By Connor O’Halloran
Say what you want about Deflate-Gate or Seattle needing the stars to align for their overtime victory against Green Bay, because the two best teams in the NFL are playing in the Superbowl and it should be one hell of a game. It really is a match-up between the Unstoppable Force meets the Immovable Object. New England has been on a role since their sluggish 2-2 start and Seattle hasn’t lost a game since Week 10.
There are tons of juicy match-ups and story lines to talk about so let’s take a deeper look into what will decide this game and who might come out on top.
New England has been the most dominant team in the NFL since the turn of the century and Tom Brady will be looking for his fourth ring in six appearances. He will have to knock off the defending champs and the new kid on the block, Russell Wilson. Wilson is 10-0 against Superbowl winning quarterbacks and is starting to become the “New Tom Brady”. Brady will be facing one of the best defenses in recent history and Wilson will have to create success against a Belichick defense that will do everything in their power to eliminate the ground game from both Wilson and Marshawn Lynch.
The X Factor in this game is Rob Gronkowski. Both teams have Superbowl-Winning quarterbacks, excellent defenses, power running games and reliable kickers, but there is only one Gronk. Seattle has had a history of shutting down premier tight ends, but Antonio Gates burned them for three touchdowns earlier this season and Gates is no Gronk. Gronk is a nightmare for opposing defenses and will get some one-on-one opportunities if New England can find some success on the ground.
Seattle’s formula all year has been to pound the rock with Beast Mode and let Wilson make some plays with his feet on play action. New England’s game plan will be to eliminate Beast Mode, prevent Wilson from making big plays on the ground and force Wilson to beat New England with his arm from the pocket. New England has the talent to make this happen but Beast Mode has made a living of making big plays and Wilson only needs one big play to light up the scoreboard.
The main advantages I see are Gronk and Belichick for New England and Seattle’s All-World safeties of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas for Seattle. I see a really low scoring game for roughly three quarters and then a few late touchdowns for both teams. I see New England winning this one on a late field goal.
It should be a great game, February 1st can’t come soon enough.