Patriots 27 – Seahawks 24
It’s hard to believe there’s an actual football game going on next week with all this talk about deflated footballs. But there is, and it should actually be a fairly competitive game. You have Tom Brady and the New England Patriots who, despite “deflategate,” were one of the most consistent teams in all of football this season against Russell Wilson and the defending champion Seattle Seahawks, who fought for home-field advantage in the playoffs and earned a chance to win the Super Bowl again.
There is no question that the Seattle defense is better than New England’s, but the big question is how hurt Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman are. Both players were injured in the NFC Championship game versus Green Bay, but I imagine, unless they absolutely can’t, they’ll be playing in the Super Bowl. However, if they are not at 100 percent, you can guarantee Tom Brady will be able to find those weaknesses and exploit them. I think the Patriots have a more balanced offense than they had in years past, and the injuries to the Seahawks’ secondary will end up hurting them in the end.
Seahawks 23 – Patriots 17
After playing their worst game of the season against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Jan. 18, the Seattle Seahawks have an opportunity to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is arguably coming off his worst game in his professional career. Throwing four interceptions and completing less than half of his passes in the NFC Championship game, Wilson could not possibly play any worse in Super Bowl XLIX. He only threw seven interceptions in the entire regular season.
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch was virtually unstoppable in the Packer game, and don’t be surprised if he redefines his own nickname, “Beast Mode,” on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.
My only concerns are in the Seahawks’ secondary. With cornerback Richard Sherman nursing an elbow injury and safety Earl Thomas dealing with a shoulder injury, how much can the Seahawks actually limit Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady?
Both appear likely to play, as they’ve been practicing, but Brady has been known to tear up defenses in the past, especially when they’re not 100 percent. In the end, I see a heavily defensive game that results in the first back-to-back Super Bowl champion since the Patriots in 2004 and 2005.
Patriots 24 – Seahawks 17
On Sunday, we’ll witness a battle between two of the game’s most cerebral head coaches. New England’s Bill Belichick will be trying to shake off last week’s “deflategate” controversy and nab his fourth ring, while Seattle’s Pete Carroll wants to be the first coach to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Belichick himself did it ten years ago.
On the surface, it may appear that one team is playing better than the other—after all, the Patriots, led by quarterback Tom Brady, were last seen absolutely demolishing the Colts, while the Seahawks needed a miraculous onside kick recovery and some luck with a coin flip just to get past the Packers with a dramatic overtime victory. However, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will be sharper in the Arizona heat than he was in the Seattle downpour; in addition, the Seahawks secondary, led by cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor, is far superior to that of the Colts.
It will be close, but the Patriots have a wide array of weapons and have been on fire since the beginning of the season. Plus, New England has lost in each of its last two Super Bowl appearances; with Brady and Belichick at the helm, it’s hard to see them making it three in a row.
Seahawks 28 – Patriots 19
The Patriots and Seahawks will enter the Super Bowl following exceptionally strong finishes to the 2015 season. The Patriots, once again, dominated offensively, scoring nearly 400 points in games 5-15 of the regular season.
On the other side of the ball, Seattle has allowed just over 11 points per game in its final 10 regular-season games. With Seattle’s dominant defense stretching over the past few seasons and New England’s offense doing the same, like last year, the game will be a matchup of two dominant teams.
But with a high-charged defense, Seattle can come up with a win if they are able to put enough pressure on Tom Brady and outplay the Patriots’ defense. Already dominating in one Super Bowl, Russell Wilson has proven he can come out on top in the big game. He can do it again.
Seahawks 32 – Patriots 10
I predict that the Seahawks will win back-to-back Super Bowl Championships, just like the Patriots did in 2004 and 2005. Seattle’s defense has not allowed more than 30 points in all 71 games since 2011. Only four teams scored 30 points. The Tom Brady-led offense, certainly the strength of the team, is past its peak. It will be difficult for them to sustain long drives against the Seahawks’ defense.
However, the Patriots do have a history of putting up a strong offensive showing, so I can’t imagine it being a blowout. In addition, I think that the scandal and ongoing investigation surrounding the under-inflated balls may affect the team’s mental state, as many speculate that this will taint New England’s legacy.