Only one game left, folks!
The Super Bowl is Sunday, and it’s the Patriots favoured by one point over the Seattle Seahawks as of Friday afternoon.
Now… random thoughts about the game!
- Deflategate is utter nonsense. I fully believe the Patriots did not cheat and let air out of the ball intentionally. Maybe I am foolish, but I don’t think Robert Kraft would stick his neck out the way he did on Monday if the Patriots weren’t innocent. If the Pats were caught Kraft’s reputation goes up in flames. The only way to save his rep is to blame Belichick, and then fire him. Perhaps Kraft is ready to end the relationship with Belichick and was setting this up as a big piece moving toward that, but I doubt it. That would be some House of Cards-level of political manoeuvring that I don’t think he’s doing.
- What if Pats did deflate the balls? If they did, then I pretty much don’t care. As Tony Kornheiser of PTI said this week, there’s a reason we have refs and umpires in games like football, baseball, and basketball. It’s because in these sports, the athletes are always trying to get away with breaking the rules to win the game. Golf is the only sport that you referee yourself, and thus cheating is truly not supposed to be a part of the game. In football, whether it’s holding after five years, taking HGH, or perhaps deflating footballs, it doesn’t matter. It’s part of the game. Do all you can to win until you’re caught.
- Katy Perry is the halftime show at the Super Bowl. Perry has some great pop songs. But here’s what I don’t like about her. She has this thing where she tries to seem risque, but she’s so vanilla, so safe that she can play the Super Bowl. I’ll take Rhianna over Perry any day because Rhianna is a bit insane, and there’s no way the NFL would trust her with the Super Bowl. I want my pop stars with an edge of crazy unpredictability, thank you very much.
- Just about two years ago I predicted the Patriots would never win a Super Bowl with Brady as quarterback. My reasoning then stands today. Basically, he’s wound too tight to win a Super Bowl. It’s like golfers who lose their putting as they get older. I think Brady gets the yips, and he won’t be able to handle the Seahawks crashing down on him. However! I have been horrible picking NFL games all year, so odds are that I will be wrong on this, and that story will be a giant embarrassment.
- Speaking of Brady… what’s up with these profiles of the guy? It seems like he really, truly thinks he has discovered a fountain of youth that will let him play for another 10 years. I appreciate his optimism, but there’s something worrisome about really thinking this way.
- It’s kind of funny that we will see two of the best shut down corner backs in the game, but they won’t have anyone to shut down. Neither the Patriots, nor the Seahawks have great receivers.
For a special game, we have a special format for picking games. All us sportswriters at Business Insider are going to offer our take on who wins and why.
JAY YAROW: Seahawks +1
I think the Seahawks are going to win because they are the better team. It’s pretty much that simple.
If you want more analysis, I believe Tom Brady will struggle against the Seahawks defence. The plan for beating Brady isn’t complicated. The defensive line just has to pressure him early on, then he gets rattled and that’s that. He becomes slightly more erratic.
The Seahawks corner backs will shut down the Patriots receivers, which will force Brady to hang in the pocket long enough to allow the defensive line to get to him.
Final Score: Seahawks 27, Patriots 20
TONY MANFRED: Seahawks +1
I love this Super Bowl.
I don’t like parity. I wanted the 2007 Patriots to beat every team by 50. Same with those mid-00s USC teams, the LeBron-era Heat, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, and young Vince Carter in every dunk contest.
I’m a frontrunner in the sense that I’d rather see an exceptional athletic performance from a rare team or individual than a even contest that’s entertaining in the moment.
The NFL is not designed for exceptions. The league is structured so that every team has a chance to win the Super Bowl every year. It’s a crapshoot.
That’s why this Super Bowl is so appealing to me. Both teams have found ways to transcend the parity that defines the league and renders it repetitious and bland. The Patriots are exceptional because they have figured out a way to be good every year in a league that wants every team to be 8-8. The Seahawks are exceptional because they beat the crap out of people in a league where dominance is rare.
I’m picking the Seahawks for relatively mundane reasons. I think they will be able to run the ball on New England, while I’m not so sure that New England will be able to run the ball on them. I also think people are placing too much stock in how these teams looked like the title games. The Colts were never that good, and I think if the Seahawks played them at home they’d also destroy them by 30.
Final score: Seahawks 27, Patriots 19
LEAH GOLDMAN: Patriots -1
In early September, each member of the BI Sports team (and honorary member Jay Yarow) tweets who he or she thinks will win the Super Bowl. Here’s what I said back then:
picking the Seahawks for the repeat.
— Leah Goldman (@leahggoldman) September 4, 2014
After that tweet, the Seahawks lost three of their next five games. I was pretty sure my pick was wrong, and that the Seahawks wouldn’t even come close to the Super Bowl. But here they are, for the second year in a row, playing in the big game, and I’m changing my mind.
Why? Quite simply, I trust Tom Brady, a machine who wants to play football until the day he dies, to bring home his 4th Super Bowl ring, more than I trust Russell Wilson, who threw 3 interceptions in just the first half of the NFC Championship, to bring home his 2nd.
Also because Jay picked the Seahawks +1.
Final Score: Patriots 24, Seahawks 17
CORK GAINES: Patriots -1
Yes, the Seahawks are the defending champs and the Patriots have been dealing with Deflategate for two weeks, but I just don’t trust this Seahawks team.
The Seahawks are 11-1 in their last 12 games and are giving up just 12.7 points per game during that stretch. But let’s look at the quarterbacks they faced during that stretch along with their 2014 Total QBR Rank via ESPN:
- Aaron Rodgers (2)
- Eli Manning (7)
- Mark Sanchez (15)
- Cam Newton (twice; 16)
- Colin Kaepernick (twice; 17)
- Alex Smith (23)
- Derek Carr (26)
- Drew Stanton (not in top 30)
- Ryan Lindley (not in top 30)
- Shaun Hill (not in top 30)
In those 12 games, they faced two top-10 quarterbacks, both at home. Against the New York Giants, the Seahawks scored 38 points and they should have lost the game against Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Brady is not going to struggle the way these other quarterbacks did.
Final score: Patriots 28, Seahawks 17
WILLIAM SCOTT DAVIS: Seahawks +1
I’m choosing the Seahawks for fairly basic reasons.
Seattle’s on a hot streak. I don’t think the Patriots have a strong enough run game to beat Seattle’s defence, and if New England is forced to throw a ton, Seattle’s secondary matches up well.
Additionally, the Seahawks sneaked by Green Bay after Russell Wilson had, arguably, the worst game of his career until the fourth quarter. I have to believe he’ll have a better performance, and if his passing game is better, it will open up the field for his own scrambles and runs for Marshawn Lynch.
For my own personal interest, I’ll probably root on a per-possession basis, hoping whichever team is down scores the next field goal. I like entertainment!
In the end, it might come down to an anticlimactic field goal!
Final Score: Seahawks 24, Patriots 21.
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