This years’ edition of the Super Bowl is the matchup that everyone seemed to be expecting all year. These teams, however, got here in very different ways. The Seahawks through a miracle come back and the Patriots through a blowout. But, they are both here and we are in for a great matchup. In every game, there are matchups within in the bigger matchup and there are some very good ones in this game. I give you a peak at 3 of the biggest matchups to watch in Super Bowl XLIX.
- Legion of Boom vs. Tom Brady:
This may be the best matchup we see all game. Tom Brady has been known to talk a little smack and Richard Sherman is the king of smack. This isn’t just a battle on the field it’s one off of it as well. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Byron Maxwell, and Kam Chancellor will go up against one of the all time best QBs to ever play the game and it should be interesting to see what they will do.
Tom Brady on the other hand is coming off of a big game against the Colts and you know that he’ll be fired up to go against this Seahawks defense and the LOB. Stopping Rob Gronkowski will be a tall task for the LOB because he is Brady’s favorite target. The health of Sherman and Thomas III might be a place for Brady to exploit, but there is no way that they will hold anything back against Brady. Will it be Sherman saying ‘U Mad Bro?’ or Brady talking back to Sherman? This will be a fun matchup to watch.
- Patriots Front 7 vs. Marshawn Lynch
With Marshawn Lynch, one of the best running backs in the league, the Seahawks have seemed to be a run first team. If Marshawn Lynch can get going in this game, Seahawks will have a great chance to win. The Seahawks are not very likely to beat New England through the air, which makes Lynch’s performance in this game so important.
The key to stopping Marshawn Lynch is to take him down on first contact. This is obviously easier said than done because Lynch is one of the toughest running backs to bring down. If he gets loose into the secondary, he will be even tougher to bring down. If the front seven of the Patriots can stuff some gaps and gang tackle, stopping Lynch will be much more manageable.
- Seahawks D-Line vs. Patriots O-Line:
The Seahawks D-Line has been causing havoc in the backfields of prior opponents. With Tom Brady not being as mobile as Russell Wilson, the Patriots O-Line will need to give Brady some time to survey the defense which isn’t going to be easy. If the Seahawks can get to Tom Brady and even just hit him and knock him around that will stay with Brady throughout the game and could make him force some throws, which could result in turnovers.
Keeping a running back in the backfield with Brady might be a good idea to help Brady get that split second more that he needs. If Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett can get Brady outside of the pocket, the speed of the Seahawks defense will feast on Brady.
This game might be one of those Super Bowls that comes down to the last few possessions. These teams are so evenly matched and the storylines are truly remarkable. Carroll vs. Belichick. New Dynasty vs. Old Dynasty. U Mad Bro? They are truly great. But, what this game will come down to is what defense is up to the task.
The Patriots are definitely capable of lighting up the scoreboard as they did vs. the Colts in the AFC Championship game. The rushing attack and Marshawn Lynch will lead the Seahawks, but if the New England defense can contain him, the Seahawks might have some trouble. In the end though the Seahawks will be up for the task against this New England team. Marshawn Lynch will have over 100 yards rushing and Russell Wilson be the playmaker the Seahawks need him to be along with the defense holding their own. With two defensive minded coaches, a grind it out game.
Seattle over New England 21-17
*featured images via Huffington Post (Sherman) and ncealliance (Brady).