It's just about time for Super Bowl 49, the final game of the NFL season. Soon, all teams will be in offseason mode including the two participants in the big game, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.
The Seahawks come into the game relatively healthy. Richard Sherman is probable and is practicing after injuring his arm in the NFC Championship game. Kam Chancellor left practice early on Friday but is also probable and is expected to play. The Seahawks would like to rely on the running game behind Marshawn Lynch with the occasional keeper by quarterback Russell Wilson on the zone-read. Seattle does not want to get into a game where it has to rely on the passing game because the right side of their line can be had by the pass rush. Right tackle Justin Britt is the weak link and one that I'm sure New England will look to exploit. On the other side tackle Russell Okung is much better, but he'll face a pesky defender in Rob Ninkovich. If New England can force the Seahawks to rely more on the passing game, they stand a fair chance of getting some disruption.
On the flip side, Tom Brady and company use a lot of short passing to move the ball. Occasionally they get a decent run game going, but their bread-and-butter is Brady hitting guys like Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman to move the ball. The Seahawks will need a strong game from Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril among others to pressure, disrupt, hit and occasionally sack Brady. This is hard to do as Brady is pretty good at getting the ball out quickly. He also plays behind a decent line, but one that could use center Bryan Stork back (he is questionable). The Seahawks have the guys in the secondary to contain the Pats passing game, the question is can they do it on Sunday? And if they do, will the Pats be able to supplement their offense with a decent run game?
Who: Seattle Seahawks (14-4) vs. New England Patriots (14-4)
Game Time: Sunday, February 1st, 2015, 6:30 pm EST
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale AZ
TV channel: NBC
Announcers: Al Michaels (play by play), Cris Collinsworth (color), Michele Tafoya (sidelines)
Online Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra
Odds: From OddsShark (Seattle +1)