Super Bowl XLIX

superbowlxlix

Will this be a repeat of last years Super Bowl? Hopefully not, but it seems to be a rematch with the New England Patriots who play with the same style as the Denver Broncos who were trounced in last years game. Seattle has certainly peaked at the right time and they will try to be the first repeat champion since the Patriots did in 2004-05. Tom Brady is trying to get his fourth title and Russell Wilson wants to get paid like an elite quarterback. This wasn’t the matchup we expected, but it is the one we were dealt.

Coaches

No matter what your opinion of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, he will probably go down as one of the best head coaches in NFL history. Spying on opponents will be a big black eye for him until his dying days. Even with that hanging over him, it is quite remarkable to have a franchise go to six Super Bowls during his tenure in New England. He has always had Tom Brady with him, but the rest of the team has been different every time. Especially on defense with so many changing parts. Whatever he has up his sleeve or sweater vest this time around will be his biggest test. He’ll have to contend with a formidable defense and a mobile quarterback that many teams have not had any success against.

Beating the New England Patriots would secretly make Pete Carroll the happiest man on the planet. He was charged with replacing Bill Parcells after his messy departure to the New York Jets in 1997. Like Parcells with the Jets, Carroll only lasted three seasons with New England. The Patriots made the playoffs in two of the three seasons Carroll was coaching them. They didn’t have a losing record in any of those seasons, yet he was shown the door being the man to replace Parcells. What he has done with the Seattle Seahawks franchise is astounding. His resume would be solidified if he were to defeat two of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation in back-to-back Super Bowls.

Players to Watch

We all focus on the quarterbacks by default, but there are some other players that we need to look out for. Shane Vereen is a big weapon for the Patriots out of the backfield as the check down back for Tom Brady. New England is a pass happy offense so it isn’t a big surprise to see Vereen out there a lot. He is used in many deceptive packages and Seattle will be kept on their toes with him on the field. Seattle’s offensive line isn’t the best overall, but they will have to do wonders with containing Vince Wilfork at the point of attack. He is a big man who is hard to stop on double teams let alone one on one. If he gets in the backfield often, the Seahawks won’t have much of a running game that they will need.

Will Doug Baldwin continue his climb as a top receiver in these playoffs? He’ll be put to the test with the likes of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Devin McCourty lurking down field. Assuming the Seahawks can run the ball effectively they will utilize a lot of play action and Baldwin is a big part of that. He has done a lot of talking this year and will have to back it up for this game. The secondary gets a lot of attention for the Seahawks defense, but Bobby Wagner is a big part of the front seven’s success which puts the secondary in a position to succeed. His return from injury during the regular season was a big reason for Seattle’s turnaround. This game won’t be easy for Wagner and company with LeGarrette Blount lurking in the Patriots backfield

Key of the Game

Possession usually isn’t a factor for games like this, but it actually will be this time around. Whomever has the ball for the longest time will have a huge advantage. New England doesn’t throw the ball deep very often, but their short passing game acts as their rushing attack. That won’t be the case as they have a bruiser in LeGarrette Blount who almost single handedly put the Patriots in this game with his performance in the AFC Championship game. The same can be said for Seattle and Marshawn Lynch who seems to get better later in the game. Especially in the second half. Just ask the Green Bay Packers. If New England or Seattle can run the ball effectively that will determine who wins this game. Who would have thought that running the football this day and age would determine a winner in the Super Bowl?

Who Will Win?

Even with all of the back and forth of whose strengths and weaknesses will be a factor for this game, it is a toss-up as to who will win. They both match up pretty well against each other. Regardless about what the pressure of the footballs will be at kickoff it should be a great game, hopefully. With that said I have the New England Patriots winning 31-21. Tom Brady will be named MVP after throwing three touchdown passes against the Seahawks vaunted defense.

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