Super Bowl Predictions  

 

Super Bowl XLIX analyst picks: Seahawks or Patriots in Arizona?

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Will the New England Patriots capture their fourth Lombardi Trophy? Or will the Seattle Seahawks defend their title? Who will steal the spotlight? Which moment will be talked about for years? Our analysts attempt to predict the outcome of Super Bowl XLIX.

Why the Patriots will win: New England is angry, talented and motivated to change the conversation. You never go against Bill Belichick in a big spot.

MVP: LeGarrette Blount

Bold prediction: Safety Devin McCourty makes a game-changing play for the Pats on defense.

Why the Seahawks will win: The Seahawks' defense overwhelms the Patriots' offense with its collective speed, physicality and athleticism. The "Legion of Boom" -- and Kam Chancellor, in particular -- bullies Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola while also putting a blanket around Rob Gronkowski to force Tom Brady into a miserable day.

MVP: Russell Wilson

Bold prediction: Wilson puts up a 300/100-yard effort against the Patriots and scores three touchdowns.

Why the Patriots will win: After last year's blowout, we get a classic on Sunday, marked by a brilliant Tom Brady two-minute drill to push the game into overtime.

MVP: Tom Brady

Bold prediction: Darrelle Revis picks off Russell Wilson in overtime to pave the way for New England's game-winning kick.

Why the Seahawks will win: Seattle has beaten every great quarterback and every great offense. They're absurdly mentally resilient (as we saw against the Packers in the NFC title game), and even though I'm proposing such a high score, it's still true: defense wins championships.

MVP: Marshawn Lynch (Why go outside the box just to be wrong?)

Bold prediction: There will be a special teams fumble.

Why the Patriots will win: Rob Gronkowski is the best player on the field, plain and simple.

MVP: Rob Gronkowski

Bold prediction: Gronk boxes out Kam Chancellor AND Earl Thomas for the game-winning touchdown, giving the Pats a come-from-behind victory.

Why the Seahawks will win: Russell Wilson makes some off-schedule runs and Marshawn Lynch carries Seattle in the second half of what should be a tight defensive struggle.

MVP: Marshawn Lynch

Bold prediction: Tom Brady will get picked off in a crucial moment.

Why the Patriots will win: Sorry to lean on the deflated-ball scandal, but as noted Patriots wonk Gregg Rosenthal pointed out last week, Belichick's gang responded to Spygate by obliterating all comers for the next three months. I suspect this team will show up with not just a chip on its shoulder, but a whole bag of chips.

MVP: Tom Brady

Bold prediction: A team scoring 30 on the mighty 'Hawks D isn't bold enough?!

Why the Seahawks will win: These teams are about as closely matched as any Super Bowl opponents I've seen, but I think there will be more Seattle fans in attendance, which should give the 'Hawks an edge.

MVP: Steven Hauschka

Bold prediction: This will be the first Super Bowl to go to overtime, with Hauschka ultimately providing the winning field goal -- hence his MVP award.

Why the Seahawks will win: The most dominant defense of this generation puts its stamp on the title by holding down another Hall of Fame quarterback.

MVP: Earl Thomas

Bold prediction: Tom Brady will throw three interceptions in a game for the first time since Sept. 25, 2011 (four versus Buffalo).

Why the Seahawks will win: In a very evenly matched game, I always lean toward defense, and while New England has had one of its better defensive seasons in recent years, the best "Stop Troops" in the league reside in Seattle.

MVP: Russell Wilson

Bold prediction: "Vertically challenged" Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin (5-foot-10) skies and takes a 50-50 jumpball away from his former teammate, "long" New England cornerback Brandon Browner (who is 6-4), for the most memorable play of the game.

Why the Patriots will win: Russell Wilson will find few open receivers, while New England will march on a number of long, painful drives. The Patriots finally capitalize on all their Gronk-era success with a title.

MVP: Rob Gronkowski

Bold prediction: Gronkowski spikes the ball after a third-quarter touchdown, inspiring a record number of bad jokes on Twitter about deflation.

Why the Seahawks will win: This is truly a toss-up. I could give you five reasons why either of these closely matched teams will win. Ultimately, I'm just guessing.

MVP: Russell Wilson

Bold prediction: Russell Wilson (who averaged 217.2 yards per game in 2014) will throw for more yards than Tom Brady (who averaged 256.8).

Why the Patriots will win: I'm watching several matchups in this one; to see what will put New England over the top, check out my full prediction column here.

MVP: Jamie Collins

Bold prediction: Collins will pick Russell Wilson on a play when the QB doesn't see him dropping into the lane, add a sack and make several stops in ground support.

Why the Seahawks will win: Seattle's dominant defense will play as expected, while Russell Wilson tortures New England's front by breaking the pocket early and often.

MVP: Russell Wilson

Bold prediction: Julian Edelman's third-quarter fumble sends New England into a downward spiral.

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