Patriots Vs. Seahawks Preview
General view of Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots helmets and Super XLIX logo football at Papago Park. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive year, the two best teams in the NFL will be on opposite sidelines when Super Bowl XLIX kicks off from the desert on Sunday. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks seek back-to-back championships for the first time since their opponent, the New England Patriots did it in 2004-2005.

The Patriots are currently in the midst of a major scandal after the NFL revealed that 11 of the 12 footballs used in their 45-7 AFC Championship victory over the Indianapolis Colts were underinflated. “Deflate-Gate” as it is being called has been a major distraction for the Patriots throughout the week.

New England head coach, Bill Belichick has attempted to absorb most of the media attention surrounding the schedule, but future Hall of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady, is the central figure of the scandal as many former players in the NFL believe he had something to do with the deflated balls.

The 2015 edition of the Super Bowl poses a similar matchup as last years: a battle of one of the league’s best offenses vs. the league’s top defense. Brady captains a high-octane offensive attack led by tight end Rob Gronkowsi. At 6 feet, 6 inches tall and 265 pounds, Gronkowski is virtually impossible for any cornerback or safety to bring down and faster than your average NFL linebacker.

As Gronkowski commands the most attention from the Seahawks defense, the formidable slot duo of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola should be able to find space underneath the Seahawks secondary and running back LeGarrette Blount who rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns against the Colts is capable of having another stellar performance for the three-time Lombardi trophy winners.

Seattle has the most feared defense in the league and they will need to put pressure on Brady in order to secure their second straight Super Bowl title. The Seahawks success falls entirely on the shoulders of their secondary known simply as “The Legion of Boom.” It is composed of cornerbacks, Byron Maxwell, Richard Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. The quartet allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season and had the most interceptions in the league. They head into Super Bowl 49 without allowing a single 300-yard passer in any regular season or postseason game.

Former “Legion of Boom” member, Brandon Browner, who won a Super Bowl with Seattle last season, will be on the opposing sideline as he tries to defend his former teammates, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. Browner remains friends with his former LOB teammates and they have all talked and spent time together in the days leading up to the big game. In order for the Seahawks to win they will have to score on offense in tangent with their outstanding defense. Russell Wilson will look to rebound from his four-interception performance in the NFC Championship game against Green Bay and will ride running back Marshawn Lynch to the finish line.

New England is playing in their record tying 8th Super Bowl in franchise history, and seek their fourth Lombardi Trophy. It is the 7th Super Bowl appearance for Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a record among any owner in NFL history. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are playing in a record 6th Super Bowl together. Brady is two touchdowns shy of tying Joe Montana’s record for the most touchdowns in Super Bowl history.

The game is set to kick off on Sunday, February 1st, 2015 at 6:30PM EST. On NBC.

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