A win for the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl would be an historic one, making them the first team in a decade to repeat as NFL champions. Beating the New England Patriots won’t be easy, and the AFC Champs are favored to win their fourth ring in the Brady-Belichick era, but Seattle has what it takes to earn the victory.
After beating the Denver Broncos in the 2014 Super Bowl, Seattle has been just as good this year. They finished the regular season as the No.1 seed, tied for the best record in the NFL. Their most recent victory has them somewhat banged up, with Pro Bowl defenders Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas suffering injuries in the NFC Championship, but both stars will play on Sunday.
Below are three reasons why the Seahawks will beat the Patriots in the 2015 Super Bowl.
Marshawn Lynch has caught a lot of flak this week for not talking to the media, but there’s no denying his talent on the field. The running back has proven himself to be among the best players at his position, rushing for at least 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns in each of the last four seasons.
Lynch has had a few memorable playoff moments with the Seahawks, most notably his incredible 67-yard touchdown run that helped Seattle beat the New Orleans Saints in 2011, as he broke several tackles. He was the most important player in the Seahawks’ comeback in this year’s NFC Championship Game, rushing 25 times for 157 yards, including a 24-yard score to give the team a fourth-quarter lead.
New England has a good run defense, ranking ninth in the regular season, allowing 104.3 yards on the ground per game. But the Patriots haven’t faced anyone as good as Lynch this year. Justin Forsett was the only top-five rusher to go up against the Patriots, and he totaled 129 yards on 24 carries. Eddie Lacy, who ranked seventh in rushing yards, ran for 98 yards on 21 carries against New England. Lynch can seem impossible to tackle at times, and he could have a monster game on Sunday.
Legion of Boom
Seattle’s secondary receives a lot of notoriety because of their nickname and their trash-talking nature, led by Sherman. However, the hype that surrounds the unit is equal to their level of play. The group of defenders has been utterly dominant in the last two years, boasting the NFL’s top pass defense in 2013 and 2014.
Starters Sherman, Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Bryon Maxwell, along with nickel cornerback Jeremy Lane, have made quarterbacks look foolish during their current eight-game winning streak. Since their last loss, the Seahawks have intercepted 11 passes, while giving up just five touchdown passes. Colin Kaepernick is the only one of those signal callers that posted a passer rating above 80.0, and he completed just 11 of 19 passes for 141 yards and no scores.
Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but the Legion of Boom is one of the best secondaries the league has ever seen. The two-time MVP has thrown an interception in five of his last six games, and Seattle has shut down top quarterbacks this season. They forced Aaron Rodgers to have two of his worst games, and while Peyton Manning posted a passer rating of 110.2 or higher in six of his first seven games, the Seahawks limited him to an 85.7 passer rating in Week 3.
Russell Wilson might not be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and he won’t be the best quarterback on the field this Sunday, but he’s certainly good enough to help the Seahawks win back-to-back titles. He’s proved his worth in the postseason, making big plays at crucial moments.
Wilson isn’t known for putting up big numbers, but he’s done just that in his playoff career. He was terrific as a rookie, going on the road in two playoff games and posting a passer rating of 102.4. Last year, he helped give the Seahawks their first NFL title, failing to throw an interception and completing 72 percent of his passes for two scores in the Super Bowl. After posting a 149.2 passer rating in this year’s divisional round, the quarterback had, possibly, the worst game of his career, throwing four interceptions in the conference championship game. Despite all of his mistakes, Wilson was able to redeem himself by making big plays down the stretch, including a 35-yard touchdown pass in overtime that sealed the victory for Seattle.
He’s not aided by a strong receiving corps, but Wilson manages the game extremely well and puts Seattle in a position to win. The quarterback could also give the Patriots a lot of trouble with his legs, having rushed for 849 yards this season. Wilson is 10-0 in his career against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, with an opportunity to improve that record against Brady and New England.