Packer Perspective: It’s the Patriots AGAIN


by Mark Metzler


Given that the two top-scoring teams in the league were playing, it wasn’t the Super Bowl fans were expecting to see. The 13-3 final was unexpected, but the victorious team wasn’t. Congratulations to the New England Patriots – AGAIN.

In the end, Patriots wore down the Los Angeles Rams in what had become a game featuring the kickers through the first three quarters.

I really thought that the coaching geniuses of Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Rams’ Head Coach Sean McVay would have made more visible adjustments coming out of halftime. But we didn’t see much until the Rams finally wore down. Maybe that was Belichick’s plan all along. Maybe.

The key play was the blitz that led to the Patriots’ interception at the four, and then in true Patriots’ fashion, there was the drive and the field goal to seal the deal. In a way, it was nice to see experience matter. But only in a way.

In the first half of the game Belichick proved his genius in his scheme against the Rams. And the same can be said for Rams’ Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips. He did a good job neutralizing Tom Brady.

Like most Super Bowls, the halftime shows are usually entertaining and the commercials are sometimes fun to watch. I liked the Michelob Ultra commercial with the robotic superiority, but the robot didn’t get to drink the beer. The Patriots, I’m guessing, did a good deal of that after the game. I also liked the commercial with Harrison Ford and the dog ordering food.

As far as performances, I enjoyed Gladys Knight doing the National Anthem. She was great. The halftime show featuring Maroon 5 was OK. I still go back to Prince’s performance in 2007 as my favorite halftime show. It’s a shame he’s gone. So much talent. The Minnesota connection is great, too.

As we move forward to the 2019 season, I am sure that Vikings fans want to start the “Purple Reign” with their team. As my friend Patrick pointed out last week, it may happen because they seem to perform well every other year. The personnel moves he advocated were right on. If they don’t do well right out of the gate, look for Gary Kubiak to be named the coach. For me, I like Mike Zimmer, but he may be better off as a defensive coordinator somewhere if the Vikings are ever going to win.

For the Packers, there is a lot of work to be done. I see a lot of talk about relying more on the run. I’m sure that’s in the offing for the team. The question to answer is whether it can be successful. In re-reading “Run to Daylight,” I was reminded of this seldom-used Vince Lombardi quote that seems appropriate for the coming season with the changes to the coaching staff and the upcoming changes to personnel.

Lombardi says: “The only way to play the game or to do the job is the way you’re convinced is right for you … The rest will follow or it won’t.”

I think that’s a good way to look at the upcoming season and a good way to look at life, for that matter. So, as fans, we want to trust that decisions that have been made are the right decisions. If they aren’t, well, then they aren’t. At least we moved off the failure that was the 2018 Green Bay Packers. That was painful. I can’t wait for the 2019 season.

Lastly, congratulations to my friend Maureen. While she is a Patriots fan, she is a true fan, with her team whether they win or lose. All fans should be that way (very few are). With luck, they will be rewarded. Who knows? It may even happen for Vikings fans someday.


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