Time: 6:30 PM EST
New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks will look to repeat as back-to-back Super Bowl Champions, while the New England Patriots will hope to win their 1st Lombardi trophy since 2004.
Dec 7, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; [Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) hands the ball off to Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY SportsOffensively, the Seahawks are led by 3rd year quarterback Russell Wilson, who has shown clutch ability in big games. On the season, he threw for 20 touchdowns and 7 interceptions on his way to 3,475 passing yards. He’s often drawn comparisons to the quarterback he’ll be squaring off against in the Patriots Tom Brady.
However, the Seahawks offense really starts and ends with “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch, who’s simply a load between the tackles. The 8th-year running back is arguably the best running back in the NFL and probably the undisputed most powerful runner, as he ran for 1,306 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the season.
The Seahawks wideouts, led by leading wideout “Angry” Doug Baldwin, figure to have their hands full with a talented New England Patriots secondary that features All-Pro defenders like cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Devin McCourty. However, it’s a group that shouldn’t be slept on, as they’ve proven to make big plays in the past.
Nov 3, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) congratulates tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) on scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Offensively, the New England Patriots are led by one of the NFL’s best all-time quarterbacks in Tom Brady, who is a 3x Super Bowl Champion, and had a great season in 2014 with 33 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, throwing for 4,109 passing yards. The Patriots have a talented receiving core that features pesky wideout Julian Edelman, as well as their own “Beast” in All-Pro Rob Gronkowski at tight end, who’s a matchup nightmare at 6’6″, 265 pounds.
However, the Seattle Seahawks defense is one of the few defensive units that has the athletes to hang with them in the “Legion of Boom”. While they will see their fair share of Patriots’ powerback LeGarrette Blount to keep them honest, the matchup between the Patriots receivers and Seattle’s secondary will be nothing short of a heavyweight fight. The Seahawks have a rare 3-tool linebacker in Bobby Wagner that can cover Gronkowski over the middle, and they have talented playmakers in their secondary like shutdown cornerback Richard Sherman, All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, and the always hard-hitting Kam Chancellor.
Even if you aren’t a fan of either team, it should be nothing short of a great matchup between two elite football teams. The Seahawks are looking to start their own dynasty, while the New England Patriots are looking to jumpstart theirs after several years of dormancy. If you’re like me, you can’t wait until the bell rings “Ding, ding, ding” to start this fight.
Seahawks CB Richard Sherman’s star took off after his first encounter with Patriots QB Tom Brady, left, in 2012. (Photo: Elaine Thompson, AP)