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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Keys to victory in Super Bowl XLIX

Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett gives a thumbs-up during Media Day on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. (Bettina Hansen/Seattle Times/TNS)

Super Bowl XLIX features the New England Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday. The Patriots made their way to the big game by defeating the Baltimore Ravens 35-31 in the second round of the playoffs and then the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship Game. The Seahawks earned a victory over the Carolina Panthers 31-17 in the second round and then defeated the Green Bay Packers in a wild NFC Championship Game in overtime.

Keys to the Game 

Get running backs going early

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will always be an aerial threat, but if LeGarrette Blount can start off fast with his downhill running attack, the Patriots will have multiple options against the Seahawks. Plus, Blount has rushed for three touchdowns in the 2014-2015 postseason alone. On the other side is Marshawn Lynch, one of the best running backs in the NFL. He averages 5.5 yards per rush and can change the game in a heartbeat. If both teams get their rushing attacks going, this should be a physical game.

Keep Wilson in the Pocket

Russell Wilson is a solid quarterback and one that I would have no problem leading my team if I were an NFL coach in the final two minutes of the Super Bowl. But against the Packers, Wilson struggled throwing four interceptions. In the Super Bowl, that would be a huge no-no. Wilson loves running and can make opposing defenses cringe when he takes off. But in this postseason alone, he has been sacked seven times and has completed only 56.9 percent of his passes to Brady’s 65.9 percent. If the Patriots defense can come up with some big defensive stops and keep Wilson in the pocket, this game could lean in New England’s favor. 

Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers

If Wilson has another bad game like he did against the Packers in the NFC Championship game, this game might not go the way many are expecting. Both defenses have combined for 11 turnovers in the postseason alone, which could make this a very back-and-forth effort. A turnover here or a turnover there could be the deciding factor in who wins Super Bowl XLIX.

Key Matchup of the Game

Rob Gronkowski versus The Legion of Boom

So far this postseason, the New England tight end has made a valiant effort to lead his team to Super Bowl XLIX. He has 10 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Gronk is one of the most dangerous red zone threats in the game today. The former Arizona Wildcat is a ridiculous athlete, standing at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds. Many analysts predict Seahawks 6-foot-3 safety Kam Chancellor to cover Gronkowski for most of the game. For those who don’t recognize Chancellor’s name, he also brings freakish athleticism and has already proven this postseason that he can jump over an entire offensive line when he did so against the Carolina Panthers during a field goal attempt.

Quirky Tidbits 

Fairy Tale Dream

Tom Brady has not won a super bowl in 10 years. “Tom Terrific” was just a spring chicken the last time he won the big game and is now 37 years old. That could mean he has just a few years left in him, and this might be his last chance to win the big one. If Brady gets his fairy tale dream, he could walk away with another championship ring, a supermodel wife and ride off in the sunset on his way to Disneyland.

Awkward Coach

Pete Carroll, the current Seattle head coach, once held the reins of the Patriots for three seasons before he was fired. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has taken the Patriots from mediocre to extraordinary, reaching the Super Bowl six times. Carroll and Belichick now have the opportunity to battle it out against each other, with the winner getting the pride of saying they are the better coach


Follow Matt Wall on Twitter.

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