The Seattle Seahawks are looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions while the New England Patriots are appearing in their sixth Super Bowl in 13 years when the two square off on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Interestingly enough, the Seahawks could become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots did just that in 2003-04 and 2004-05. Both victories were three-point wins against Carolina in 03′ and against Philadelphia in 04′.
The Seahawks routed Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in last year’s Super Bowl 43-8 at MetLife Stadium. It marked the first time in Seahawk history that they won a Super Bowl and the first time since 1979 (Supersonics) that the city of Seattle captured a title.
Super Bowl XLVII was also head coach John Fox’s second Super Bowl appearance, the first coming in the 2003 loss to New England. He is now the new head coach of the Chicago Bears.
New England last played in the Super Bowl in 2012 where they fell to the New York Giants for the second time in five years. They’ll be looking to avenge those losses and earn their fourth Super Bowl title and first since the 2004-05 season.
The key to this game is an early start. The Patriots need to establish their offensive attack because Seattle boasts a fierce defense that finished a top the NFL this season allowing just 15.9 points per game. The Seahawks also allow a league-low 267 yards per game defensively.
New England’s offense features a power running game led by LaGarrette Blount, who has three touchdowns this postseason.
Leading receiver Rob Gronkowski had a team-high 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns in the regular season as a move tight end. Receiver Julian Edelman led the way with 92 receptions along with four touchdown grabs, while Brandon LaFell had seven touchdowns on 74 receptions.
Danny Amendola has come on in the postseason with two touchdowns tied with Gronkowski for the team-lead. Brady needs to distribute the ball to all his receivers as the Seahawks will come with pressure and force tight throws often.
Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell don’t give up a lot of room on the outside and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas are some hard hitters.
Brady will need his offense to run the ball hard early and often to open up the passing game, especially to Gronkowski and Edelman. LaFell should be included into the mix often with his height advantage against Maxwell.
For the Seahawks offensively, they need to give the ball to Marshawn Lynch as much as possible. With that solid run game, Seattle finished 10th in the league in points scored per game with 24.6.
Lynch earned his fourth consecutive 1,000 yard season along with a career-high 13 rushing touchdowns, a career-best 79 yard touchdown run and four touchdown receptions.
Outside of quarterback Russell Wilson, who finished second on the team in rushing yards with 849 along with six touchdowns, the Seahawks offense is filled with a lot of unknowns.
Doug Baldwin was the team’s leading receiver and he only had 66 receptions for 825 yards and three touchdowns. Lynch hauled in the most receiving scores of any Seahawk.
Tight end Luke Willson is an emerging target with six receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown this postseason. No. 2 receiver Jermaine Kearse has two scores and 6-foot-2 Ricardo Lockette has been a threat at times with three catches for 31 yards.
Rookie receiver Paul Richardson is out for the season with a torn ACL, so the Bears will count on Baldwin, Willson, Kearse and Lockette as their top four options. That’s not very intimidating.
This should be a very entertaining matchup with two of the most complete teams led by one of the best coaches of all time in Bill Belichick for New England and a rising Pete Carroll with Seattle.
It will be a close one, but I think the Patriots will pull this one off and Brady and Belichick will capture its fourth Super Bowl title.
New England 27, Seattle 20
Super Bowl Gems
For what it’s worth, teams that wear white jerseys are 29-18 all-time in Super Bowl games. Most recently, those teams who wear white jerseys have won eight of the last nine Super Bowls. The Patriots will don the white jerseys on Sunday.
Brady has a 93.8 passer rating which includes nine touchdowns and two interceptions and a 64% completion percentage in five Super Bowl appearances.
Craziest Super Bowl Prop Bets
How long will it take Idina Menzel to sign the US National Anthem?
Over/Under 2 minutes 1 second
Will Idina Menzel forget or omit at least one word of the official US National Anthem?
Yes +400 (4/1). No -600 (1/6)
How many times will “Deflated Balls” be referred to during the game?
Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after scoring a TD in the game?
Yes +400 (4/1). No -600 (1/6)
Which Color will Bill Belichick’s hoodie be?
Grey (1/2), Blue (7/4), Red (7/1)
Will Bill Belichick smile during the game on camera?
Yes +150 (3/2). No -200 (1/2)
Which song will Katy Perry perform first at Halftime?
Fireworks (3/2), Roar (3/2), This Is How We Do (5/1), Dark Horse (12/1), E.T. (12/1), Wide Awake (12/1), Waking Up In Vegas (20/1)
How many times will Gisele Bundchen be shown on TV?
Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first in his interview?
Teammates (3/2), God (5/1), Fans/City (15/2), Coach (12/1), Family (12/1), Owner (12/1), Does not mention any of the above (2/1)
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