Sean McVay felt he coached ‘like an amateur’ in Rams’ 2019 Super Bowl loss to the Patriots

McVay's Rams were shut down offensively in the 13-3 New England victory.

Sean McVay Patriots
Sean McVay and Bill Belichick prior to Super Bowl LIII. AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File

Just over three and a half years after the Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, Rams head coach Sean McVay offered his thoughts on the game and its aftermath.

In an in-depth feature story by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, McVay said that he did not coach well in the loss, and still has yet to watch the game in its entirety. From the piece:

“After losing Super Bowl LIII to New England in 2019, he (McVay) had sat with Veronika (his fiancé) in a near-catatonic state. “I can’t believe it,” he kept saying, mostly to himself. He told his family not to worry; they worried anyway. The game itself was a blur, a schooling by Bill Belichick so thorough and traumatic that to this day, McVay hasn’t watched it in full. He felt he coached “like an amateur … so in over my head,” and he swore that it would never happen again.”

And while McVay may have never watched the full game back, he has certainly learned from the man who beat him. According to Wickersham, McVay has “gotten beers with [Patriots head coach Bill] Belichick, and is floored by his staggering football knowledge attained by singular devotion and ethic.”


In the piece, which details McVay’s inner drive to be successful and the problems it causes in his personal life, it is also revealed that McVay sought the counsel of then Celtics coach Brad Stevens, among others. McVay is also quoted as having been envious of “cyborgs” like Belichick and longtime NFL coach Mike Shanahan, coaches who can concentrate for hours on a singular task.

Just 33 years old at the time of the 2019 Super Bowl, McVay was not the first to be out-coached by Belichick, whose defense held the high-powered Rams offense (2nd in scoring in 2018) to just a field goal on the way to his sixth Super Bowl victory.

McVay acknowledged coaching defeat at the time as well, saying, “It (New England’s) was a great game plan. There is no other way to say it but I got out-coached.”

To this point, McVay seems to have made good on his promise to never let what happened in Super Bowl LII occur again. When the Patriots and Rams met in the regular season in 2020, McVay was ready. His Rams stifled the Patriots offense in a 24-3 victory, and Belichick’s postgame comments to McVay were widely publicized.

“Great job. You killed us. You had a great plan,” Belichick told McVay as they shook hands after the game.

Now, McVay has begun to follow in Belichick’s championship-winning footsteps as well, with the Rams defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI this past February.


At 36, three years after his loss to Belichick in Super Bowl LII, McVay became the youngest head coach ever to win a Lombardi Trophy.


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