New England Patriots (14-4 SU, 10-8 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (14-4 SU, 10-7-1 ATS)
Super Bowl XLIX Preview
Date and Time: Sunday February, 1st 2015. 6:30PM EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, A.Z.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Patriots (Pick)/Seahawks (Pick)
Over/Under Total: 48.5
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A colossal showdown awaits at Super Bowl XLIX when the New England Patriots meet the Seattle Seahawks inside University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots represent the titans of the AFC fresh off one of the most dominant performances in AFC Championship history with their 45-7 thrashing over the Indianapolis Colts. Now the Patriots return to Glendale, Arizona and the site where they lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII back in 2008. Most fans remember that game for the great one handed catch by David Tyree late in the 4th quarter that propelled the Giants to a surprising 17-14 upset as 12 point underdogs. However, the Patriots may remember that defeat as the game that ended their shot at perfection after a perfect 16-0 mark in the regular season. Now Coach Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady return to Glendale for revenge as both legends seek their 4th Super Bowl title with New England. However one team stands in their way and it is the defending Super Bowl Champions in the Seattle Seahawks.
While the Patriots may appear invincible after the way they handled Indianapolis, the Seahawks will present an entirely different type of challenge. Not only do the Seahawks have the undisputed best defense in the NFL but they may just be a team of destiny after the way they pulled out the victory against Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. The Seahawks were dominated for most of the game as quarterback Russell Wilson threw 4 interceptions. However, Seattle rallied by scoring two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes of the game which was only made possible by a successful onside kick with just over two minutes to play. Even after Green Bay made their own comeback to tie the game to force overtime, Wilson finally connected on a 35 yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse to win the game on the first drive in overtime. On Super Sunday, the Seahawks offense must have a much better performance if they are going to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Yet the match-up everyone will be watching, will be when the Seahawks defense takes the field against Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. Last year the Seahawks defense dominated one of the best quarterbacks of our time against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in a 43-8 blowout. Now that same defense gets a chance at possibly the greatest quarterback of our time in Tom Brady. The Patriots have been an unstoppable force on the offensive side of the ball throughout the 2nd half of the season. Ever since Rob Gronkowski returned to full health, the Patriots offense has excelled. Brady especially has been great with all of his weapons back at his disposal.
The Patriots offensive line has protected Brady and given him plenty of time to throw the football. With Gronkowski and the Patriots receiving corps led by Julian Edelman, guys are going to get open if Brady is given ample time to throw the football. As most are aware, the Seahawks have one of the best pass defenses that have ever stepped onto an NFL football field with the likes of Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas roaming the secondary. However those guys are beatable if Brady gets all day to throw the football like he has in most games this season. The key to determining whether Seattles elite pass defense can withstand the challenge is how quick their guys up front can get to Brady and make him get rid of the football.
On the other side of the ball, it is kind of a mystery as to which Seattle offense shows up in Super Bowl XLIX. Quarterback Russell Wilson was fantastic against a tough Carolina Panthers defense in their divisional matchup as he went 15 of 22 passing for 268 yards with 3 touchdowns. However, Seattles quarterback backed up that performance with one of the worse outings of his career in the NFC Championship against the Packers hitting just 14 of 29 passes with 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. It is still kind of shocking how the Seahawks were able to rally when they needed it most to pull out the victory despite such an ugly offensive performance. It will be interesting to see how Seattle approaches this game with New England and if Wilson has a short leash in terms of play calling.
I believe the key for Seattles offense is getting Marshawn Lynch, aka Beastmode, going early. Wilson may have thrown the game winning touchdown pass in overtime against the Packers but it was Lynch that put the team on his back in the 4th quarter. Lynchs big screen pass setup the first Seahawks touchdown before they recovered the onside kick and then Beastmode rattled off a 24 yard touchdown run to take the lead with just over a minute remaining. I believe the Patriots defense is vastly under rated entering Super Bowl XLIX and nobody is talking about them. However, the Patriots defense has played really well and they have the ability to make things really tough on Seattle. Therefore Marshawn Lynch will be the guy that the Seahawks need to ride when the offense is on the field because if they are not able to move the football it will not matter how well the Seahawks defense holds up against Brady and the Patriots offense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I really believe this will be one heck of a game and perhaps even low scoring as defenses get the upper hand. However, I do believe the Patriots are the better team and they are playing flawlessly on the offensive side of the football. It will not be easy but the Patriots will put out the victory 24-17!