“Thursday Night Football” went a lot different for Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay than his last matchup with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
The Rams suffocated the Patriots on defense and LA’s offense ran the ball at will, earning a commanding 24-3 victory in the Week 14 game.
It’s just about two years after Belichick’s Patriots dominated McVay and the Rams on the game’s biggest stage in Super Bowl LIII. McVay expressed that February night that he was out-coached and called it a “humbling” performance.
So, was Thursday’s win a little redemption for the 34-year-old?
“Yeah, I think you kind of answered it the way you asked it. We have a lot of respect for them, but it’s a totally different year. It doesn?t have nothing to do with what occurred a couple years ago,” McVay told reporters Thursday. “It’s a big win for us to get our ninth win, get a couple days of rest and then really see if we can finish up the last quarter of this season strong.”
But it’s got to be in the back of your mind right, coach?
“Well I mean it enters my mind because that?s all you guys ask me about, just kind of kidding a little bit,” McVay smirked. “But no, it’s something you think about because it was the last time that we played them being a cross-conference opponent. It was a big game. That?s always going to be a part of the coaching trajectory for me, and a night you got to be able to learn from.
“But as far as how that effected our plans going into this game, it really didn’t at all. We’re a totally different team. I mean, you see we’re doing a lot of different things, but what is consistent is that you have great coaches and a really tough football team on the opposing sideline and I think we?d like to say the same thing for our group. A lot of really good football players. It was important because it was our ninth win, but as far as any sort of redemption, it doesn?t get back the hurt and the scars of that night, I can promise you that.”
Maybe McVay will find some solace in that fact Thursday’s win almost certainly knocks the Patriots out of the playoffs, while the Rams have the makings of a team who could reach its second Super Bowl in three seasons.