Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks
Both teams are 12-4.
New England has more offense scoring 468 points for the regular season compared to Seattle's 394 points. Seattle's has the better defense allowing 254 points compared to 313 for New England.
Given that defense usually wins, the edge has to be given to Seattle.
But what about performance against teams that made the playoffs?
In the regular season Seattle beat Arizona (2x), Carolina, Green Bay, and Denver. Their only loss to a playoff team was Dallas, thus, they went 5-1.
New England beat Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Denver in the regular season. They lost to Green Bay. All told, they went 4-1.
Based on common opponents, both beat Denver but Seattle beat Green Bay while New England lost to Green Bay. And of course, Seattle beat Green Bay again in the playoffs. Based on common opponents, give Seattle another edge.
Looking over the season, New England tends to beat people by running up the points. Very few of their victories (2) occurred when they scored 21 points or less and all their defeats (4) they scored 21 points or less. In sum, if New England is held to 21 points or less, they are 2-4.
Using the same 21-point rule, how did Seattle do?
If they gave up 21 points or more, they are 1-4. But what happens if they only score 21 points or less? They went 4-1.
What does all this mean?
New England will need more than 21 points to win. Seattle can win with less than 21 points.
Low scoring scenario: Seattle 17 New England 14.
Higher scoring scenario: New England 28 Seattle 20.
UPDATE: Final score NE 28 Sea 24. That was a crazy final 2 minutes of emotional whiplash! But in the end, Brady had the time to pass throughout most of the game and even with TWO interceptions he got FOUR touchdowns. Seattle will be second guessed but that interception by Butler was spectacular. He doesn't make that pick, Seattle gets the TD on that play or on third or fourth down and the victory. Seattle got 162 yards on the ground which was below their season average of 173 and they lost the time of possession battle 34 to 26 minutes.
The keys to watch:
Keep tabs on the pass rush against Brady; give him time, he wins.
Track Seattle's running game; if they chew up clock, Patriot offense is off the field and they lose.
My forecast: Seattle 17 New England 14.