For the first time ever, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will face each other in the postseason on Feb. 1. Although the Seahawks are the defending champions, the Patriots are favored by a single point. Many people are ready for a great contest.
The last time these two teams met was back in 2012. At that time, Russell Wilson was a rookie quarterback who displayed his coming of age. Down by two scores with eight minutes remaining, Wilson threw a pair of touchdown passes, including the game winning 46-yard touchdown strike to Sidney Rice. Seattle won, 24-23.
Last season’s Super Bowl was a blowout, with Seattle demolishing Denver, 43-8. However, expect a much better game this time around. The Patriots will use the arm of Tom Brady and a much-improved defense. While the Seahawks will base their game plan on a balanced offense with Wilson, Lynch, and crew, as well as a stingy defense. Down below is the story of two teams with different philosophies.
New England Patriots (AFC)
During the regular season, the Patriots won another AFC East title with a 12-4 record. In the playoffs, they came from behind to defeat the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots also rolled past the Indianapolis Colts en route to their second Super Bowl appearance in four years. Once again, the main man behind their success was quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady overcame a sluggish start to throw for 4,109-yards and 33 touchdowns. His main target was tight end Rob Gronkowski, who made 82 catches for 1,124-yards and a team high 12 touchdown receptions. Julian Edelman led the team in receptions with 92. Edelman also had 972 receiving yards and four scores.
New England relied more on the pass than they did the run. The Patriots leading rusher was Jonas Gray, who gained 412-yards on 89 carries and scored five touchdowns. Their defense is not as spectacular as Seattle’s, but they can get the job done when it counts. New England ranked eighth in the league in points allowed and ninth against the run.
Seattle Seahawks (NFC)
Like New England, Seattle got off to a shaky start. The Seahawks began the season with a 3-3 mark. However, they rebounded to win nine of their final ten games. Once again, the Seahawks finished 13-3, and once again, they won the NFC West. In the playoffs, Seattle breezed by the Carolina Panthers. In the NFC Championship, they needed a miraculous fourth quarter comeback to beat the Green Bay Packers in overtime.
Seattle displayed that they were a team of depth this season. Russell Wilson passed for 3,475-yards and 20 touchdowns. Wilson also ran for six more scores. Marshawn Lynch ran for 1,306-yards and compiled 17 total touchdowns. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin was the team’s leading pass catcher. Baldwin made 66 receptions for 825-yards and scored three touchdowns.
Defensively, he Seahawks led the NFL in points allowed, total defense and pass defense. The main cog that holds the wheel together is Seattle’s secondary, which is nicknamed “The Legion of Boom.” Safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor along with cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell all possess the ability to punish receivers and create turnovers.
The New England Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl for the eighth time in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Seahawks make just their third appearance in the big game. The Patriots won three championships during a four year stretch from 2001-2004. Seattle is looking to become the first team, since the 2004 Patriots, to win back to back Super Bowls.