You are probably over all the Super Bowl hype. All the talk across television and radio stations, from the X’s and O’s to comparing Seattle coffee to New England clam chowder. Call it wishful thinking or bold predictions, whether you agree or not, no one truly knows as this game looks as equal and exciting as any of the recent big games.
Pete Carroll has won at the college and pro levels, and used to coach the Patriots back in the day too. Bill Belichick is arguably the greatest coach in NFL history, definitely in the conversation despite “Spy Gate” and “Deflate Gate” that I really don’t care about anyways. This is one of the greatest coaching matchups in Super Bowl history, and I cannot wait to watch how these defensive gurus play chess on the grandest stage.
You may have heard by now, the stats are comparable between the starting quarterbacks in their first three seasons. Tom Brady has three rings, making his 6th Super Bowl appearance today. Russell Wilson won a ring last season, making his second appearance today. Each has one elite playmaker that is virtually matchup-proof, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Marshawn Lynch. The rest of each supporting cast is exactly that, but of course, each crew has had their moments to return to center stage.
Now, onto the predictions, which are mostly just for entertainment since the oddsmakers even struggled to make up their minds between New England and Seattle.
Both elite cornerbacks, Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis, will record an interception.
Brady and Wilson don’t shy away from specific cornerbacks, so I don’t expect them to stay away from these ball hawks for a whole game. Why try to change too many things that made them successful and brought them to this point, again. They take chances, as any great quarterback does and should. Unless you’re throwing a screen or the perfect back-shoulder pass to the perfect route, target Sherman and Revis enough times and they’re going to come away with one.
On that note, both quarterbacks throw at least two interceptions.
Brady is a future Hall of Famer, but there are times he will get frustrated and try to squeeze in a pass here and there. His receivers aren’t all on Gronkowski’s level, not even close, and there’s been times that the timing plays have been thrown off. You don’t think that will happen against the best defense in the league? Wilson is clutch in his own right as a dual-threat, but to be honest he’s not the guy known for throwing a lot. The Hawks want to keep the ball grounded between Lynch and Wilson, but they don’t want to air it out and get into possible shootouts. Wilson is smart but isn’t the most accurate, with a shorter stature that makes it hard to see at times and not the best weapons to get open routinely. He’s more open to getting a pass tipped at the line too.
Whoever racks up more yards between Rob Gronkowski and Marshawn Lynch wins this game.
Their teammates aren’t standouts, aside from the quarterbacks, and I expect them to struggle against these top-shelf defenses. Granted, the offensive lines are good, these work horses will get plenty of opportunities to do what they do every week. With that said, they will be the primary focal points of the defense they’re going against. Gronkowski should get extra attention by getting bumped within five yards, and even double-teamed. Lynch will surely see a loaded box with extra defenders swarming the backfield.
Tim Wright is the second tight end for the Patriots, he gets a handful of catches if the Patriots get the victory.
The lack of a standout receiver wasn’t a problem when Gronkowski was paired with Aaron Hernandez. Wright has had an impact game here and there, this is as good a time as any to get him involved. Matchup wise, it’s hard to see Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola getting off the line of scrimmage with so much space and ease. Brandon LaFell had a good season in his first year with the Patriots, but he doesn’t necessarily have the speed and was thought to play some tight end when he was brought to town because of that. Seattle is the fastest defense in the league with the smartest I.Q. Good route running alone won’t do the job because they often jump routes because they prepared themselves to know what’s coming. Wright could be called upon to go one on one against a linebacker. Whether he wins those battles or not, we’ll find out in a matter of hours now.
Russell Wilson will rush for more yards than Marshawn Lynch if Seattle loses.
For the record I have the Seahawks going back-to-back, so I don’t think this stat will come to fruition. On the contrary, if the Patriots lock down defensively, you have to think it would be limiting Lynch by sending the house at him. If you tell me that Lynch’s production gets contained, I don’t like Seattle’s chances of winning many games, especially the big one. So, that leaves the Patriots challenging Wilson and his targets to move the chains over the top. With a good and rangy secondary, the next option left in Wilson’s progression is to run. That could have him running early and often in defeat.
I love how both defenses match up against the opposing offenses, I don’t think either team scores 20 points in this one.
Connecting the dots, New England couldn’t move the ball against the Super Bowl Giants’ defenses in 2008 and 2012, the Legion of Boom is better all-around and more dominant than those units. I don’t trust New England’s ground game with LeGarrette Blount and Kam Chancellor just waiting for him to get off of those jams. Brady makes his teammates better and I think they will score, I don’t think they come away with too many touchdowns.
On the flip-side, the Patriots have the secondary to man up against a mediocre receiving core. Yes, they make break off routes and get open when Wilson scrambles, but if Green Bay can stump them for nearly a whole game, you bet that Belichick watched that game film extensively. Playing man defense will allow the front-7 to stack the box against Lynch, as well as putting a spy or two on Wilson’s threat to run.
I’ll take the Seahawks to repeat over the Patriots 17-16.