Preview: Super Bowl XLIX Rematch

February 1, 2015 was one of the greatest days of my life. I’m not going to even say it was one of the greatest days so far because I know not many things are going to be able to top it. It also was one of the most stressful. I was 18 at the time, and experienced heart palpitations far too premature for my age. That game is up there with some of the best super bowls on my list, not just because the Patriots won in dramatic fashion, but because overall it was one of the better football games I’ve watched. I’m sure the Seahawks, just like the Patriots, have been watching Super Bowl XLIX religiously this week in order to prepare. Brady even said in his mid-week press conference that he’s been watching it over and over.

Tonight we get the rematch which has potential to be just as good, if not better, than the original. Tom Brady and the Patriots are steam rolling their way through the season, winning every game by at least a touchdown, except for the one game they dropped to Buffalo week three. Everyone’s healthy, which is really saying something for a New England team that finds itself adding new names to the injury report every other day (knock on wood people I don’t want to be responsible for a jinx). 39-year-old Tom Brady, a guy playing like he just came out of college, has an entire arsenal of weapons at his disposal and Dion Lewis just got added to it. Yes you read that right, Dion Lewis is back and active for tonight’s game. Having Blount and James White in the backfield has proven to be deadly for opposing defenses, but adding the explosive running power of Lewis is going to improve the run game tenfold. The Patriots defense has let up a decent amount of yards, which is something they need to be careful of tonight. The air threat tonight is Doug Baldwin, someone we’ve seen make some unreal catches so far this season. I would imagine Malcolm Butler is taking that matchup tonight, but he’s really got to deliver if that’s the case. He’s been pretty quiet this season which is sparking the “overrated” talks. Look for him to have a big game tonight because he’s due for one, and who better to have it against than the team whose hearts got broken at the hands of no. 21. Literally.

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Looking at this Seattle team, like I said last week I’m not all that threatened. Russell Wilson is pretty banged up, causing him to be less mobile; advantage Patriots. The defense, especially the line, has seen its fair share of injuries, including half of the Brothers Bennett, Michael. Richard Sherman would have to be the only issue I have tonight as much as it kills me to say because I can’t stand the guy. There’s no denying he’s one of the best at his position, but his mouth takes away from it all. He more likely than not will be matched up with Gronk, so I’m not sure we’ll see him get targeted a lot but you never know with the way Josh McDaniels calls plays. The Hawks haven’t been all that impressive this year, despite sitting atop the NFC West with a 5-2-1 record. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re down for the count, but I just can’t see them coming into Gillette and beating this New England team.

There’s a lot of people missing from both of these teams that were in that game almost two years ago, so it’ll be interesting to see how their replacements handle tonight. Look to see an aggressive Seattle D going against this surgical New England offense. I’m excited, I’m calm (which is weird), and I’m ready.

Prediction: Brady throws for 3 touchdowns, LG and White both run for one. Devin McCourty decides he wants to participate in the action tonight and picks off Wilson. Pats win, 35-17.

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