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Pick the Super Bowl XLIX Winners – Patriots or Seahawks

Be Seen, Be Heard, Be a Fan! Weigh in with your own predictions.

Today’s Pigskin Tackles Super Bowl XLIX

At long last Super Bowl Sunday is finally here! The 2014 NFL season culminates on the first day of February 2015, is there any other way Americans would have their football?

The parties will rage in the desert and all across America today. Load up on guac while you get your Gronk on. Fire up the grill as Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas inspire their teammates tonight. The Hoodie will death-stare the officials and Pete Carroll will chomp so feverishly that it might make his gum wish it had never been unwrapped.

All you have to do is sit back and take it all in. But before the party gets started weigh in with your predictions on which team will call themselves champs tonight.

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In case you haven’t caught all the FanRag Sports Forums and Today’s Pigskin Writers’ Roundtables, here’s a quick refresher:

Under the Radar Players

Make your Pick: Revis or Sherman

Key Matchups to Watch

Comparing Wilson and Brady

Belichick vs. Carroll

Super Bowl “X-Factors”

 

Today’s Super Bowl XLIX Forum Topic: Which team wins and why? Who will take home MVP honors?

 

Take into account this warning: While it’s never stopped me from doing so in the past, I’m not very good at making accurate predictions when it comes to the final score.

My respectable Super Bowl record over the last decade (8-2) took a hit in 2014 as quickly as the first snap sailed passed Peyton Manning. Upon further inspection perhaps my respect and belief that Peyton can do it has been my problem all along as the only other game I straight up got wrong was Super Bowl XLIV involving Manning’s Colts.

A Super Bowl without a Manning doesn’t mean this game will be any easier to predict however. I picked against the Patriots both times they played the Giants (Super Bowl XLVI and XLII) not because of Eli Manning, but because frankly I have never found myself wanting to root for New England. Picking with your head and not your heart isn’t as easy as it sounds either though.

Patriots WRs must make an impact, but our writers disagree on which one that will be.

The WRs must make an impact, but our writers disagree on which one that will be.

As difficult as this game is to predict, evidenced by the current Vegas line favoring the Patriots (-1.5) and even as I write this, I can’t help but think Seattle might be a team of destiny. What other explanation is there for the team that turned the ball over five times in the NFC Championship game to be playing two weeks later?

Maybe the football gods have a sick sense of humor and plan on sticking it to Mr. Bundchen, The Hoodie and Patriots Nation by giving them three Super Bowl championships early on and then seeing New England lose three to end the era.

The era might be nowhere near ending. Would it surprise readers and NFL fans if Seattle met New England again in Santa Clara for Super Bowl 50?

If it comes off as if I’m procrastinating on my prediction, it’s because I am.

I see this game shaking out two ways:

Scenario No. 1: The Patriots test Richard Sherman early and are effective on the ground which keeps Seattle and defensive coordinator (until he takes the Atlanta job) Dan Quinn guessing while attempting to make coverage and blitz package adjustments on the fly. The Patriots jump out to an early two-possession lead as Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels warn viewers that Seattle has faced adversity before. Relax NBC, we’re not going to change the channel.

Under the poised leadership of Russell Wilson and the bruising running of Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks claw their way back into it right before Katy Perry takes the stage. Seattle forces an early three and out (or perhaps a turnonver) in the third quarter but can’t do anything with the extra possessions because the halftime adjustments by Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia put the clamps down on Wilson and Lynch.

Seattle begins to feel frustrated in the fourth quarter as Brady and the New England offense begin clicking. This frustration leads to taking chances and straying from the Seattle game plan. Sometimes chances pay off and sometimes they result in mistakes. The latter is more likely with Darrelle Revis and Jamie Collins on the defensive side of things and the Patriots seal their fourth Super Bowl title with a late interception and an efficient offense runs out the clock. Patriots 34 Seahawks 24.

Wilson, King of Clutch Plays.

Wilson, King of Clutch Plays.

Scenario No. 2: Nearly the same as above, except Marshawn Lynch finds more running room in the second half not because Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell are better at making adjustments but because the Seahawks are physically tougher and begin to wear down New England’s front. The chances pay off as Jermaine Kearse or Luke Willson are recipients of the game-tying TD pass from a brilliant Russell Wilson improvisational play where the clutch QB finally breaks contain and delivers a strike.

Super Bowl XLVI becomes the first of its kind to go into overtime and while all the sports bars and square operators hope they wrote “Final Score” or “4th Quarter” in their formats, New England wins the toss and Seattle’s defense makes the championship-defining play by returning a fumble or interception for a touchdown. Seahawks 30 Patriots 24 (OT).

There you have it, a prediction from @Pat_Whitehurst, well sort of.

Readers and followers might already expect that @TodaysPigskin resident Patriots fans John Terra and @StephenPSheehan like their hometown boys to win and they would be correct. While they both believe New England is in fact the better team, there’s also a difference in this Bill Belichick-led squad from the ones that lost Super Bowls to the Giants.

This might be the best defense Belichick has put together in the last decade.

This might be the best defense Belichick has put together in the last decade.

John Terra explains why the Patriots have more to prove than the Seahawks do and discusses how this game will be won.

Here’s @StehenPSheehan with his final thoughts and prediction for Super Bowl XLIX:

No surprise here but I’m going with the Patriots in a tightly contested battle against the defending champions. Not only would I never pick against my favorite team, but I also firmly believe that Belichick and Brady finally have the right pieces in place to complete the mission to win their fourth Lombardi Trophy.
While the biggest challenge will be generating enough points against a top-five defense in NFL history, the Patriots counter with an extremely capable unit in their own right. Expect New England’s secondary to shut down Seattle’s average weapons, putting the onus on Marshawn Lynch to win this game with his legs. I love Beast Mode, but I love Belichick’s big-game schemes to take away an opponents’s No. 1 threat even more.
Beast Mode broke out in his last appearance in Arizona.

Beast Mode broke out in his last appearance in Arizona.

Ultimately, Brady, Gronk and Revis will make big plays on the biggest stage and help put away the Seahawks late by a score of 21-17.
My MVP pick has to be Brady- who I expect to be fully motivated to make up for the two Super Bowl losses to the Giants. It’s about time Brady channeled his vintage self that made him a three-time Super Bowl winner a decade ago.
New England fans think their team will win, there’s no surprise there but what about other @TodaysPigskin writers, fans, and NFL analysts?
No telling what New England's multi-faceted game plan will entail.

No telling what New England’s multi-faceted game plan will entail.

Bill Belichick is the master of managing every detail no matter how minor it may seem, and Jon Schlosser believes the Patriots coaching staff will be able to devise schemes to slow down Marshawn Lynch while exploiting mismatches in favor of New England’s skill position players.
The last word from @TodaysPigskin writers comes in four parts. Decide for yourself if @ScottPoppen and @bnayden make the best case for the Seahawks or if the Patriots call by @JLloydChurchill and @RuoffonSports is on point.
Weigh in with your picks and tell us which @TodaysPigskin writers are right, wrong, and out of their minds.
Tomorrow’s Super Bowl Forum Topic: A “Way Too Early Super Bowl 50 Prediction”
FanRag Sports Wants to Know:
NFL: JAN 30 Super Bowl XLIX - Pete Carroll Press Conference
Which team wins Super Bowl XLIX and why?
Which player will take home MVP honors?
Which two teams will play in Super Bowl 50?
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