It is finally time to focus on Super Bowl XLIX itself after looking the game’s greatest individual performances both for the good and the bad along with which games were the best ever. Sunday evening will bring a chance for history with the Seattle Seahawks facing the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium.
There are plenty of storylines around the game from the whole football ordeal to whether or not the Seahawks can win a second straight Super Bowl to whether or not Tom Brady and Bill Belichick get their fourth title together. Here is a breakdown of the game.
The two teams are remarkably close with their offensive output per game this season. That may surprise some people with the way Brady moves the Patriots up and down the field but Seattle is actually averaging ten yards a game more than New England at 375.8 versus 365.5. The Seahawks average 172.6 yards per game on the ground and 203.1 through the air.
If the Patriots are looking for a good way to win this game, it is to stop Marshawn Lynch early and have Brady put a couple quick touchdowns up on the board to force Russell Wilson to throw. He looks rattled in the NFC Championship Game trying to rally the troops from 16-0 down to the Green Bay Packers. The Patriots scored 468 points in the regular season or nearly 30 per game. They are going to have a hard time pulling that off on Sunday.
The Seahawks gave up just 254 points over their 16 games or only 16 per game on average. That’s the biggest matchup when Brady and the New England offense are on the field against the “Legion of Boom.” Seattle gave up just 185.6 yards passing per game in the regular season. The biggest matchup of them all though is who on the Seattle defense covers Rob Gronkowski. That could be the difference between winning and losing this game.
On the other side of the ball, New England is actually very solid at stopping the run so the efforts of Lynch will be looked at very closely. If Lynch finds some big holes and the Patriots can’t stop him down, it’s going to be a very long day for New England. It is clear that Lynch wants to do his talking on the field after basically blowing off the media all week long. He could be in line for a huge game just to prove people wrong in the process.
This brings it full circle. All week long, the Seahawks have seemed like a calm, relaxed team that is ready to strike at any moment. The Patriots have had to deal with the whole “Deflategate” saga and probably want to get on the field as soon as possible but are still going to be somewhat distracted. The game boils down to what happens with Gronkowski and Lynch. The one with the bigger day is going to lead their team to victory.
That Seattle defense is going to make Brady feel like Peyton Manning from last season when it is all said and done though. Lynch finishes with more than 100 yards rushing, Brady throws four interceptions and the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLIX 27-21 and become one of the great defenses of all-time after beating Manning and Brady in back-to-back Super Bowl games.