When the Seattle Seahawks started the 2014 NFL season with a mediocre three wins and three losses, it appeared that perhaps Pete Carroll and the ‘Hawks would be one of the many teams to fall victim to the Super Bowl hangover in the past decade. However, the Seahawks closed out the season to the tune of a 9-1 record, including capping the season on a six-game win streak. Two additional victories in the playoffs and the Seahawks have become the first team to reach the Super Bowl in consecutive years in a decade. The last team to accomplish this feat, as we all may well know, is the team the Seahawks will be facing in Super Bowl XLIX, the New England Patriots. The Seahawks find themselves in the Super Bowl for many of the reasons they found themselves last year, a punishing run game, and an even more punishing defense. The Patriots employ a more balanced attack with decent to average statistical numbers across the board, combined with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick's uncanny ability to win.
Despite one's possible demeanor toward each team, and the various distractions surrounding them, this is the second consecutive year that the two best teams in terms of their standing will face off on the ultimate stage. In a year in which many were quick to critique the current NFL playoff format for it allowing sub-500 teams to compete in the playoffs while leaving out more deserving teams, the two teams competing for the title this season are indeed the two best teams from their respective conferences. The Seahawks with a record of 13-3 are the number one seed in the NFC, and the Patriots at 12-4 are the number one seed in the AFC. Although, this is the second consecutive year this phenomena has occurred, it is only the third time in 21 seasons that the two number one seeds will face one another. So regardless of whom comes out victorious, we can perhaps find solace in knowing that this year's Super Bowl champion is no fluke. With that being said WE'RE OFF TO GLENDALE!
Use this as your open thread.
How to Watch, Listen and Stream
Game Time: 6:30 p.m. EST
As previously stated, both teams come in as the number one seeds, the Seahawks have a record of 13-3, the Patriots a record of 12-4. The Seahawks enter with the number one overall defense, while the Patriots are in the top ten in Passing Offense and Rush Defense. Tom Brady, at the age of 37, is still playing at an elite level, tossing 33 touchdowns in the regular season and amassing over 4,000 yards for the seventh time in his Hall of Fame career. Brady has thrown six postseason touchdowns to surpass Joe Montana for the most postseason touchdown passes of all time. Brady's opposite, Russell Wilson, has accumulated more pedestrian passing numbers, but is a much more proven mobile threat.
Line: Patriots -1
Prediction: A Madden Simulation had the Patriots winning 28-24...so you know...might as well not even watch at this point.
Things at Stake:
Tom Brady is starting in his sixth Super Bowl, already the most all time, however, if the Patriots were to become Champions this would give Brady his fourth ring, making him only the third quarterback to do so. The others two being Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.
On the other hand, if the Seahawks were to reign victorious they would become the eighth franchise to win consecutive Super Bowls, and only the second to do so in the 21st century, the other of course being the Patriots themselves.
Match-Ups To Watch For:
Tom Brady versus the Seattle secondary. Seattle's secondary is arguably the best in the National Football League and this Sunday they will be facing off against one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League. It will be interesting to see which side cracks first.
The Patriots rush stopping ability versus the Seahawks running game. The Seahawks rely very heavily on the running ability of Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson, and stopping their running attack is certainly a good way to ruffle their feathers (See: The NFC Championship Game). If the Patriots successfully and consistently stop the Seahawks run game, well we might not have much of a game at all.