New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks
Date and Time: Sunday, January February 1st at 6:30pm (EST) on NBC
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Game Line: Seattle PK (from 5Dimes)
Super Bowl XLIX Analysis: The defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks will take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX from Glendale, Arizona.
The Seahawks are back in the big game after a miraculous come from behind victory over Green Bay, winning 28-22 in overtime. The Seahawks scored 15 points in the last 2 minutes and 9 seconds to take the lead until Green Bay tied it up 22-22 with 14 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. In the opening drive of overtime, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson led a 6 play 87 yard drive, culminating in a 35 yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse to punch the Seahawks’ ticket to Arizona. The Seahawks have won 8 straight games, and rank 1st in the league in total defense, allowing just 272 yards per game. They also have one of the league’s best secondaries, led by all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman, and outstanding safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. Their offense is led by quarterback Russell Wilson, who has improved as a passer this season, but is very dangerous with his legs as well, as Wilson has 845 rushing yards this season. You can’t talk about the Seattle offense without mentioning running back Marshawn Lynch. As quiet as Lynch is with the media, he lets his play on the field do the talking. He’s had a stellar season, and his performance in the NFC championship was a big reason why the Seahawks are in their second straight Super Bowl, rushing for 157 yards on 25 carries.
The New England Patriots were rather dominant in their AFC championship game, dominating the Indianapolis Colts 45-7. In the previous meetings with Indianapolis, the Patriots had a lot of success in the running game. Well, last Sunday’s game was no different, with Patriot running back LeGarrette Blount rushing for 148 yards in one of the more dominant performances by the Patriots this season. They are led by none other than quarterback Tom Brady, who passed for 4109 yards with 33 touchdowns. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is healthy, and is enjoying one of his best seasons. Gronkowski was brought along slowly in the beginning of the year, coming back from an ACL tear suffered last season. His resurgence was key to an explosive offense that started slow but was dominant for a better part of the season. The Patriots have a very versatile offense, with a lot of talent in the backfield and in the receiving corps. As good as the offense is, the defense might actually be the strength of the team. The Patriots have their strongest defensive unit in years with a young and versatile group of linebackers led by Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower, along with a talented secondary anchored by all-pro and shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Well, I’m sure you’ve heard by now about all the hoopla regarding deflategate. On the Saturday before the team departed for Arizona, New England head coach Bill Belichick addressed the situation again and denied any wrong doing on the part of the Patriots. It was a side of Belichick not many had seen before. He came to his team’s defense, and said that the reason why they won is that they worked hard, and proved they were the AFC champions. Some might view this as a distraction, I can see why. Yet they’ve had two weeks to prepare, and you better believe with the experience that Belichick has in Super Bowls, they will be leave no stone unturned. Can this whole thing be a distraction? Sure, but let’s go back to the Spygate controversy. What happened when the news broke of that? Well they came out and throttled the San Diego Chargers. Now I’m not saying they’ll do that in the Super Bowl, but this whole controversy is definitely creating an us against the world mentality. I think the Patriots are the better overall team in this matchup, the Seahawks definitely have the personnel to match up with the Patriots on offense, but I do believe the Patriots will have success running the football. While the Seattle defense is talented, it should be noted that they have given up more than 130 yards the past two games. If the Patriots have success running the football, it will definitely create a problem for the Seahawks. The Patriot defense matches up very well with Seattle, and let’s not forget that the Patriots have a cornerback, Brandon Browner, who was a part of Seattle’s elite defense last season. If anything, Browner knows the team quite well, and knows their weaknesses. While Seattle has an effective offense, it’s most certain that the Patriots will take away what Seattle does best, and that would most likely be trying to contain Marshawn Lynch. The Patriots also have the speedy linebackers to keep Russell Wilson in check. There is no doubt that Belichick will have some schemes that may force Wilson into making bad decisions. Wilson is talented without a question, but he can still make poor decisions, which was evident in the 4 interceptions he had in the NFC championship game.
These are two outstanding teams, but I feel the Patriots are the better overall team in all 3 phases, and in terms of coaching, I’d rather have the coach and quarterback that’s been to the Super Bowl numerous times. I think we all can agree that Seattle is extremely fortunate to be in the Super Bowl, but I feel their luck will run out at the hands of a New England team that has a lot to prove.
Super Bowl XLIX Free Pick: New England PK, Under 47.5
Super Bowl XLIX Score Prediction: New England 27 – Seattle 17