Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 1st 2015 Contents A46
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt February 1, 2015
PHOENIX---Go ahead, pile on the
Patriots. Declare the Bill Belichick-
Tom Brady era over after they split
their first four games this season. Call
them cheaters when their footballs
lose too much air. Predict the Legion
of Boom will bring the hammer down
on Rob Gronkowski.
Then jump on the New England
bandwagon. Watch one of the greatest
quarterbacks ever lower the pressure
on himself with handoffs to big LeGar-
rette Blount and quick passes to small
receivers Julian Edelman and Danny
Amendola. See the second-best defense
in the Super Bowl silence Marshawn
Lynch s running and put the burden
on Russell Wilson to move the Seattle
Seahawks with his arm and legs.
Finally, concede that the Lombardi
Trophy raised by New England owner
Robert Kraft on Sunday night is well
deserved, no matter how much fans of
31 other teams dislike the leader with
the hoodie and the scowl---and his
fourth Super Bowl championship as
coach of the Patriots.
They want to be champions. How
can they do it against the NFL s best
Start with Brady getting rid of the
ball fast to a runner or receiver. Or let
Gronkowski occupy two defenders after
lining up wide, in the slot or beside a
tackle. Or toss in some trickery---maybe
a double reverse or even a flea-flicker.
There s no end to Belichick s football
What would he like to establish early?
The Patriots have scored first in just
four of their last eight games. But
they ve won six of them, with one of
the losses coming in a meaningless reg-
Never was their comeback ability
more critical than when they overcame
two 14-point deficits to beat the Bal-
timore Ravens 35-31 in the divisional
playoffs. Doing that against Seattle will
be a tougher challenge.
The Seahawks are the first team to
lead the NFL in points and yards
allowed for two straight years since
Chicago in 1985, when the Bears pum-
meled the Patriots 46-10 in the Super
Bowl, and 1986. And in their last eight
games, the Seahawks have allowed just
seven points in the fourth quarter.
Of course, the brainy Belichick prob-
ably saved some never-before-seen
wrinkles---some might call them decep-
tions---to catch Richard Sherman and
company off guard.
Belichick has the perfect partner in
Brady---a two-time Super Bowl MVP
who holds numerous postseason pass-
ing records and brings great intensity
and intelligence. Sounds a bit like
Lynch. But the Patriots defense has
been successful in neutralising an oppo-
nent s most dangerous player.
They did it this season with AJ Green
of Cincinnati, Peyton Manning of Den-
ver, Andrew Luck of Indianapolis
(twice), Calvin Johnson of Detroit and
Philip Rivers of San Diego.
None, however, is a running back.
And Lynch rushed for the fourth-most
yards in the NFL and 13 touchdowns.
But New England had the ninth-best
run defense and allowed only six rush-
ing touchdowns. So they have the play-
ers and the strategy to control Lynch.
The Packers led 19-7 with just over
two minutes left after Wilson had
thrown four interceptions. But touch-
down runs by Wilson and Lynch gave
the Seahawks the lead before Wilson
capped the incredible comeback with
a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine
Kearse for a 28-22 overtime win.
The Seahawks "primary goal is to
put the ball in their playmakers hands,"
Wilfork said. "When you have Russell
Wilson and Marshawn in the backfield
together, you have to make sure you
account for both of them."
The Patriots will. They re disciplined,
quick and physical on defense. They ll
chase Wilson down, gang tackle Lynch
and use a secondary led by cornerbacks
Revis and Brandon Browner, a Seahawk
last season, to blanket mediocre
New England was the NFL s fourth
highest scoring team, averaging 29
points per game.
It won t need that many to deny
Seattle a second straight title and win
the Super Bowl for the first time in 10
Patriots 24, Seahawks 21
edge Seahawks for
4th Super Bowl win
Friday in Tempe,
Patriots play the
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