The defending champion Seattle Seahawks and their entire offense goes directly through star running back Marshawn Lynch; he is their thermometer. When “Beast Mode” is switched on, Seattle controls the game, everything changes for the better. The pressure is then off quarterback Russell Wilson, receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse now get to face one on one coverage outside.
Candidly, if I know this, Bill Belichick undoubtedly knows this, and due to that we all know darn well he has been and is presently scheming for a way to prevent and stop the above from occurring on Super Bowl Sunday. Although I will concede to you that Belichick knows more about football than I can ever hope to know, here is my swing at how he can stop the Seahawks and their showcasing of Lynch.
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To sum up my scheme in three words… stack the box! The New England Patriots will be best off using seven and even eight man fronts whenever possible.
Most defenses cannot get away with using such a scheme, due to the threat that their corners will get eaten alive on the outside; fortunately for New England this is not an issue.
Personally, with all due respect given, I see no scenario in which receivers Baldwin and Kearse can create any traction in their matchups with Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. I believe New England would be smart to have players such as Jamie Collins (can/will also be used in coverage); Dont’a Hightower, Akeem Ayers, and even safety Patrick Chung focus on stopping the run. Just like Seattle’s Earl Thomas, former Rutgers standout Devin McCourty is capable of handling things on his own in single high safety looks.
As good as Lynch may be, he will struggle facing such heavy run sets. If New England can slow him down, dare I say take him completely out of the game, the responsibility of moving the ball will then fall squarely on the shoulders of Wilson. With Baldwin or Kearse potentially stuck on Revis and Browner Island, I predict we will see Wilson use his feet much more than he did against the Green Bay Packers.
Another player to watch for Seattle is tight end, Luke Wilson. As previously said, I believe that the Patriots can, and will essentially erase both of the Seahawks’ top receivers. At the same time with so much effort being put towards stopping Lynch, New England will risk leaving the door open for a player such as Luke Wilson, to have a solid game. I predict that a lesser known player such as Luke Wilson, or reviver Ricardo Lockette will have a solid game for Seattle.
Stopping Lynch will be easier said than done for New England. I do believe it to be possible and I do know that Belichick always tries to take away his opponents “go to” player on offense. In the case of Seattle, this player appears to be Lynch. We will have to wait and see what happens as one thing I do know for sure is that the game will be exciting and most certainly fun to watch!
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