Super Bowl XLIX is upon us and it probably couldn’t present a more attractive matchup.
Tom Brady and the explosive offense of the New England Patriots versus the defending champion Seattle Seahawks and their stingy, ball hawking defense.
Expert NFL bloggers Robert Davies of Seahawks blog Field Gulls and Richard Hill of Patriots blog Pats Pulpit strap on the pads to debate not just who the best team in the NFL is, but which team will cover the spread when the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos clash in Super Bowl XLIX Sunday night.
We already revealed why you shouldn’t bet their team, but this time they present three reasons that their teams will win – and cover – Super Bowl XLIX.
WHY NEW ENGLAND COVERS THE SPREAD
Richard Hill is an editor at Pats Pulpit. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @patspulpit.
Patriots are healthier
The Seahakws have been playing out the final stretch without depth on the defensive line, and their secondary is hurting from the Packers game. Seattle’s offense will be without their No. 3 receiver in Paul Richardson. The Patriots’ only question mark is their starting center Bryan Stork and signs point to him playing.
The Patriots can stop the run
Over the final stretch of the regular season, the Patriots were one of the top rated run defenses in the entire league. If the Patriots can stop Marshawn Lynch and contain Russell Wilson in the pocket, then the Patriots can shut down the whole Seahawks offense.
The Patriots are playing angry
There’s a time in every game where Tom Brady looks like he’s going to tear the head off of -someone-. The Patriots win all of those games in blowouts. New England doesn’t have to manufacture the “us against the world” mentality that the Seahawks have to; the Patriots will be playing angry and they will be relentless.
WHY SEATTLE COVERS THE SPREAD
Rob Davies writes for Field Gulls. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @FieldGulls.
Tight End issues? Not really
The Seahawks struggle against blue chip tight ends, right? Rob Gronkowski can help pick Seattle apart, just as Antonio Gates did earlier in the season, yes? Not so fast. The Seahawks go up against Vernon Davis on a regular basis and saw Jimmy Graham twice last season and can you remember either one of them having a monster game? It can’t even be argued that Gronk’s height works in his favor as his 6’6″ frame actually comes in at an inch lower than Graham. The Patriots wouldn’t have met a defense with this much speed and talent in a very long time.
Fighting for what’s theirs
I’ve never known a sports team, any sports team, with as much belief in themselves as these Seahawks. Green Bay didn’t hand them the NFC Championship, Seattle fought for what they believed was theirs, which it was. The Patriots have to know that any lead they may have on Sunday will not be seen as insurmountable in the eyes of the Seahawks. Their chemistry, which can only be described as a brotherhood, has helped to create a sheer force of will to win that can intimidate an opponent.
The Wilson-Baldwin connection
Brandon Browner will have armed the Patriots with sufficient knowledge of some of Seattle’s passing schemes and that works fine. However, what happens when the pocket breaks down (which it inevitably will)? Browner’s nous goes straight out of the window when Russell Wilson’s looking for his favorite broken play receiver, Doug Baldwin. Baldwin has an uncanny knack of knowing just what Wilson’s looking for and that won’t help Browner or the secondary one bit. And if Baldwin can’t get open quickly enough, then Wilson can always rely on his feet.
Join the debate. Who covers in Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots or Seahawks?