It’s déjà vu all over again. Legendary passer vs. Legion of Boom, the victor takes a giant leap towards pigskin immortality. Last year, Peyton Manning was set to be crowned quarterback king with a Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. 43-8 later Manning donned the dunce cap.
Now it’s Tom Brady’s turn to solve the “L-O-B” riddle. Brady is faced with the same opportunity Manning had a season ago. Win and Brady vaults himself above his contemporary rival, and would have a strong case as the greatest ever. It would be Brady’s fourth Super Bowl victory in six appearances. No quarterback could match Brady’s career accomplishments, but that’s only with a Patriots victory. A New England defeat would give Brady three consecutive losses in the big game. A damning streak for a player seeking to become the G-O-A-T.
Seattle has positioned itself to become the NFL’s next dynasty. Every decade has had one. The Vince Lombardi-led Green Bay Packers dominated the 60s. The Steel Curtain defense led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four championships in the 70s. Current G-O-A-T, Joe Montana, led the 49ers to glory in the 80s. The Triplets (Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin) won three Super Bowls in four years for the Dallas Cowboys in the 90s. The last dynastic team was/is the Brady/Belichick era New England Patriots. Could this game signify a passing of the football torch?
It’s incredible Seattle even has this opportunity. The Seahawks did the impossible last week in the NFC Championship game. The Green Bay Packers, led by another passing star, Aaron Rodgers, won that football game, and then they mysteriously lost it.
The outcome was inexplicable. Green Bay dominated for 55 minutes before orchestrating the greatest collapse in NFL history. The game was over. Russell Wilson’s fourth interception gave the Packers the football near midfield with just over five minutes remaining. Three runs and a punt would pin the Seahawks deep in their own territory with too little time left to make a comeback.
At least that’s what the world thought would happen. Instead, Seattle rallied from a 19-7 deficit to take a 22-19 lead with just over a minute remaining. Remarkably, the Seahawks took the lead too soon! Rodgers led the Packers into field-goal position on their final possession where Mason Crosby sent the game to overtime. Every Packers fan remembers what happened next. Especially a certain Clarion staffer, so we’ll leave out the final details.
New England’s resounding victory over a deflated Indianapolis Colts team was less inspiring. Speaking of inspiring, The Prince of Pigskin Prognostication is an aesthetically pleasing 7-3 ATS in the postseason. I know the world is impatiently waiting for my Super Bowl pick. World, wait no more.
Patriots vs. SEAHAWKS +1
Get the torch ready, it’s about to be passed.
The “2000-teens” decade belongs to these Seattle Seahawks! For the third consecutive year Seattle’s Legion of Boom defense has topped the NFL in Football Outsiders DVOA rankings. Don’t know what DVOA means? For those of you still living in the Neolithic period, let not your heart be troubled. The Hawks have led the league in traditional “total” statistics as well (i.e. yards allowed).
Lost in all the hubbub generated by Seattle’s defense is the fact that Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and company aren’t exactly country bumpkins. Seattle’s offense ranks fifth in the NFL, only one spot behind the fourth-ranked and highly celebrated Patriots attack. The weakest unit in the contest is New England’s defense, which has improved considerably since last season, but still ranks outside the NFL’s top 10 at 12th overall.
The Patriots 14th-ranked rush defense in particular will be challenged by Seattle’s league-leading ground attack. That matchup may very well determine the outcome of the game. Seattle’s strength on offense directly attacks New England’s greatest weakness, their rush defense.
While New England’s vaunted pass attack, fifth in the NFL, squares off against arguably the greatest secondary in the history of the league. Don’t think for a second New England can counter with a heavy dose of LeGarrette Blount if the passing game struggles. The Patriots rank 14th in rush offense and will be running into the teeth of Seattle’s second-ranked rush defense.
If Seattle was going to lose a game in this year’s playoffs it was last week vs. the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks were terrible in that contest. It was the worst I have seen the team play since Russell Wilson was drafted three seasons ago. They still won.
The Seahawks are invincible right now, clearly cosmic forces are favoring the team. That’s the only way you can explain the epic comeback against Green Bay. Don’t be fooled by New England’s victory over the Colts. The Colts are terrible. The SoHi Stars could rack up 200 yards on the ground against that team!
The Seahawks are a completely different animal, literally, one is a young horse used to being whipped by its master, while the other is a vicious flying emblem of death to small mammals and fish. Seahawks are terrifying! This is a team that fancies itself as the next great dynasty, and has a defense that wants to be thought of as the greatest of all time.
Two consecutive Super Bowl victories, the first over the legendary Peyton Manning, the second over Manning’s greatest rival and perhaps the best quarterback ever, Tom Brady, is too beautiful (as Pete Carroll would say) to let slip away. Pass the Skittles! It’s time to go Beast Mode! Seahawks win 27-16