Super Bowl XLIX is set. And it’s the game that football fans were yearning for. On Sunday, February 1, the Seattle Seahawks will do battle against the New England Patriots in one of the most anticipated Super Bowl match-ups in recent history. And we can’t be more excited.
For most of the 2014-15 season, these two teams have been considered the best in the NFL. The Patriots, with their high-powered offense, have been blitzkrieging anyone who gets in their path. And Seattle, with their power running game and world-class defense, are as intimidating as they come. The truth is that both of these squads have what it takes to lift the Lombardi Trophy. They’re each that good. However, in the end, there can be only one winner. And while it’s certainly up for debate, we have a feeling that there’s going to be a victory parade in the city of Seattle.
With that, here are five reasons why the Seahawks will win Super Bowl XLIX.
1. Russell Wilson is magic
Russell Wilson did not play well against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Championship Game on January 19th. His numbers certainly reflect that: 14-for-29, 209 passing yards, and 4 interceptions. But, when the Seattle Seahawks needed a miracle in order to pull off the victory, it was Wilson who delivered.
Despite the fact that the Seahawks were out-played the entire game, they never stopped believing in each other, and they never doubted their struggling, young quarterback. Why? Because, Russell Wilson is a winner. It’s who he is. It’s what he does.
Russell Wilson has this uncanny ability to make plays. He can do it with his arm, and he can do it with his legs. He is strong, elusive, and difficult to bring down. Most quarterbacks buckle when they’re flushed out of the pocket. Wilson is not one of them. Even New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick, recognizes how special this guy is on the football field. He truly is one of the best quarterbacks in the game right now. Expect him to showcase this talent as he leads the Seahawks to their second-straight Super Bowl.
2. Seattle’s defense has been dominant
Once again, the Seahawks have the best defense in the NFL. This ferocious unit has only given up an average of 15.9 points-per-game, and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has had this bunch playing their best football down the stretch. This defensive makes the headlines because of their outspoken and nasty good secondary — the “Legion of Boom.” And these guys have every reason to be cocky. They have the number-one pass defense in the NFL, and don’t expect guys like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor to stop now. However, what’s going to win them this game, is their ability to stop the run.
New England blasted the Colts in the AFC Championship game, by a final score of 45-7. They dominated every facet of this contest. However, the tone was set on the ground, courtesy of running back, LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots forceful offensive line. With 30 carries, he tore through the Colts defense on his way to 148 rushing yards, and three touchdowns. But, you shouldn’t expect the Pats to have the same success against the Seahawks.
Indianapolis, while playing better defensively in the playoffs, still had the 18th-best run defense in the NFL this season. It was no surprise that New England ran all over them. Seattle, however, boasts the third-best run defense in the league, and just recently held Packers’ back, Eddie Lacy, to 73 yards on the ground in the NFC Championship Game. We’d say they’re a little bit more formidable in Seattle.
Good luck trying to beat the Seahawks on the ground.
3. Marshawn Lynch will be in Beast Mode
In the AFC Divisional Round, the Baltimore Ravens almost pulled out the road victory. However, even in defeat, they laid out the necessary blue print for taking down the Patriots.
Ravens running back, Justin Forsett, was a brute on the ground, and finished the game with 129 rushing yards. This allowed Baltimore to dictate the pace of the game. The Ravens had a better time of possession, and they also out-gained the Pats in total yards. The moral of the story: If you can run against New England, then you can beat New England. And Seattle has Beast Mode.
Marshawn Lynch is coming off of the monster game he had in the NFC Championship. Beast Mode bulldozed the Packers to the tune of 157 rushing yards, and one score. He runs with power and force and purpose. And right now, his only purpose is to win another Super Bowl. We’d say that anyone standing in his way is in serious trouble.
4. Culture of the organization
Everyone talks about the success of the Patriots’ organization. They are the model of consistency They are methodical and disciplined and efficient. They do things a certain way in New England, and if everyone does their role properly, then the results will follow. And yet, despite all the Patriots have accomplished, right now, it’s the Seahawks who have built the kind of culture worth emulating.
The Seattle Seahawks are current. They are hip, relaxed, and full of swagger. They are confident as individuals, but they are also confident in each other. They know they’re a talented bunch who are more than capable of beating anyone. And, even when things appear to be dire, they don’t panic. It’s not who they are. It’s not in their nature.
Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider constructed a franchise that’s built to withstand anything — to overcome the impossible. They’re more like a family than a football team. And now, they get to start the Super Bowl fresh. There’s no deficit to surmount; no ticking clock working against them. They’ve been here before. And they know what it takes to win. It’s in their DNA.
5. Less pressure on the defending champs
While the Seattle Seahawks are looking to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl Champions since the Patriots did it back in 2005, we suspect it’s the opposing team that will actually be feeling the pressure.
There is much more at stack here for the New England Patriots than just one world championship. They’re trying to deal with the fallout from Deflate-gate, and how their reputation continues to be tarnished. Many suspect this will be motivation for the Patriots. That having their character called into question, will only fuel their desire for victory. This may turn out to be true. But, it’s an unnecessary distraction for the Patriots. Especially when they’re preparing to play a very good Seahawks team. But, the real albatross that will be weighing on New England is history. And, for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, their place in it.
No player-coach pairing has ever been to more Super Bowls than these two. They won three titles in their first three attempts, but number four has since eluded them. The last two times they’ve come up short. And both of those times, they were done in by a strong opposing defense. These Seahawks are hands-down the best bunch they’ve ever face. And this Seattle team is looking to make some history of their own. In the end, it will come down to which team handles the stress better.
New England had their dynasty. But, their reign is over. Seattle’s is just getting started.