If the Seattle Seahawks are going to win back to back Super Bowls, they will have to go through the last team to do so, the New England Patriots.
Let’s take a look at some key factors of this matchup and what each team will need to do to hoist that Lombardi Trophy when all is said and done.
Marshawn Lynch- The Seahawks running back is known for wearing down defenses then knocking out long runs in the second half, like the 24-yard touchdown against the Packers in the NFC Championship game. New England really strives to shut down one part of a team’s offensive attack and look for it to be Lynch on Sunday. Most likely they will lean on free safeties Patrick Chung and Devon MCCourty to clog up the run.
Gronk Smash – It is no secret that tight end Rob Gronkowski is the key to the Patriots pass offense, but secret or not, he’s still a huge factor. He is big, strong and can take men with him for decent yards after the catch. He is also great for opening up other New England receivers since he does garner so much attention. Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor is athletic enough to battle Gronk in coverage and will most likely be the one to do so.
Patriots O-Line – Seattle’s pass rush will also be key in this intense matchup. If New England quarterback Tom Brady is allowed to actually set his feet in the pocket he can do damage to any opposing defense. The Seahawks will need to get in there and make Brady uncomfortable, breaking up his rhythm and mechanics. Both New England’s offensive line and Seattle’s front seven are playing at a high level in the post season and should be one of the great battles of Super Bowl XLIX.
On paper, Sunday’s matchup is one for the record books. It’s the meeting of two number one seeds facing off in what should be a tremendous display of football on both sides of the ball. Fans of the Patriots, Seahawks or anyone who loves the game of football will not want to miss out those Super Bowl XLIX tickets.