I have been somewhat hesitant to make a prediction on this game. Most of the NFL pundits have the Super Bowl at a “pick-em” level and I am inclined to agree.
But I feel that I have an obligation to make a prediction simply because of how close I was on the last two playoff games involving the Seahawks.
Back on January 10th, I predicted the Seahawks would beat the Carolina Panthers 31-14. Game was played on January 11th with the Hawks winning 31-17.
The next game, the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers, perhaps one of the greatest games I have ever witnessed, I had predicted on January 14th the Hawks would win in a nail-biter over the pack 28-24. As everyone knows, Seattle beat the Pack in overtime, 28-22…and it indeed was a nail-biter.
To be honest, I didn’t take much into account other than the fact the Seahawks were on a roll at the end of the regular season and they would be playing in front of the rabid 12’s. Seattle feeds off the energy they get from their fans and gives them a hug advantage.
The current odds show the line as favoring the Patriots as a one-point favorite. And I think, and hope, that this will be a well-played game and not have any officiating determine the outcome.
This is the first time since 1975 that two number one seeds will be facing off in the Super Bowl. Because of that, this should be an epic and unpredictable game. But I keep seeing a 27-24 score with the Seahawks winning in the closing seconds of the game.
Both teams have their strengths common to each other. Patriots have Darelle Revis and former Seahawk Brandon Browner giving them one of the best secondaries in the NFL. On the flipside, the Hawks have the highly-touted Legion of Boom with Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas as the core members.
Both teams have a strong running game with the Pats LeGarrette Blount being resurrected from the Steelers and of course, the Seahawks mercurial and controversial Marshawn Lynch.
But it’s going to come down to the quarterback play. And while both have had success this year, the disparity in the way these guys play couldn’t be farther apart.
In order for the Hawks to beat the Patriots and Tom Brady, they cannot allow him to stand back there and go through his progressions. They need to hit him a few times to get him out of the pocket and give him happy feet.
They will also need to contain his favorite target, Rob Gronkowski. I would say have Kam Chancellor spy Gronkowski for at least the 1st quarter and hopefully he can get a Vernon Davis type hit on him to perhaps give him the short-arm syndrome.
It’s not a guarantee that this method will give the Seahawks the win but the offense runs through Brady and he’s the one they have to stop.
On the flip side, the Patriots have to try and stop the 2-headed monster of a running game, the main factor being Marshawn Lynch and the spot running of Russell Wilson. For the most part, the Patriots want to make Wilson a pocket passer.
Difference in the game? The Seahawk receivers must come up big…Doug Baldwin, Jermain Kearse, Luke Willson, Ricardo Lockette and Robert Turbin must take pressure off the running game. If the passing game goes anything like it did for the first 57 minutes of the NFC Championship game, the Hawks will have no chance.
But I just don’t see the Hawks having back to back bad games…both teams will be primed and ready.
My wife and I will be enjoying this game, as I have the past 2 Super Bowls, in the coastal town of Sequim with two other couples. We’ll be there for five days and I am sure there will be a lot of golf played at The Cedars of Dungeness golf course, plenty of great food, lots and lots of stuff to drink mixed in with much laughter…and oh yeah, cheering at the top of our lungs for our Seahawks!
Seahawks 27 – Patriots 24.