For the second year in a row the No. 1-ranked defense has made to the NFL championship game. Unlike last year, however, the No. 1-ranked offense will not be joining them, at least not statistically speaking. In fact, at least as far as yardage goes, the Seattle Seahawks have a better offense than their opponent at Super Bowl 49, the New England Patriots.
So who will deliver when it matters most on Sun., Feb. 1, 2015, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona? We can answer that for you right here.
By "we" I mean myself, Geno Mrosko, and the man who runs the show around these parts, Thomas Myers. We didn't fare so well last year when predicting a close game between the Broncos and Seahawks, but we nailed the NFC Championship Game, and on that we'll forever hang our hats.
Enough with the credentials and on to our predictions for Super Bowl 49: New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks.
Prediction from Geno:
You know what's going to have zero effect on this game? Deflategate and whether or not Marshawn Lynch talks to the media. None of that matters now; it's just the Patriots top ranked offense lining up against the Seahawks vaunted defense while Lynch worries about running over the seventh ranked rushing defense in the league.
That's the real intrigue.
Statistically speaking, New England has been disgustingly good on offense in the postseason but surprisingly proficient on defense as well. They've scored 80 points in the postseason while playing only two games. They gave up just seven points in the AFC Championship Game to an Andrew Luck led offense that was 6th in scoring throughout the season.
Seattle, meanwhile, tough as they may be, have struggled mightily to get here. Realistically, they wouldn't even be in this game were it not for Green Bay employing Mike McCarthy as its head football coach. They won't have the luxury of playing against that kind of conservative style here.
Quite the opposite, actually.
That's going to be the difference here. A coach willing to gamble on 4th and 3 at mid-field in the second quarter with a 10 point lead who takes advantage of his Hall of Fame bound quarterback to step on his opponent's throat instead of relying on his defense to do it for him.
Brady and Belichick will be at it again, folks. Enjoy the ride.
Pick: Patriots 27, Seahawks 13
Prediction from Tom:
I'm not going to beat you over the head with too many statistics because there is only one that really matters: Seahawks boast the best defense in the league. Kam Chancellor is an integral part of that success and will play a major factor tonight, blanketing Rob Gronkowski and forcing Tom Brady to either hand the ball off or challenge the Seahawk's dangerous play making defensive backfield.
This will lead to turnovers, which will put Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch in advantageous situations to punch it in with good field position.
Lynch plays at such a different level and brings an invaluable edge to the Seahawks each time he totes the rock. Seahawks will ride him all night, putting Wilson in manageable short yardage situations that he can exploit with his arms or his legs if necessary.
The last time I checked, a league-leading defense and a smash-mouth run game (ranked N0. 1 in the NFL, too) is a recipe for Super Bowl success. Not to mention, not many -- not even the oddsmakers -- expect Seahawks to repeat as champions, which is just more reason to believe the "Legion of Boom" will be motivated more than ever to prove the doubters wrong once again.
Don't be mad, bro.
Pick: Seahawks 24, Patriots 20
Be sure to keep it locked here all Sunday afternoon because we will have complete Patriots vs. Seahawks results, including quarter-by-quarter, play-by-play updates, from kickoff to final whistle.