Two teams that will forever be linked to a goal line play that decided the winner of Super Bowl XLIX meet tonight in Seattle to complete the National Football League Sunday schedule. In that remarkable Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks had driven to within a couple yards of what would have been a winning touchdown when Russell Wilson threw a controversial pass that was intercepted and provided the New England Patriots one of their six Super Bowl wins.
Tonight, as long as smoke doesn’t interfere with the playing of this game, these two storied franchises renew their rivalry.
Both teams have gone through major changes in recent years. The Legion of Doom defense that led the Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowls, a win over the Denver Broncos to complete the 2013 season and the loss to the Patriots the following year, has been revamped by Pete Carroll. On offense, the Seahawks are still a juggernaut with the playmaking skills of Wilson who can turn a near sack into a completed touchdown or long run.
The Patriots shifts are the most obvious.
Gone is their longtime and future Hall of Fame first ballot unanimous choice Tom Brady, who is playing out his career behind center with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his place, the Patriots acquired one-time Super Bowl participant and longtime Carolina Panthers starter Cam Newton.
This will be an interesting coach and player relationship to watch. Newton’s former coach, Ron Rivera, who is now coaching the Washington Football Team, gave his quarterback the freedom to express himself in ways that didn’t always seem to be in the best interest of his team. In New England, Belichick will have none of that, nothing that detracts from his team concept.
It should be an environment that assists Newton and could pave the way for him to return to Pro Bowl form.
Both teams won their openers last Sunday, the Patriots outscored AFC East Division rival Miami in Foxboro, 21-11. The Seahawks picked up their victory in Atlanta, downing the Falcons by a 38-25 score.
From a simple perspective, this looks like a win for the home team tonight. But, giving points to Belichick is not something I advise to build a bankroll.
This game is very interesting, but from where I sit doesn’t offer a solid wagerin proposition.