Super Bowl XLIX – Seahawks vs. Patriots

Posted on 29 January 2015


 

The Seattle Seahawks, fresh off their incredible comeback victory of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, look to become the first team since their opponent the New England Patriots to repeat as NFL champion.  The story in the two weeks between Championship weekend and the Super Bowl has been about ‘Deflate-Gate’ for the Patriots, but it’s time to forget about that and the opinions people have about it and get down to football because come 6:30 p.m. Sunday the ball is being kicked off regardless.

 

This matchup is interesting and tough to predict because of the dynamics of both teams.  New England’s strength is always going to be Tom Brady and his assortment of weapons in the passing game; however, Seattle’s ‘Legion of Boom’ secondary should be formidable in stopping most aerial attacks.  New England’s strength on defense is their secondary led by Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis; however, Seattle is a run-oriented offense with no true game breakers on the outside.  Both teams are also strong in their special teams.

 

LeGarrette Blount could be a huge factor in this game.  Seattle’s front seven is not quite as good as it was last year and their strength is more in pass rushing than run stopping.  Blount is a big back as well, and if he can break a few runs that require Seattle’s secondary to come up and make tackles, that could set Brady up in the passing game.

 

As much as Tom Brady’s strength is his use of a variety of different targets in the passing game, the Patriots most dangerous weapon is Rob Gronkowski.  ESPN NFL Analyst Ron Jaworski noted earlier this week on ‘The Michael Kay Show’ the success Antonio Gates of the Chargers had as a Tight End against Seattle’s defense way back in Week Two.  That was in September, however, and Seattle shut down future Hall of Famer Jason Witten of the Cowboys as well as Vernon Davis twice.

 

If Richard Sherman was 100 percent, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him lining up against Gronkowski a lot and that still may happen.  Sherman possesses the size to handle Gronkowski but an upper body injury would make it tough for Sherman to handle him in a physical game.  Kam Chancellor, who also has good size at 6’3, should draw Gronkowski most of the game and with the help of four-time All-Pro Earl Thomas, Seattle should be able to neutralize Gronkowski.

 

Seattle is likely to keep the offense simple as they usually do (though Pete Carroll is certainly capable of throwing in a surprise) by pounding Marshawn Lynch and getting Russell Wilson outside the pocket with the play action in the read option.  Wilson was awful against Green Bay so don’t expect two straight terrible performances by him.

 

With New England’s strong secondary and the lack of big time receivers for Seattle, the Patriots can commit as much as they need to stopping Lynch and putting the game in Russell Wilson’s hands.  Wilson may not be terrible this game, but whether he will be at the top of his game (which will be needed) in the Super Bowl is another question.

 

As noted earlier this is a tough game to predict.  From a black and white perspective, New England is the team I would expect to win and, if they do win, expect a blowout.  However, from what I’ve seen, there is just something about this Seattle team and Russell Wilson that I can’t go against.  I’m going off a hunch here that New England won’t be able to put Seattle away as the Packers could not, and in a more conventional fashion (meaning no miracle on-side kicks), Seattle comes away with the win and repeat championship.

 

Seattle-24, New England-21

 





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3 Responses to “Super Bowl XLIX – Seahawks vs. Patriots”

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  3. Lanny Mazzucco says:

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