De Jesus: Offense will lead Pats to victory
Manuel De Jesus | Sunday, January 25, 2015
Today marks the first day of the much-anticipated Super Bowl week. Several news networks will be covering the hype leading up to best Sunday of the year, and nearly everyone will be coming up with predictions on who will walk away with the Lombardi Trophy.
To add on to the hundreds of articles that are going to be published this week on Super Bowl predictions, I would like to give my own prediction on Super Bowl XLIX, along with breaking down the offensive position groups for each team.
The Patriots own the advantage on the offensive line without a doubt. Tom Brady was only taken down 21 times in the regular season, which is half the number of times Russell Wilson was brought down. Some of that does have to do with Wilson being a dual-threat quarterback, but on top of protecting Brady in the pocket, the Pats’ offensive line has shown how dominant it can be run blocking.
Last week against Indianapolis, the offensive line paved the way for LeGarrette Blount’s 148 yards and three touchdowns. Led by Nate Solder, rookie Bryan Stork and Sebastian Vollmer, the Patriots’ offensive line should continue to dominate against the Seahawks.
Without a question, Marshawn Lynch is going to be the best back on the field. He finished fourth in the league in rushing and tied for first for touchdowns. We’ve all seen Lynch’s ridiculous run against the Saints a couple of years ago in the playoffs that solidified his nickname, “Beast Mode,” and more recently, his 79-yard touchdown run against the Cardinals.
The Patriots don’t have a featured back, and while some may argue that New England’s diverse backfield is a strong one, I don’t think you can throw in any running back and expect to be successful against the Seahawks defense. Seattle’s backfield has the edge here.
If you remove tight ends from what makes up a receiving corps, I would say that both teams have pretty similar talent at wide receiver, but because tight ends are included, the Patriots have the advantage.
Rob Gronkowski, the NFL’s best tight end, changes the game for New England’s passing attack. Gronk can line up next to a tackle, in the slot or out wide. It doesn’t matter. He’s Gronk. Whenever the Patriots get into the red zone, we all know where the ball is going on a pass play, and Gronk still makes insane receptions. Add in Julian Edelman, who tears apart defense across the middle of the field, and the Patriots have a deadly receiving corps.
I’m a big fan of Russell Wilson. I really am. I think he’s a great player with a ton of talent, but we can’t ignore that Brady is a Hall-of-Fame quarterback playing in his sixth Super Bowl. After losing in his last two appearances, I can only imagine how fired up the two-time MVP will be in what could possibly be his last Super Bowl. He finished the year with 4,109 passing yards to go along with 33 scores and just nine interceptions.
Wilson, on the other hand, compiled less than 3,500 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven picks. Wilson also threw four interceptions in the NFC title game, which should concern Seattle. There’s no way the Seahawks win if Wilson has another performance like that.
Final prediction: New England 34, Seattle 24. Brady wins his fourth Super Bowl, cements his status as one of the best quarterbacks in history and retires a winner.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.