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Can we forget about deflate-gate for a second and talk about important things like the Patriots game with the Seattle Seahawks in a week and a half? We can? Good. Here goes.

We were about 5 minutes from facing the Green Bay Packers instead of the Seattle Seahawks in a week and half. However, Russell Wilson led the Seahawks back from the brink and threw a strike to Jermaine Kearse in overtime, so here we are. So, should the Patriots be worried facing the defending champs? The answer to that is yes, but Seattle is not as dangerous as last year.

Not disrespect to Seattle - they have a great team, and they're the defending champs for good reason, but they lucked out a bit against Green Bay. Russell Wilson threw 4 interceptions, but the Seahawks caught a break when Green Bay fumbled the onside kick late, thus allowing Seattle to score what was then a go-ahead touchdown. Credit Seattle for making the big plays when they counted, but in my mind, this game was more about the Green Bay Packers losing the game then it was about Seattle's coming back. Mike McCarthy was too conservative with his play-calling late, in my mind, and that's what allowed Seattle back into the game. So, looking at Sunday's game, there was plenty there that wasn't overwhelmingly impressive in Seattle's game for me. I can't see Bill Belichick and the Patriots making the same mistakes the Packers did - they'll keep the pressure on where Green Bay took their foot off the pedal towards the end of the game if the Patriots find themselves up.

But the Super Bowl is a different day and a clean slate. Facing Seattle's defense is a tough ask for any quarterback (just ask Peyton Manning). Richard Sherman and the Seahawks secondary can play. So can Russell Wilson. And Marshawn Lynch. Seattle retained most of their core that destroyed the Denver Broncos last year in New Jersey. The Patriots offense will have to challenge Seattle's secondary, but at the same time, they'll have to play smart. That's a tough balance to maintain, but I think if anyone can do it, the Patriots can. And they won't settle for field goals. Part of the reason the Seahawks were able to comeback was because they held Green Bay to field goal after field goal (5 in all, and 1 touchdown). If just one of those field goals had been touchdowns, then there's no way Seattle would have been able to rally.

Defensively, the worry is containing the Seahawks run game, as I highlighted in my preliminary report on Seattle. If the Patriots can't contain Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, it will be a long night for the Patriots. However, if the Patriots can limit Lynch and force Wilson to beat us with his arm, then the defense will be able to force Wilson into a few mistakes. And Wilson will make mistakes, as he showed against Green Bay.

How worried are you about the Seahawks? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Conor Frederick 1/20/2015 09:15:00 PM Edit
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