Patriots and Seahawks to lock horns in closely contested Super Bowl

The Seahawks and Patriots have met only a handful of times this century

The Seahawks and Patriots have met only a handful of times this century

It’s that time of year again; the Super Bowl is upon us, and this year’s promises to be one of the best in recent memory.

The Seattle Seahawks – last year’s Super Bowl winners – take on the New England Patriots in Glendale, Arizona a week on Sunday for the right to win the Lombardi Trophy.

 

Super Bowl XLIX Betting Odds:

New England Patriots -120

Seattle Seahawks +100

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

The Seahawks’ road to the Super Bowl was far more dramatic that it was a year ago; a comfortable win over the Carolina Panthers was followed up with a staggering comeback against the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw four interceptions before eventually throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to win the game in overtime, with the Packers blowing a 16 point lead.

The Patriots had it in reverse – a tense, close win over the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round, before swatting aside the Indianapolis Colts in a 45-7 thumping to reach the Super Bowl for a sixth time under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

 

Whilst the Seahawks hammered the Denver Broncos 43-8 in New York a year ago, this year’s game should be far closer affair.

The game will hinge on how New England’s superb offense, spearheaded by Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, will manage to move the ball against a vaunted Seahawks defense, with Richard Sherman leading ‘the Legion of Boom’ – the nickname for the Seahawks secondary.

The two teams have played each other just three times since 2000, but the last game saw Seattle win 24-23 in 2012, with Brady and Sherman clashing as they walked off the field in a rivalry that will finally be renewed on the biggest stage of all.

On the other side of the ball, Seattle are methodical, relying mostly on running back Marshawn Lynch and the improvisation of quarterback Russell Wilson, whilst New England will be hoping for a shutdown game from star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is playing in his first Super Bowl.

 

There were more than 50 points in last season’s game, but it would be something of a surprise to see that happen again. It should be a much, much tighter encounter than when Seattle dominated Denver last season, with head coach Pete Carroll no doubt desperate to stop his former employers winning a fourth Super Bowl since he left New England.

With a win, Seattle can become the first team to win successive Super Bowls since the Patriots in 2004 and 2005, but the Patriots are slight favourites with most bookmakers in an incredibly close market so far.

Betting Instinct tip – Back less than 48 points at -110 with AllYouBet.ag

 

Olly avatarOLLY DAWES is a Sports Management graduate and sports journalist for Here Is The City, whilst he also writes about NFL for Colts Authority.

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Seahawks – 49ers rivalry renewed in Thanksgiving Day special

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Image credit: PhilipRobertson

One of the burgeoning rivalries in the NFL hits our screens once again on Thanksgiving Thursday as the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

It’s not difficult to see how the rivalry has really caught fire in recent years. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and his Seahawks adversary Pete Carroll had a tempestuous relationship whilst coaching in college with Stanford and USC respectively, and that has continued after both landed roles in the NFC West.

 

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers Betting Odds:

49ers win -125

Seahawks win +105

(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

It’s been one way traffic of late in these games though, with the Seahawks winning three of the last four meeting between the two sides – though all of those victories have been at home, in front of the vaunted CenturyLink Field crowd.

Finally winning against their biggest rivals on the road would really prove that Seattle are back, having stumbled their way to a 7-4 record just months after being crowned Super Bowl champions.

The keys to the game are simple; Seattle will hand the ball to star running back Marshawn Lynch time and time again, and rely on quarterback Russell Wilson to avoid turning the ball over in order to win.

It’s not a dynamic offense, with the Seahawks having only scored 30+ points in three of their 11 games this season, and it sometimes holds them back, leaving them to rely on their defense.

 

On the other side of the ball, we’ll finally get to see cornerback Richard Sherman go up against 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree again after their public spat in the NFC Championship Game back in January, whilst the return of linebacker Bobby Wagner helped the Seahawks to end Arizona’s winning streak on Sunday.

Wagner’s presence will make it harder for San Francisco to have joy in the running game, though in Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde, they have a promising one-two punch at running back, whilst quarterback Colin Kaepernick is also a threat with his legs.

Defensively, the 49ers were superb against Washington on Sunday, with the return of pass rusher Aldon Smith serving as a huge boost – and he’ll be smelling blood once again as he takes on a porous Seahawks offensive line.

The emergence of rookie linebacker Chris Borland has been a welcome boost for the 49ers with Patrick Willis on injured reserve, with the former Wisconsin standout proving his reputation as a tackling machine.

