It’s that time of year again. For most sports fans across the country, Super Bowl weekend is one of the most heavily anticipated weekends in sports. As a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan though, it is becoming routine to a depressing tee. Just yet another season we will be devoid of a sports championship. It’s almost not fair: Boston has 34 championships between the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox, with a third of them coming in the past two decades. Philadelphia has seven titles, with six of them being over thirty to forty years old.
Wallowing in my own salty tears aside, let’s talk Super Bowl. It’s the AFC champion New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks, the defending Super Bowl champs. New England really had no contestants from the AFC, blowing out Indianapolis in the AFC championship game 45-7. On the other side, Seattle had to pull out a miracle against Green Bay, winning in overtime after being shutout in the first half. Both teams deserve this spot though, and it is shaping up to be a great Super Bowl. Let’s break down the matchup.
New England Patriots: Let me put this out there: Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history, regardless if he wins this year. Year after year, he makes the Patriots a contending team regardless of his receivers and running backs. It’s a patchwork offense with no big name players aside from Gronk, but it has been a top offense all year, as well as the most efficient offense in the league thanks to Brady. This year his corps feature utility man Julian Edelman and the glass superman Rob Gronkowski who are expected to run the offense, and they are backed up by breakout player Brandon LaFell and recent resurgent Danny Amendola. With Bill Belichick, nobody really knows who the starting running back will be, but the most likely candidate will be journeyman LeGarrette Blount, who has had a monster postseason so far. Defensively, the Patriots have been top 5 in nearly every category, as shown in their dominating performance against Andrew Luck’s Colts. With ace kicker Stephen Gostkowski and a very solid special teams, the Patriots are primed to win it all.
Seattle Seahawks: The defending champs have had a seemingly off year, battling injury and some in-house affairs (particularly regarding running back Marshawn Lynch), but still managed to be the cream of the NFC’s crop once again. The Legion of Boom is as strong as ever, and the defense will prove to be a tough test for the Patriots. The biggest test for the Seahawks will be its own offensive challenge against the formidable Patriots defense. Leading Seattle’s attack is mobile quarterback Russell Wilson. He has proven to be a clutch threat in the air and on the ground. Despite his four interceptions against the Packers, he still managed to get his team the win. His targets are wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, with tight end Luke Wilson getting targets as well. The biggest threat on Seattle’s offense is running Lynch, a human tank who has proven to be able come up big when his team needs it most. The Seahawks are peaking at the right time, and have a very good shot at repeating.
Who wins? Both teams are built very similarly. Both have the offensive capabilities to run away with it, yet both have the defenses to always keep them in the game. Both have power running games and quarterbacks who can pull off impossible game winning drives. It will all come down to who finishes with the ball I think, as the game will be very close. So who wins? I will take the Patriots 24-17.