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Who will win out in the End? Wilson or Brady?

SUPER BOWL 49:  HOW DO THE PATRIOTS AND SEAHAWKS MATCH UP?

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Super Bowl 49 has had no shortage of story lines and with ten days to go, the championship game really can’t get here soon enough.  Between Deflategate and verbal shots taken at Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady by Seattle Players tensions will be running higher than ever.  Don’t forget about the coaching chess match that will undoubtedly take place between Pete Carrol and Bill Belichek which in all likelihood translate to what happens on the field.  Russell Wilson will be a statistical equal to Tom Brady both in raw numbers and hardware to the same point in their respective careers.  With a 4th Super Bowl victory Tom Brady will become equal with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with rings, and his legacy will arguably be cemented if the Patriots can pull it out.  The Seahawks are eerily similar to the Patriots who won their first two Super Bowls as both teams boasted a superior defense with a QB who was simply asked to protect the football and give the game away.  Both QBs did it with limited weaponry in the receiving corps, but both signal callers had the trust of their coaches.

Sorting through the ashes of the Green Bay game and the controversy surrounding the Patriots accomplishes very little and diminishes the truly special run these teams are on. Take the moment and consider what Seattle did to snatch victory from the hands of defeat.  After Russell Wilson did everything he could to throw the game away literally – tossing 4 INTs, the Seahawks countered with a defensive effort worthy of much recognition.  An interception on the first drive by Richard Sherman took points off the board, while several defensive stands resulted in the Packers settling for field goals.  A second interception, and consecutive three and outs in the 4th quarter were exactly what the Seahawks needed to stay in the game.  Russell Wilson took over from there, realizing his feet were what were going to enable the Seahawks to put points on the board.  Timely running by both Wilson and Marshawn Lynch coupled with some perfectly executed plays while playing situational football cumulated to potentially the most celebrated comeback in NFL playoff history.  Wilson’s magic carried over to over time where he went back to Jermaine Kearse from a two TE, two RB and 1 WR set.  From the outside looking in those events were magical, but plays like the two point conversion, fake field goal and onside kick were merely a result of tremendous hard work and perfect execution.

The Patriots, consequently cruised in their game as they have the majority of the season since they were beaten by the Chiefs, a team that also beat the Seahawks. This was another coaching master piece and the rotation of game MVPs continued with LaGarette Blount rushing for almost 150 yards and three TDs.  The game was thoroughly uninteresting compared to the prior match up, but it was an extraordinary display of a perfectly executed game plan and complete dominance, but almost a repeat of what happened earlier in the season when the Colts and Patriots met.

Down the stretch Seattle has been unbeatable almost perfect on both sides of the ball.  Everyone was ready to write them off early in the season when they were 3-3 with losses to non playoff teams while attributing the mediocrity to the traditional post Super Bowl let down.  The Panthers gave them all they could handle in the divisional round but they refused to lose and whether they win or not next Sunday, either way this historic run will be over. The Seahawks have earned the right to play the New England Patriots in Glendale Arizona which is fitting since both teams entered the playoffs as the #1 seed in their respective conferences.  The Seahawks as good as they are have not faced a defense as good as New England’s all season.  Offensively the Patriots are efficient, and have many weapons, but statistically are not better than Denver or Green Bay, teams Seattle has held in check a total of four times in the last year.  Both teams had success moving the ball on offense but when it was time for their defenses to make stops, it simply didn’t happen.  New England’s hybrid linebackers are fast enough to keep up with Marshawn Lynch, and game planning for both he and Wilson is something only Belichek may be up for.  Seattle will get pressure on Brady, and rushing yards should be much easier to come by, so LaGarett Blount must be up to task if New England has any hope of moving the ball.  Gronk is usually a match up nightmare, but Cam Chancellor has more than a fighter’s chance of neutralizing the Pro Bowl TE.  Russell Wilson is not winning this game with his arm as the Patriot secondary is superior to any secondary Seattle has played.

This game can literally go either way but it seems realistic to assume that in a game that is leaning towards being an offensive struggle that the more dominant team on defense will prevail. Seattle has neutralized good offenses all season long, and matches up well against the Pats. The X-factor is simply going to be what the New England can get going on the ground.  Seattle has won games they were out of all season long and this does not bode well for fans in the North East.  You have to play the game however – so there’s always a chance.  Don’t expect a blowout like last year, but a Seahawks victory appears to be on the horizon.  Seahawks 31 Patriots 23.

Des Boodram


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