Sean McVay joined a six-man Hall of Shame coaching club last February.
He became the sixth coach to lose a Super Bowl to Bill Belichick.
All six were guilty of coaching gaffes that help hand the Lombardi trophies to Belichick.
McVay, though, at least admitted the mistakes he made when his high-flying offense was held to three points and wasted a good effort by Wade Phillips’ defense.
McVay told Peter King his mistake in the Super Bowl was being too conservative against the Patriots’ “quarters” defense, which featured four defensive backs across the field in coverage from eight to 19 yards off the ball at the snap.
The Patriots usually played a single-high safety defense, but switched it up for the Rams — and McVay didn’t adjust.
McVay said one play, their sixth offensive play, was symbolic of their failure.
The Rams had a first-and-10 at the Pats’ 49.
Brandin Cooks got open deep, but Jared Goff didn’t pull the trigger, was pressured and threw it away. They lost a shot to take a 7-0 lead.
McVay said it was on him for not drilling Golf to take deep shots in the game.
“That’s where I feel like I fell short for my team,” he said.
Now the question is where do McVay and the Rams go from here. He’s only 33 and has plenty of time to bounce back.
But none of the other five coaches who lost to Belichick in the Super Bowl – Mike Martz, John Fox, Andy Reid, Pete Carroll and Dan Quinn – made it back to the Super Bowl with the same team, and only Fox made it with another team and lost to the Seattle Seahawks as the Denver coach.
Reid and Carroll, of course, are still coaching.
Here’s a look at how those five coaches lost to Belichick and the Patriots:
1. Martz’ Rams after the 2001 season – Belichick played a nickel defense against the heavily favored Rams, daring the Rams to run more. But Martz was stubborn, ran Marshall Faulk only 17 times and lost, 20-17.
2. Fox’s Carolina Panthers lost 32-29 after the 2003 season when Fox twice went for two in the final quarter and didn’t make them, prompting Belichick to also go for two. He made it, and those three points prevented the Panthers from going into overtime.
3. Reid’s Eagles lost 24-21 after the 2004 season when the Philadelphia Eagles, trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, inexplicably didn’t use a hurry-up offense. They in effect ran out their own clock and even though they scored, they lost by three.
4. Carroll’s Seahawks were a yard away from the victory after the 2014 season. You know the rest. Instead of running Marshall Lynch or throwing a fade or having Russell Wilson try a pass-run option, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called an inside slant in traffic and Malcolm Butler intercepted it and they lost 28-24 and a chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Bevell said he would do the same thing again, which is why he is now coaching in Detroit and was out of football last year.
5. Quinn’s Atlanta Falcons had the infamous 28-3 lead after the 2016 season and lost 34-28 in overtime after offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan didn’t milk the clock with the lead. Even worse, with a seven-point lead and four minutes to go, they were in field-goal range. They could have run three plays and kicked the field goal to clinch it. Instead, Shanahan called a pass on second down, and and a sack and a holding penalty pushed them out of field-goal range.
Six coaches, six gaffes, six losses.
By contrast, Tom Coughlin twice and Doug Pederson once beat Belichick in Super Bowls when they didn’t make any gaffes.
Now McVay’s challenge is to see if he can get his team back to the big game anytime soon.