For the second year in a row, the top seeds in each conference will meet on sport’s grandest stage. It is the defending champion Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona.
New England Patriots (14-4)
at Miami L20-33
at Minnesota W30-7
at Kansas City L14-41
at Buffalo W37-22
NY Jets W27-25
at Indianapolis W42-20
at Green Bay L21-26
at San Diego W23-14
at NY Jets W17-16
Total Offense: 365.5 yards per game
Pass Offense: 257.6
Rush Offense: 107.9
Total Defense: 344.1
Pass Defense: 239.8
Rush Defense: 104.3
Super Bowl XX: lost to Chicago 46-10
Super Bowl XXXI: lost to Green Bay 35-21
Super Bowl XXXVI: beat St. Louis 20-17
Super Bowl XXXVIII: beat Carolina 32-29
Super Bowl XXXIX: beat Philadelphia 24-21
Super Bowl XLII: lost to NY Giants 17-14
Super Bowl XLVI: lost to NY Giants 21-17
Seattle Seahawks (14-4)
Green Bay W36-16
at San Diego L21-30
at Washington W27-17
at St. Louis L26-28
at Carolina W13-9
NY Giants W38-17
at Kansas City L20-24
at San Francisco W19-3
at Philadelphia W24-14
at Arizona W35-6
St. Louis W20-6
Green Bay W28-22 (OT)
Total Offense: 375.8 yards per game
Pass Offense: 203.1
Rush Offense: 172.7
Total Defense: 267.1
Pass Defense: 185.6
Rush Defense: 81.5
Super Bowl XL: lost to Pittsburgh 21-10
Super Bowl XLVIII: beat Denver 43-8
The Seahawks are making their third appearance in The World Championship of Professional Football while the Patriots will be making their eighth, tying the Cowboys and Steelers for the most. Seattle won the championship last year defeating Denver 43-8. New England has three championships but none in the last 10 years, and they lost in their last two appearances, both to Eli’s Giants. Seattle is looking to become the first team since New England in 2004 to repeat.
Each of these teams got off to slow starts causing them to either be partially, or wholly, dismissed as viable contenders. The Seahawks were 3-3 and the Patriots were 2-2. Seattle’s defense looked shaky and their vaunted toughness in question while New England was seen as finished after a drubbing on Monday Night Football in Kansas City, Tom Brady was washed up and Bill Belichick had lost his touch. Not so fast, my friend.
Seattle enters Glendale on an eight-game winning streak, their defense as fearsome as ever only having allowed a total of 13 points in the fourth quarter in those eight games combined. New England’s only loss since Kansas City with their entire lineup was in Green Bay. These two emerged as the best in their conferences and arrive at the Super Bowl as most deserving.
Each team has holes on offense, weaker parts of the sum. For Seattle it is the consistency of Russell Wilson and his receivers; for New England it is the running game.
Wilson was awful for 55 minutes against Green Bay in the championship game, but then found it. New England got 148 yards and three touchdowns from LeGarrette Blount against the Colts in their championship game. Whichever weaker part plays strong will give that team an edge.
But the ‘Legion of Boom’ is just too much to ignore. The run this defense has been on during this streak matches up with any in NFL history. The health of Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, both banged up against the Packers, is crucial against Brady. Brady and Belichick are in their sixth Super Bowl together, trying to grab that historic fourth championship proven so elusive. Unlike against the Giants, magic and luck will not overcome the Patriots. A superior team will. Seattle will cement their legacy as one of the great teams of all-time and deny New England once again. My pick is Seattle 27, New England 20.