Last year, the underdog Seattle Seahawks proved that defense wins championships in capturing the franchise’s first Super Bowl title in a 43-8 rout over the Denver Broncos, who came into the big game touting the NFL’s most prolific offense ever.
Seattle’s defense was the best in the league yet again this season and should pose some serious problems for a New England Patriots team that lost the Super Bowl in this same venue seven years ago.
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Here are five reasons why the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl and cover the spread . . .
Defense: Again, defense could very well be the difference against the Patriots. Seattle allowed just one touchdown (and five field goals) to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game and has not given up more than two TDs to any opponent during the team’s current eight-game winning streak, going 6-1-1 against the spread.
Deflategate: While many so-called experts will continue to say New England is unflappable and the team will try to paint a similar picture, there’s no doubt this distraction will remain a focus of the media leading up to kickoff. If anything, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be under a lot more pressure to perform better than usual, especially considering he has been the loser in his last two Super Bowl appearances.
Experience: The Seahawks learned a lot in their second trip to the Super Bowl and first under head coach Pete Carroll, who knows how to win championships. That includes a successful college stint at Southern Cal where he won two national titles, one of which has since been vacated due to NCAA violations. Regardless, Carroll is a winner who always seems to get the best out of his players in the biggest games.
Running Game: Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch turned on his “Beast Mode” against the Packers late in the NFC Championship Game, and it ultimately paid off as he helped his team return to the Super Bowl. You can bet Carroll will lean heavily on Lynch when the Seahawks face New England, much like the New York Giants did with their running game in winning the past two Super Bowls over the Patriots.
Surroundings: Seattle turned in arguably its best performance of the regular season at University of Phoenix Stadium in Week 16, routing the Arizona Cardinals 35-6 and covering the spread easily as large 9.5-point road favorites. Granted, Arizona was starting Ryan Lindley at QB, but the Seahawks play in Glendale on an annual basis and should be a lot more familiar with everything that goes into preparing for a game there.