On February 1st, 2015 – the National Football League season will come to an end. The Super Bowl will be played at the home of the Arizona Cardinals; University of Phoenix Stadium. The two teams are no stranger to the Super Bowl. The Seattle Seahawks, the top seed, out of the NFC are the defending champions. A season ago, the Seahawks were the underdog, and absolutely buried the Denver Broncos. Their opponent will be the New England Patriots. The last time the Patriots were in the Super Bowl; it was February of 2012 when the New York Giants upset them. New England also played in 2008. The last time they won the game, they downed Philadelphia in 2005. They also won it in 2002 over the St. Louis Rams. This is known as Super Bowl XLIX, and the official start time is supposed to be 6:30pm EST.
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The two head coaches for this game are well known. For the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has been in the league for 20 years. Belichick is in his 15th season with the New England Patriots. Belichick, who is 62 years old started with the Cleveland Browns back in 1991. After going 36-44 in Cleveland, and also 1-1 in the postseason, he left the Browns organization. A few years later, he was able to land the Patriots job in 2000. Since coming to New England, Belichick has a career 175-65 record as the head coach of the Patriots in the regular season. His postseason record stands at 20-8, including 3 Super Bowl titles. For Seattle, Pete Carroll is in his fifth season as the head coach. Carroll spent one season with the Jets back in 1994, and also was the Patriots head coach before Belichick in the late 90’s. In those four seasons as head coach, he won 33 and lost 31. After spending many years in college football, including winning a national title at USC, Carroll came back to the NFL as the Seahawks head coach in 2010. After a pair of 7-9 seasons, the Seahawks have won 36 regular season games the past three years. Carroll is 8-4 in postseason games, including last year’s 3-0 run.
The Patriots are led by the heart and soul of their team, quarterback Tom Brady. Outside of Brady and Rob Gronkowski, the tight end, the offense is mixed with odds and in parts. The Patriots are notorious for finding someone new to reach the end zone. Last week, New England received touchdowns from James Develin and Nate Solder, along with three from LeGarrette Blount. Earlier in the season, Jonas Gray rushed for three touchdowns in a game, and finished 2014 regular season with just five on the season. The saying “you just never know” works well for the Patriots offense. Gronkowski was the top touchdown man for New England, picking up 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. Brady completed 373 of his 582 regular season passes; picking up more than 4,100 yards and 33 touchdowns. New England on the defensive end ranked 9th in the league against the run. Opponents only rushed for just over 103 yards per game. During the regular season, New England lost four games, one of them at home. That loss was Week 17 to Buffalo, as they elected to sit several top skill players on the offensive side. New England appears to be clear of any major injuries, a week before the game.
For Seattle, they have been winning games with the steady right arm of Russell Wilson, the legs of Marshawn Lynch and the very good defense. Last week, in the win over the Packers, Wilson turned it over four times, but still found a way to get the win. Wilson led the charge down 19-7 in the fourth quarter with a 1 yard touchdown run, and Marshawn Lynch touchdown to take the lead. Following a Packers field goal, the game went to overtime. In overtime, Wilson was the hero, throwing a dart to Jermaine Kearse for the game winning 35 yard touchdown. Wilson finished with 209 passing yards in the game. Seattle during the regular season started slow; as they were 3-3 heading into Week 8 at Carolina. The Seahawks took early season losses at San Diego and St. Louis and a home loss to the Cowboys. From that point on, Seattle only lostNovember 16th at Kansas City the rest of the way. During the regular season, the Seahawks allowed just 39 points in their final six games, which were all wins. Throughout the postseason, Seattle has allowed 19.5 points per game. Marshawn Lynch is the work horse at running back, with 1,306 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse lead the charge of non super star receivers, with a combined 104 catches, nearly 1,400 yards and 4 touchdowns during the regular season. The top defender, and the guy who will likely be put on the top Patriots receiving threat Richard Sherman is questionable with an arm injury. All indications show that Sherman, who was the talk of last year’s NFC title game will play. Seattle allowed teams to pass for just 185 yards during the regular season; which was best in the league.
This point spread has went back and forth since it opened up. Both teams have had money come in on their side, making it hard to determine who the true favorite in this game is. Seattle has a sensational defense, and an offense that makes the big plays when needed. The Seahawks are coming off a thrilling come from behind win over the Packers which could keep their momentum rolling. New England on the other hand is a machine offensively, and very overlooked defensively. The Patriots just dominated the win over the Colts last week, following their sneaking by of Baltimore the previous weekend. Look for this game to remain close; unlike the Super Bowl in New York last year.
When it comes down to it, it’s hard to pick against the champions. We are going to take the Seattle Seahawks to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Our final bet for this game is the Seattle Seahawks +1 over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.