NFL’s big game has ties to the Bay Area

For the second straight season the Seattle Seahawks will represent the NFC in football’s biggest affair. Once again they will take on an offensive juggernaut from the AFC, only this time head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will lead the Patriots into battle on Sunday, Feb. 1.
As far as a prediction goes, the safe bet would be to go with the Seahawks. Even though the team will not have the support of their thunderous crowd, self-titled “The 12th Man,” they still have an efficient quarterback in Russell Wilson, a strong running game lead by Marshawn Lynch, and a defense that is just as scary as the 2000-2001 Baltimore Ravens.
Even though Wilson had arguably the worst game of his career statistically last weekend against the Packers in the NFC Championship Game, his team still managed to escape with the win. Whether or not the Seahawks won the game or the Packers choked is debatable. However, you cannot argue with the statistic that explains Wilson’s continued success. According to, Wilson is now a cool 10-0 in his career against super bowl winning quarterbacks.
Wilson simply would not thrive if it were not for a strong running game lead by UC Berkeley alum Marshawn Lynch. Again, Oakland’s very own put up another strong season for the Seahawks, finishing tied for first in the league for rushing touchdowns and yards per attempt. Even though Lynch tries to stay out of the spotlight by declining to interview after games, (costing him thousands of dollars each year) a player of his caliber will always attract attention from the media.
A player that truly does fly under the radar is the second-string running back for Seattle, Robert Turbin. Also out of Oakland, Turbin gives Lynch his much-needed breaks throughout the game. These two create the threat of a big run happening at any time, and against the Patriots defense which gave up over 100 yards a game on the ground the duo expects to see a lot of action in the big game.
On the flip side, Brady and the Patriots’ offense may have lucked out as the Seahawks vaunted defense comes into the game struggling to get healthy. According to, two of the Seahawks’ best players are still questionable for the game. Cornerback Richard Sherman was noticeably injured during the NFC Championship game as well as safety Earl Thomas.
Right now the team is calling Sherman’s injury a sprained left elbow and Thomas’ a dislocated shoulder. The two go in for MRI’s this week.
Both teams are facing adversity in the lead up to this game. For the Seahawks, the injuries will definitely be a factor. Players being banged up is the reason why no team has won the Super Bowl in back-to-back years in over a decade.
On the flip side the Patriots are facing heat as the league is investigating whether or not the team cheated against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game last weekend in Foxboro. Eleven of the twelve footballs the Patriots used were under-inflated, causing fans to fume as this is not the first time the Patriots have been caught doing something shady.
In 2007, Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 for videotaping a New York Jets practice which subsequently became known as Spygate. The Patriots also lost out on their first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft as punishment handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
When it comes to the field though, the Patriots will be hoping Head Coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks defense has no answer for Rob Gronkowski.
Yes, the Patriots offense looked balanced against the Colts last weekend, but the team did not have a rusher in the top 40 in the league for yards this season. The Pats will not be able to fool the Seahawks enough with the ground game, so it comes down to the right arm of Tom Brady.
The good news for the Patriots is they could not be any more experienced. In the Belichick-Brady era, the duo have won three Super Bowls and lost two. Their sixth appearance in a Super Bowl is the most ever for a quarterback-coach pair. With his sixth Super Bowl under his belt Brady passes the man he grew up rooting for in San Mateo, Joe Montana.
Prediction: The Patriots hang on for three quarters, but the Seahawks record two interceptions, one of which being a pick-six allowing them to beat the Patriots in a game that really wasn’t that close, 26-17.