 

Both teams are lagging behind Arizona in the race to win the NFC West, giving this clash something of an early play-off feel – so expect to see a feisty encounter with huge hits, plenty of running yards and a low scoring encounter as two of the NFC’s heavyweights lock horns once again.

 

Betting Instinct tip – we should expect a tight game, and under 19.5 first half points is -105 with Intertops.eu

Intertops Sportsbook is offering stake-backs up to $100 on the ‘first touchdown scorer’ market in this game, if either Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson scores a rushing TD. For this, and for more Thanksgiving NFL props, visit www.intertops.eu

Olly avatarOLLY DAWES is a Sports Management graduate and sports journalist for Here Is The City, whilst he also writes about NFL for Colts Authority.

Seattle Seahawks begin chase for back-to-back Super Bowls

Can the Seahawks make it two in a row?

Can the Seahawks make it two in a row?

The Green Bay Packers will start off the new NFL season by facing the one team that no one really wants to; The Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are of course the defending Super Bowl champions after decimating the best offense that the NFL has ever seen in the Denver Broncos, holding Peyton Manning and company scoreless till the dying stages of the game as they ran out 43-8 winners. This puts the Seahawks confidently on the “Best team in the league” pedestal until anyone can prove otherwise. The Packers may not have the same offensive firepower as the Broncos but they’re damn close.

Aaron Rodgers is a name that often features in the argument about the best quarterbacks in the league, and were it not for an untimely injury last season, he was on pace to argue his case to be considered the very best. Eddie Lacy’s development was fast-tracked by the injury to Rodgers and when his number was called, the young running back proved to be more than capable of carrying the weight of the hopes of the Cheesehead Nation, running for 1178 yards on 284 attempts and winning rookie of the season honors. Jordy Nelson and James Jones were their exemplary selves, with Jarrett Boykin and Randall Cobb filling in perfectly as third and fourth options as the team finished a respectable 8-7-1.

 

Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Betting Odds:

Seattle Seahawks -265

Green Bay Packers +225

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

The defense always seems to be the weak point for the Packers; for all of their ability to score a dizzying amount of points, they’re also capable of giving up just as much and though they have managed to get better this offseason –including Julius Peppers to the new look defense – the loss of BJ Raji to a torn bicep is a calamity that the Packers can hardly afford. The Packers also have a new host of problems to worry about now on the other side of the football. A worrying trend for the offense has been the inability to keep Rodgers safe and upright, a task that has grown more daunting with injuries to center JC Tretter and Don Barclay, Tretter being out indefinitely and Barclay set to miss the whole season thanks to an ACL injury.
The Seahawks, as impossible as it seems, are actually improving. Those should be words that scare any NFL team since the Hawks were already an excellent team, in fact. Super Bowl winners excellent. Each year since his inception into the league, Russell Wilson has been allowed more and more freedom within the offense and this year, the offense will look to greatly expand and maximize his capabilities with a wide array of perimeter plays and formations that were kept hidden before. Throw in a healthy Percy Harvin, Christine Michael backing up “beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch and you have a recipe for an offense that will look to match the intensity of their lauded defense. The team offense lost Golden Tate and Sidney Rice but Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse have made the implied decline an afterthought. Protecting Wilson will also be much easier with the return of left tackle Russell Okung, right tackle Breno Giacomini and center Max Unger.

Speaking of the defense, they’re just as formidable as before. If preseason is any indication –or the last few years really—Richard Sherman is improving, which should boggle belief but is a real thing that’s happening. The Legion of Boom plays with too much pride to allow any complacency to creep in as they look to repeat as Superbowl champions, a feat that hasn’t been done since the Patriots almost a decade ago.

 

The last time the teams met, the Seahawks won in controversial fashion in what was dubbed the “Fail Mary” game when a hail mary that seemed to be an interception was called as a touchdown since Golden Tate had his hands on the ball. This time around, there are no replacement officials but the Seahawks will not need a similar play to win either. They have shown that they can shut down any and every offense and as great as Aaron Rodgers is, he will find it incredibly difficult to not only stay upright but to find an open receiver.

 

Betting Instinct tip – The Seahawks to win the NFC Championship is +300 with AllYouBet.ag

 

BdykNApCQAEQ_-t ZITO MADU (zitov2) is a writer for SBnation, and has written for Surreal Football, LiveBreatheFutbol,  and numerous other sports sites. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.