I went into this season’s Super Bowl once again with no dog in the fight. With no Pack to back, I decided to go with the Pats because of my deep respect for Belichick as a successful coach. From my recent reading of Ian O’Connor’s “Belichick”, there is everything to commend his prowess as a student of the game. This is a 66-year-old guy who knows what it takes to win: getting his players to know their assignments so well that they are never caught out of position. For the previous five championships, the offence, led by Brady, an impressive front line, and some reliable receivers, did yeoman service. This time around, however, it was a stellar defence that did the trick. It was obvious that the Pats were coached to play a brand of defence where every player did his job to perfection in stopping the run. That meant penetrating the holes, not getting fooled by misdirection, forcing the play toward the pass, and hitting all receivers within five yards of the line. Consequently, the Rams were never able to unleash their much vaunted play-action strategy predicated on the ability to run at will. If the run game doesn’t happen, like yesterday, the long pass is easy to defend against because the help is there. Time after time, Ram receivers were being beaten to the spot by up to three defenders who knew the ball was coming into their area. Ergo, the Pats won because they forced their opponents into playing a long game which is easy to protect against when there is no alternative to worry about.