Super Bowl XLIX preview: Patriots vs Seahawks
5 days until the kickoff of Super Bowl XLIX to be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.
The biggest sporting event in the United States is almost upon us.
5 days until the kickoff of Super Bowl XLIX, to be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona. Making a second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl are the Seattle Seahawks led by their quarterback (QB) Russell Wilson. After convincingly brushing aside the Denver Broncos this time last year, the Seahawks will be hoping to win back-to-back titles. The only thing standing in their path are the New England Patriots led by QB Tom Brady, a 2-time Super Bowl MVP who is making his record 6th appearance at the Super Bowl.
Even before the teams landed in Arizona, controversy began to bubble to the surface. Shortly after clinching victory against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game, reports began to emerge of the Patriots using underinflated balls when on offense. It has been claimed that deflated balls are easier to catch and throw in rainy weather such as during the Championship game.
Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Patriots owner Robert Kraft have stated that they are completely innocent. Kraft has even gone on to say that if the Patriots are cleared of any wrongdoing, he expects an apology from the NFL.
Underinflated balls aside, let’s have a quick look at the teams facing each other.
The Seattle Seahawks are looking to claim their second consecutive Super Bowl in Arizona this Sunday. It is quite impossible to talk about their potential for the Super Bowl and not mention Marshawn Lynch. The running back has had a great season albeit being fined for unsportsmanlike conduct and is the player to watch in that Seahawks offense.
Coming off the back of an impressive comeback against the Green Bay Packers, the Seahawks will have the feeling of being invincible and that nothing, not even Tom Brady, can thwart their chances. The Seahawks are 12-4 this season and will be definitely be looking to make it one more win against the New England Patriots.
Being the 1st ranked team for both rushing and defense, the Seahawks are a force to be reckoned with. FOUR players to watch: Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Earl Thomas.
The Patriots have an opportunity to rectify their two Super Bowl losses against the New York Giants in 2008 and 2012. Tom Brady is making his 6th trip to the Super Bowl and will be hoping to add a fourth title to his name. In the Championship game, the Patriots easily disposed of the Colts due to a successful team effort and also brilliant individual performances put in by Blount, Gronkowski and Brady. Controversy is shrouding their win and Jerry Rice has now waded in to have his say.
The former wide receiver said that if the Patriots ended up winning the Super Bowl, it would have an asterisk next to it. Irrelevant of this, the New England Patriots are still a formidable team. Despite a rocky start to the season, Tom Brady and the Patriots have built on a seven-game winning streak to reach the Super Bowl and their eyes will be on the prize. Four players to watch: Tom Brady, LeGarrette Blount, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.
It doesn’t make sense to finish this article without mentioning the two oustanding head coaches of these teams. Bill Belichick has been the head coach of the New England Patriots for 15 years now and has massive influence over the running of the club.
He has the reputation of being someone who always works, constantly scouring college football tapes for the next upcoming talent or getting talented players on the cheap. Blount is an example of this.
On the other side of the field is Pete Carroll, current head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and former head coach of the Patriots. His record speaks for itself having coached several teams over a long career. Having won the Super Bowl just a year ago, he’ll be feeling quite familiar with the scene and this might just play in the favour of the Seahawks.
Controversy or not, this matchup is exciting. Everyone is hoping that the outcome isn’t a walkover like the previous year but instead, are looking for tackles, passes, sacks and rushing yards from Lynch and Blount. All in all, this will be a Super Bowl for the ages and I am tipping the New England Patriots to come out on top.