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The Ultimate Super Bowl XLIV Prediction Column

In the blink of an eye, 20 weeks of football have flown past us and we now are faced with the dichotomy of watching the biggest game of the year while being faced with 6 months of no actual football being played on the field. Sure, there will be draft news, arrests and massive speculation with the start of the free agency period, but there is nothing quite like it when toe hits leather and actual games are being played. But today, we get to watch the Seattle Seahawks take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

My preseason prediction was for the Green Bay Packers to be playing the New England Patriots this afternoon, but they simply left too many points on the field in the first half when they could have put the Seahawks away. I’ve heard comments this week that the Seahawks are lucky, they shouldn’t be in the Super Bowl. I disagree.

Super Bowl XLIX marks the first time that two former Super Bowl winning quarterbacks will face off against each other.  While the NFL has become a pass oriented league over the past decade, I have a feeling that tonight’s game is going to have an old school feeling. Both teams have exceptional defensive backfields and feature some of the best cornerbacks in the game. That is going to curtail the productivity of the outside receivers. I could expect that at the final whistle,  both respective tightends- Luke Wilson and Rob Gronkowski being the top receivers of each team.

Some random thoughts about today’s game-

If I am the Patriots, I come out and run right at Seattle CB Richard Sherman to test that elbow issue.

The New England Patriots have not recorded a sack in their two post-season games. Seattle QB Russell Wilson was the Seahawks leading rushing this season with 849 yards. The Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback is 67 yards, I am confident that number is falling this afternoon.

This season, if the Patriots allow 40 yards or less to running backs that run up the middle, between the guards, they are 10-0. If they allow over 40 yards, their record is 2-4. I believe Lynch goes well above 40 yards up the middle this afternoon.

In his short career, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is 10-0 in games in which he’s faced Super Bowl winning quarterbacks.

While the New York Jets are not a Super Bowl caliber team, they were coached by a very good defensive coach, Rex Ryan this past year. You could say that the Jets are a poor man’s version of Seattle with their front seven, but still a work in progress. The Patriots beat the Jets in both games this past regular season but by only a combined 3 points. The Jets put the most quarterback hits on QB Tom Brady this year. I fully expect the same from the Seattle front four and some blitzes this afternoon.

The way to beat Brady and the Patriots methodical offense, is harassment. Seattle’s defense only registered 37 sacks on the year, but they pressure opposing defenses.

Game Predictions-

Seattle-

QB Russell Wilson- 227 passing yards, 87 rushing yards, one touchdown

RB Marshawn Lynch- 152 rushing yards 1 touchdown

TE Luke Wilson- 101 yards receiving

New England-

QB Tom Brady- 252 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception

RB LeGarrette Blount- 86 rushing yards

TE Rob Gronkowski- 93 yards, one touchdown

This game comes down to old-style, smash-mouth football. I can see Seattle, barring a turnover, controlling the clock for 38 minutes of the game utilizing a short, controlled passing attack and putting their trio of running backs in play. In the end, I see Seattle as having too many young, energetic players on the defensive front they rotate which will bring a lot of pressure on Tom Brady.

Final Prediction- Seattle 23-New England 19

 

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