdown.The Patriots won Super Bowl 53 in April with these moves. At the very least, they gave them a great leg up to get there.The regular seasonThe Patriots honestly had a quiet regular season. If anything, they lulled the rest of the NFL into a false sense of security by not playing all that well. New England’s 11 wins this season was its lowest total since 2009 and Brady’s 11 interceptions were his most since 2013.New England really wasn’t all that good during the year game to game, but it clearly was a lot better than what it showed on the field, which is probably a big reason for what it did to the Chargers.The AFC playoffsThe AFC playoffs were the New England coaching staff’s masterpiece.First, in the divisional round, New England almost completely changed what it did on offense and the Chargers had no answer for it. The Patriots went with a power running game early and rushed for four touchdowns in the first half alone. Michel rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns in the win as New England jumped out to a 35-7 lead at the half before taking home a 41-28 victory.Then in the AFC championship game, the defense held a historically great Chiefs offense scoreless in the first half after Kansas City had scored no less than nine points in a first half all year long. Note: it was the Patriots who held the Chiefs to nine points that game.This was when Brady truly stood tall, though. In a back-and-forth battle in the second half, Brady led a drive to take the lead late in the fourth quarter and also had a game-winning drive in overtime for a touchdown. Brady was great in the playoffs leading up to that point, but this was truly his “Brady moment.” The staff did what they could to put the team in a position to win and Brady put them over the top in the victory.The Super BowlMany people don’t know much about Brian Flores and it’s for good reason. He has never really been a hot name in coaching searches and has certainly not come up in conversations as a guy moving from place to place every year.The reason for that is Flores’ entire career has been spent in New England learning under Belichick and biding his time. Flores started with the Patriots as a scouting assistant in 2004 and has been with the team since coaching just about every level of New England’s defense: scout — 2007-08, special teams assistant — 2008-09, assistant offense and special teams — 2010, defensive assistant — 2011, safeties coach — 2012-15 and linebackers coach — 2016-18 (defensive play-caller 2018). The Patriots’ path to their sixth Super Bowl with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm started long before Sunday.Of course, it began when the Patriots traded the Jets for rights to Belichick and acquired Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. But for this year, the team’s success can be traced back to one day: February 4, 2018 when New England fell to the Eagles in Super Bowl 52. Super Bowl 53: What’s next for Patriots? He has only known Belichick in the NFL and his coaching philosophy and that shone brightly in the win against the Rams. While L.A.’s loss is as much on Sean McVay for not adjusting and Jared Goff for not executing, Flores constantly put his defense in a position to succeed in this game.They pressured Goff, which made him uncomfortable. They took away his outlets and played zone for almost the entire first three quarters, which made the play-action passes harder to execute. New England held the Rams to just three points, which was a season low and the lowest output in a Super Bowl since the Dolphins put up three point in a loss to the Cowboys in 1972.Flores will now move on to be the head coach of the Dolphins where he will hope to build on his success in Super Bowl 53, which was reminiscent of what Belichick did to the Bills in Super Bowl 25.center_img Patriots parade 2019: Massive crowd celebrates sixth Super Bowl win in style That day completely determined how the team approached 2018 and that approach won Brady and Belichick their sixth Lombardi Trophy.The offseasonAfter allowing 538 total yards and 41 points in the team’s loss to the Eagles, Belichick knew he had to do something. He needed help in his secondary, another solid run defender up front and a running back who could pick up first downs by taking a handoff. Related Newslast_img read more