After their 13-3 victory over the Rams was in the books, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for making an adjustment to the personnel the team was working with on offense.
With the Patriots offense sputtering in the fourth quarter, McDaniels went with a package that featured two tight ends, wide receiver Julian Edelman, running back Rex Burkhead and fullback James Develin. That’s a jumbo group, but McDaniels spread them out in an attempt to take advantage of mismatches with linebackers in pass coverage and it worked out with four straight completions to set up Sony Michel‘s go-ahead touchdown run.
The Rams didn’t expect that adjustment. Tight end Dwayne Allen told Peter King after the game that the Patriots didn’t have it ready to go either.
“It was a pretty amazing thing,’’ Allen said. “Hats off to the Rams. They really knew us. They played us great. But football’s about in-game adjustments. Josh told us on the sideline, ‘We did not practice this at all coming into this game, and I realize that, but this is going off in my head, and it’s something I think we need to do.'”
McDaniels was proven correct and the Patriots’ ability to adapt in a tough spot helped push them over the top.