The Green Bay Packers travel west to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. Does LA Rams head coach Sean McVay hold the secret to the Packers upsetting the 49ers?
For the LA Rams, watching another team dismantle the San Francisco 49ers in front of a national television audience would be a welcome turn of events. After all, the 49ers completed a two game sweep of the Rams in 2019, and their surge in the NFC West was a major factor to derailing the Rams hopes of returning to the NFL Playoffs.
Those same 49ers earned home field advantage in the NFC by finishing with a conference best 13-3 record. One of those wins came by a brutal beat down of the Packers, 33-8, in San Francisco. During the game, the Packers had no answers – either on offense or defense – as to how to compete with the 49ers.
Right now, the Packers are trying to solve the mystery of how to defeat them. That mystery faced the LA Rams twice during the 2019 season. In the first game, the Rams were equally befuddled by the 49ers in Los Angeles and lost 20-7. In the second game, the Rams played much better, falling to the 49ers by the smallest of margins 33-31. While the defense failed to hold the lead late in the game, it was a far more valiant effort.
And that is something which the Packers would be eager to discuss with the Rams, and specifically head coach Sean McVay. In fact, Sports Illustrated Michael Silver is reporting on the rumors those conversations are already happening this week:
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 14, 2020
Sharing information among coaches before games is very common in the NFL. It is even more common in the playoffs, where information and insights becomes incredibly valuable. Coaches in the NFL are a fraternity of sorts. Relations become incredible assets in moments like these, where one coaching staff informally consults with others to aid in game planning.
So what’s in it for McVay? Well, in facing the San Francisco 49ers twice in 2020, it would certainly help quite a bit to witness the blueprint for beating the team. Many NFL teams used a New England style approach to defend against McVay’s offense in 2019, with devastating effect. Beyond that, it’s an investment for the future. The roles may be reversed in a year, with McVay scrambling to game plan the Minnesota Vikings. In that scenario, it would be McVay seeking advice from Packers head coach Matt LeFleur.
For now, the Rams will be sitting this one out. But if McVay’s advice is sound, the Green Bay Packers will be playing in Super Bowl 54. And Sean McVay will at least have the satisfaction of knowing his game plan would have gotten the Rams there.