Seattle Seahawks and NE Patriots set for battle of the ages in Super Bowl 49

Glenn Krzeminski, Crier Staff

The NFL’s 49th Super Bowl is now officially set as the New England Patriots will meet the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1st at 6:30 PM Eastern Time.

The NFC Championship was one to remember. The game began with the Seattle Seahawks as heavy favorites to win convincingly over the Green Bay Packers. But, the Packers had other thoughts in mind.

Green Bay got off to an early 16 to nothing lead at halftime. However the Packers did not capitalize off of several Seahawks turnovers and settled for field goals, two of them inside the five yard line, instead of scoring touchdowns.

This would prove to be very problematic later in the game. Quarterback Russell Wilson struggled mightily throughout the entire contest with many questionable decisions resulting in 4 Packer interceptions.

With less than 3 minutes to go, the Packers had a 19 to 7 advantage, but Russell Wilson and the Seahawks scored twice in under a minute to capture their first lead of the game at 22 to 19, converting a two-point conversion on the second touchdown drive.

The game was still up for grabs as the Packers had enough time to go ahead with a touchdown, or make a field goal to tie. QB Aaron Rodgers gave his team a chance and, from 48 yards with 14 seconds remaining, Packers kicker Mason Crosby connected on a field goal attempt to even the score at 22 apiece and the game headed to overtime.

With the Seahawks winning the coin toss, they began with the ball first in the extra period. Despite 4 interceptions, Wilson’s resilience was on full display as he drove his team down and ended the game on a 35 yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse. The Seattle Seahawks came from behind to win an epic thriller of an NFC Championship game by a score of 28-22 and are headed to the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons.

In the other conference title game the Patriots and Colts battled for the AFC championship crown. This game was completely one sided with the Pats winning in every phase and dominating from start to finish as many experts predicted.

There was not much to critique about the Patriots’ performance, pretty much a flawless game of execution. Legarrate Blount ran down the Colts throats with 3 touchdowns and 148 yards all evening long. Brady played a great game as well passing for 226 yards and 3 scores. The Patriots have simply had the Colts’ number over the last few seasons, and won the game by a commanding score of 45 to 7.

The Super Bowl is now set as it features the best two teams in the league and was a matchup predicted by many people before the season began. The quarterback matchup of Tom Brady, a three-time Super Bowl Champ, versus the young Russell Wilson, looking for his second consecutive trophy, is bound to be an impressive duel.

The Patriots probably have the advantage offensively; meanwhile, Seattle has a great defense. New England’s defense is improving and their man coverage is arguably the best the league has to offer. Seattle has a solid offense with Marshawn Lynch as their running back and Russell Wilson as their quarterback.

The matchup between the Seattle offense and the New England defense is going to be very intriguing to watch. It is going to be critical for the Pats to contain Wilson and his legs, as he is one of the most explosive rushing quarterbacks in the league. Containing him to passes only will make him one dimensional and easier to defend.

As for Seattle, it will be interesting to see how their passing attack will fair against the dynamic secondary New England features with Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.

The battle of the head coaches between Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll, each one having different styles and approaches to winning the Lombardi trophy, will be a key to the game.

One major storyline from the regular season that could impact the Super Bowl will surely be the high-powered offense of the Pats who have had 5 games of 40-plus points against the Seahawks defense which has let up 10 or fewer points a league-high six times.

All that being said, the game is set up to be an entertaining one with really no true favorite. Both teams have a great chance and it could be a Super Bowl for the ages.

By now surely everyone has heard of the off-the-field controversy surrounding the Patriots over the deflation of footballs during the AFC Championship. Will this crazy pounds-per-square-inch debate deflate the Patriots’ momentum or simply give them more incentive to flatten the Seahawks as they have so many of their regular season opponents?