Connect with Us

instagram

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

Patriots Prepare for Seahawks in Upcoming Super Bowl Clash

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski is hoping the Patriots will get to celebrate one more victory as they prepare for Sunday night's Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo: Keith Nordstrom, Patriots.com)

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski is hoping the Patriots will get to celebrate one more victory as they prepare for Sunday night’s Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo: Keith Nordstrom, Patriots.com)

Four weeks into the 2014 NFL season, the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks looked light-years away from where they are now.

The Patriots sat at 2-2 while the Seahawks were 2-1 amid a bye week that would see them lose their next two out of their next three games in the upcoming weeks. Many sports writers had predicted the two teams would meet in the Super Bowl before the season started and were trying to take their predictions back after both team’s tumultuous starts.

Thirteen weeks and 10 wins each later, both teams clinched their respective division’s number 1 seed.

Seattle made their way to the Super Bowl by stomping the Carolina Panthers 31-17 at home before coming from behind to beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime at home as well. Carolina surprised a few people by finishing the regular season with a losing record, but then beating the Arizona Cardinals 27-16 in the first round of the playoffs, but they were then dismantled by the Seahawks.

Next came the Green Bay Packers, riding high after just beating the Dallas Cowboys 26-21 the week before in the Divisional Round. Green Bay controlled a majority of the game while Russell Wilson threw four interceptions in what seemed destined to be a lopsided victory for the visiting Packers.

Seattle’s legendary defense kept them in the ballgame though, as they picked off Aaron Rodgers multiple times and kept the Green Bay offense out of the end zone. The Seahawks rallied in the final four minutes of the game to send it to overtime, where they won on the first drive of the game thanks to a 35-yard touchdown reception by Jermaine Kearse.

The Patriots had games similar to those that the Seahawks did, though in the reverse order. They came back from 14 points down twice in what many New England fans would describe as an irritating game, as they ended up pulling out a 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round. In the pouring rain the following week at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots crushed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 to secure the franchise’s eighth Super Bowl berth and sixth since 2001. The game against Indianapolis will forever go down in infamy as the “Deflategate” game (more on that later).

This Super Bowl should be an amazing game that features two of the best defenses as well as two of the best offenses with some of the best players at their positions. Both New England’s Tom Brady and Seattle’s Russell Wilson are praised for being some of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League, though Wilson, it could be argued, is not on the same level as Brady.

What Wilson lacks in some aspects of his passing game (see four interceptions the previous game), he makes up for with his ability to take off running when his receivers are covered. Some of his best games have been when he has thrown for over 200 yards and rushed for over 100.

Marshawn Lynch is Seattle’s star running back, often praised as being one of the best in the league. Known as “Beast Mode,” he has a penchant for running defenders over and not going down on the first tackle. The Patriots will have their hands full keeping tabs on both Wilson and Lynch coming out of the backfield while also respecting the passing game.

When the Patriots have the ball, they need to establish a running game or it will be a long night. The Seahawks have the top-rated defense in the league, and defend both the run and the pass very well. New England will need to get running back LeGarrette Blount running early and often in order to keep the Seattle secondary true. If the Patriots cannot get a decent running game going, they will have to throw against a very talented Seattle back seven.

Often going with two safeties and two corners, Seattle is known for their ability to take away potent passing attacks. Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas III are all exceptional players who will most likely cover Julian Edelman, stop the run, and Rob Gronkowski in that order. Look for Seattle to focus mainly on Gronkowski with linebacker Bobby Wagner on him as well as safety help over the top.

Because of all that attention the defense will give Gronkowski and Edelman, look for Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, and Shane Vereen to have large impacts in this game. Both Sherman and Thomas suffered injuries in the NFC Championship game and will be good to go for the Super Bowl, but expect Brady to test out how injured they really are.

This will be a great game between two teams that match up well, at least better than Denver did last year with Seattle, who got walloped by a score of 43-8. It should be a closer game than last year as well, with either team having the ability to win it all. The game could really go either way, making it difficult to predict a winner for this game. A safe bet would be 21-20 Patriots on a last-second field goal by Stephen Gostkowski (feels weird to think that the Patriots could win on a last-second field goal in a Super Bowl from someone not named Adam Vinatieri).

As for Deflategate: it is both unfair and unjust. The Patriots have been known as “cheaters” around the league for a while since the Spygate incident. In 2007, they were found to be filming the assistant coaches of the New York Jets who were giving out the signals to their players. The Patriots were filming the Jets’ coaches from inside the stadium, which had just become illegal the year before. Both the organization and Belichick were fined, and the team lost their first round draft pick. To this day, many people still cannot get over that this happened and want to take away all the credit from the three Super Bowl wins in the early 2000s.

These are the same people who are up in arms about whether or not the Patriots deflated their footballs to gain a competitive advantage. Most of these people are either ex-players who have lost to the Patriots in numerous games, executives whose teams have lost multiple times, or just fans of teams who don’t like the Patriots. The NFL has NOT come out with any information about their findings, yet there are many members of the media and even members of government who are ready to throw the whole team under the bus.

I’m not saying that the Patriots did or did not deflate the balls; I don’t think any of us will really know for sure. Some scientists have proven that the pressure change could have been because of the weather, while others prove that it could not have happened. There have been conflicting reports out there via Twitter and sports writers, because nothing seems to add up quite right. In the end, we will see what the league comes out with after their investigation.

Matt McKay ’16 is a Patriots/NFL beat writer for The Hub. He can be contacted at mckaym@emmanuel.edu.

Posted by on January 27, 2015. Filed under Around the Hub,Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.