New England Patriots (-1) vs Seattle Seahawks:
The New England Patriots have went through a whirlwind of trouble since the AFC Title Game. Due to the Deflategate Controversy, the Patriots have been forced to answer chemistry questions over the past week. The Patriots have reached this point in the season because they have one of the best offenses in the league and lately the defense has significantly improved. Due to the skill and physicality of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Devin McCourty, the Patriots have been able to play off of their great secondary and stymie opposing passing games. On offense, the Patriots are a rare team because they attack the middle of the field unlike most teams with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. Although the Patriots may eventually abandon the running game if they are able to find success, they are able to use their short passing attack as a suitable substitute. While the Patriots were impressive due to their blowout of the Indianapolis Colts, the Seahawks were incredible because they defeated the Green Bay Packers while playing one of the worst games in the history of the NFC title game. Russell Wilson turned the ball over 4 times, lost a fumble, and accumulated 128 yards of passing before the overtime period and still beat the team that beat the Patriots earlier in the season. This matchup is incredible because of the individual matchups. On defense, the Seahawks will be starting Cam Chancellor against Rob Gronkowski. Gronk and Cam will be an amazing matchup because they are both physical freaks with speed, size, and strength. Tom Brady vs the Legion of Boom will be interesting because the Legion of Boom may be the best secondary in NFL history while Tom Brady is attempting to sit atop the pedestal as the best quarterback in history. Last season, Sherman and his comrades were able to make Peyton Manning look like Mark Sanchez. However, the Legion will be facing a different task because Brady has more success in the playoffs and he will opt for the tight end and slot receiver instead of the big play receiver like Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on Denver. On offense, the Seahawks will have a huge challenge. Russell Wilson is a very good quarterback in the NFL, but he can be contained if opposing defenses are able to keep him in the pocket. Last week, Wilson could not escape and run and the Packers were able to force 4 interceptions. Another major question that must be answered is if they have the ability to run against the Patriots front seven. Although Seattle’s most potent weapon on offense is Marshawn Lynch, Bill Belichik will put all of his energy and focus on stopping one of the best running backs in football. Although Bill will try to stop Beast Mode, it may be hopeless because he is the most bruising running back in the sport and has a knack for making big plays late in tight games. This game should be incredibly close throughout the game, but I believe that Seattle’s defense is too good for the Patriots’ offense and Russell Wilson will extend is streak of winning his last 10 games against Super Bowl winning quarterbacks.
Seattle wins 27-23
Seattle with the points