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Seattle over New England: Defense will decide this game. A victory for Seattle and theirs goes down as perhaps the best in league history. New England’s defense offers their fans hope. The quality of theirs is the biggest difference in this Patriots team and their last two Super Bowl incarnations. Bill Belichick will call on his unit to sellout against the run in an attempt to stop Marshawn Lynch. As we saw against the Packers, staying with the run is crucial to Seattle’s offense. Even if New England manages to get up early, the Seahawks have the discipline to continue running the ball.
Seattle’s defense is great on the edges, but they are vulnerable in the middle of the field. Rob Gronkowski will exploit this early. Whether he does it over the course of 60 minutes is an entirely different question. Seattle is going to beat him up until he drops. I suspect they’ll have linebacker K.J. Wright press him at the line of scrimmage, while safety Kam Chancellor covers him downfield. As good as Tom Brady is, his offense isn’t the same if you takeaway Gronkowski. That’s why the first 30 minutes are crucial.
No team closes better than Seattle does. Lynch is especially big in the second half. Against Green Bay, he ran for 77 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime. A close game going into halftime benefits them greatly. The Patriots need to put some distance between them and the Seahawks, putting them in the awkward position of having to comeback yet again. Look for a hard-hitting, low-scoring game that comes down to simple execution. I think Seattle’s ability to close makes the difference. Lynch is my pick to win MVP, leading the Seahawks to a 20-10 victory over the Patriots.
Seattle over New England: New England will struggle to contain the Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch’s punishing running style coupled with Russell Wilson’s ability to generate offense with his arm and legs puts the Patriot defense in a precarious position. Seattle’s physical defense will outmuscle Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, forcing them into uncharacteristic mistakes. I like the Seahawks to win the game 31-17.
You can read my more detailed breakdown of the game here.
Seattle over New England: Tom Brady and company have an excellent offense, but they rely too much on their passing game, which is a matchup problem against the league’s best secondary. At times, New England’s defense has been an issue for them. However, they do a good job of using Darrelle Revis to slow down the opposing No. 1 receiver. The Seahawks don’t have a dominate No. 1 receiver, though. This negates Revis’ usually high value. This is a matchup nightmare for the Patriots. Look for Marshawn Lynch to run all over them.
Read my more detailed breakdown of the game here.