Friday, August 29, 2014

2015 Super Bowl Prediction

In our previous post, we stated that the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers are the two teams that we think will play in the upcoming Super Bowl. Recently, the two teams have near identical track records in the postseason, where both New England and San Francisco have played in three consecutive AFC and NFC Championship Games, respectively. Both quarterbacks Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick have played in a Super Bowl before, but while Kaep lost to the Ravens in his first and only appearance, Brady is 3-2 in the Super Bowl throughout his accomplished career. In an effort to provide a complete breakdown of this matchup, we will compare each aspect of the two teams' game, and giving the advantage to the superior team. By the end, we will give a prediction for the score of this game, thus crowning a champion of the 2014-2015 NFL season.
Comparisons

Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick is one of the most talented quarterbacks in all of football, and his incredible running ability adds a whole other dimension to his game; however, Tom Brady is a veteran in the NFL with plenty of experience in the postseason.
Advantage: New England Patriots

Running Back(s): The New England Patriots tend to rotate their young, inexperienced running backs throughout the season, so it is difficult to tell at this point in time who their starting running back will be in the Super Bowl. The 49ers have 31-year old running back Frank Gore behind quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but they also have rookie Carlos Hyde and speedy Oregon-alum LaMichael James who can be used in different situations.
Advantage: San Francisco 49ers  

Receiving Corp: Tom Brady struggled to grow accustomed to his relatively young, inexperienced group of receivers last season, a group that was also impacted by injuries. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is an absolute game changer for this Patriots' offense, and receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are able to catch plenty of short passes throughout any given game. Yet the San Francisco 49ers have a plethora of receivers, with names like Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Brandon Lloyd, and Anquan Boldin on their depth chart.
Advantage: San Francisco 49ers

Offensive Line: New England's recent trade that sent All-Pro guard Logan Mankins left many fans scratching their heads, seeing how Mankins was a veteran blocker who had excellent chemistry with Tom Brady. While there is still other talent on this offensive line, it does not really compare to San Francisco group of O-linemen, quite possibly the best group in all of football.
Advantage: San Francisco 49ers

Front Seven: There is no doubt in my mind about which team has a superior front seven on defense. By the time the Super Bowl rolls around, five out of the seven defenders in San Francisco's front seven will have been named to an All-Pro team at some point in their careers. The Patriots can not match that accomplishment.
Advantage: San Francisco 49ers

Secondary: The New England Patriots now have one of the best cornerback duos in all of football after signing both Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis during this past offseason. San Francisco's two starting cornerbacks both played in all 16 games last season, but can not match the backfield seen in New England.
Advantage: New England Patriots

Coaching: Jim Harbaugh is 5-3 in the postseason since joining the San Francisco coaching staff three years ago, but his track record is nowhere near the likes of Bill Belichick. Belichick ranks third all time among coaches in both playoff games and playoff wins. There's a reason why the Patriots are always in the Super Bowl. Bill Belichick is that reason.
Advantage: New England Patriots

Prediction

In the end, this game is certainly going to come down to the wire. The recent additions of Revis and Browner for New England leads me to believe that San Francisco's passing game will struggle early on; however, the Patriots have struggled historically to contain mobile quarterbacks, as we saw most recently when the Patriots lost to Cam Newton and the Panthers last year, but also relatively recent losses to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, as well as Kaepernick and the 49ers two years ago. The running game may chip away at New England's defense over the course of the game. As we have seen before, though, Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense always seem to respond, especially if Rob Gronkowski is healthy. Coach Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have been working together for more than 14 years, and the strong connection that these two men have formed over time is unlike anything else in football. They are now beyond driven to win this franchise its fourth Super Bowl in franchise history, which leads me to believe that New England will beat San Francisco this February in Super Bowl XLIX.
Patriots over 49ers 24-23

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