It’s not often that the Super Bowl feels like it’s been upstaged by something. Unfortunately, that is kind of the case with Super Bowl XLIX. With last week’s infamous Deflate-Gate, the New England Patriots’ character and integrity is once again in question in the public’s eye. Both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have denied that they know anything about the deflation of the footballs. Most of the public doesn’t seem to believe them, and even many former players refuse to believe that either of them was oblivious to the situation.
I, like many people, don’t believe that the deflation of the footballs made any difference in the result of the AFC Championship, but because of the Patriots’ history, this becomes a big deal. I do think the league should come down hard on the Patriots and Belichick because of their track record. Roger Goodell has stated before that ignorance is not an excuse for teams in this kind of situation. So for the sake of league’s image, I’d be surprised if the Patriots didn’t receive a pretty stiff punishment.
What seems to have been forgotten is the Super Bowl game itself and the great matchup we will have on Super Bowl Sunday. Both the Seahawks defense and Tom Brady are making bids to increase their legacies. If the Seahawks win, they will have beaten two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in back-to-back Super Bowls and would be looked at as maybe the greatest defense ever. If the Patriots win, Brady will have gone 4-2 in Super Bowls and would match the great Joe Montana in Super Bowl wins. The game features what may be the two best defenses in the league. The game also features two of the best defensive minds in the NFL in Belichick and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. I expect this game to be an old-fashioned defensive slugfest.
The running game will be key for both teams come Sunday. Marshawn Lynch is the straw that stirs the drink for the Seahawks offense. Seattle doesn’t want all the pressure to be on Russell Wilson to make plays. The Patriots do not want to be one-dimensional against the Seahawks defense. As seen in last year’s Super Bowl, just throwing the ball against Seattle could be disastrous. As always in the Super Bowl, this game could truly go either way. I’ll go with the Patriots because of Belichick’s coaching and how well the Patriots have played in the trenches, especially on the offensive side. New England 17, Seattle 13.