The Seattle Seahawks are set to do battle with the New England Patriots; they are fighting for their second consecutive Super Bowl championship. What do they have to do to give the 12th man another moment of super glory?
With the Seahawks it all starts with their rushing attack with Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks don’t have a great receiving group and while Russell Wilson is certainly their franchise quarterback, he is not a top tier quarterback yet. The Seahawks need to stay ahead of schedule with their powerful run game. The last thing the Seahawks want is to be looking at 3rd and longs all day.
Wilson has to remain mistake free to win this game. In the NFC Championship game, Wilson threw 4 interceptions. While one of these interceptions was not his fault, the other 3 were. Wilson’s poor performance in the game did not kill the Seahawks, but they can’t tempt fate like that again against the Patriots.
Dec 28, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running backMarshawn Lynch
(24) participates in pre game warmups against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The good matchups for the Seahawks come on defense. The Seahawks have one of the best front 7’s in the NFL. The Seahawks will be able to get inside pressure on Tom Brady which could knock the timing off for the entire offense. The Patriots four regular season losses had one common ingredient.
The Dolphins, Bills, Chiefs and Packers were able to get pressure on Brady in a way that seemed to get under his skin. The Seahawks have experience of getting quarterbacks off kilter in the Super Bowl, just ask Peyton Manning. The New York Giants beat the Patriots twice in the Super Bowl, largely to do with their pass rush.
Bill Belichick is famous for taking away the opponents best offensive weapon. Well that’s what Pete Carroll and Dan Quinn are planning to do to Rob Gronkowski. The Seahawks will put Kam Chancellor in charge of covering Gronkowski.
I would not be surprised to see the Seahawks put Richard Sherman or Byron Maxwell on him occasionally. No matter who covers him, I doubt Gronk will get many clean releases off the line of scrimmage. If the Seahawks make him a non-factor, the Patriots offense is in trouble.
The Seahawks will win Super Bowl XLIX if they can force their kind of football game upon the Patriots. It is up for the defense to slow down and frustrate the Patriots. The Seahawks running game needs to dictate what happens when they have the ball.