With Tom Brady and the high-powered Patriots offense facing off against Richard Sherman and the Seahawks‘ Legion of Boom defense in just two days, NFL insiders and analysts across the nation are offering their predictions. And to no surprise, they’re almost split on their opinions.
At ESPN, the Pats are a heavy favorite, with nine of 13 experts choosing New England. Merril Hoge, Ron Jawowrski, KC Joyner, Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, Mark Schlereth, Seth Wickersham, Keyshawn Johnson, and Mike Ditka are all leaning toward a Patriots victory. Meanwhile, Eric Allen, Mike Golic, Tom Jackson, and Cris Carter are predicting a Seattle win.
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At CBS, the Pats are also favored, but only by a 5-3 majority. Pete Prisco, Jason La Canfora, Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson, and Jamey Eisenberg are predicting the trophy will return to New England, while. Jared Dublin, John Breech and Dave Richard are looking for a repeat victory by Seattle.
SB Nation‘s experts, meanwhile, are leaning toward the Seahawks. Joel Thorman and Matt Ufford are the only two analysts picking the Pats. Ryan Van Bibber, Stephen White, David Fucillo, and Danny Kelly are predicting a Seattle win.
NFL.com‘s experts are also giving an edge to Seattle at an 8-6 margin. Adam Schein, Marc Sessler, Chris Weaseling, Dave Dameshek, Gregg Rosenthal, and Elliot Harrison are predicting a Patriots victory. Meanwhile, Bucky Brooks, Aditi Kinkhabwala, Charley Casserly, Gil Brandt, Kevin Patra, Charles Davis, Brian Billick, and Conor Orr are looking for another Seattle win.
Following are more Super Bowl XLIX predictions from around the country:
Adam Schein, NFL.com: Patriots 31, Seahawks 27. “New England is angry, talented and motivated to change the conversation. You never go against Bill Belichick in a big spot.”
Neil Greenberg, Washington Post: Patriots 23, Seahawks 20. “The key for New England will be to keep the pressure off Brady and for him to complete the short passes while getting the ball to their best playmaker, tight end Rob Gronkowski.”
Sean O’Donnell, Bleacher Report: Seahawks 27, Patriots 24. “Both of these teams are extremely well put together, and we should expect a highly intense game that will most likely be decided in the final minute. The nod here goes to the squad that is more likely to force its opponent to play into its strengths, and that team is Seattle.”
Several analysts and experts were asked for their predictions by Middays with MFB. Their predictions are below:
Alfred Williams, former Broncos lineman: “I am picking the Seattle Seahawks to wax the New England Patriots by a minimum of 13 points, because attitude counts in this game, and they have more.”
A.J. Feeley, former NFL quarterback: Patriots 24, Seahawks 20. “My boy Brady is going to get his fourth Super Bowl and go down as the best quarterback of all time.”
Anthony Munoz, former Bengals offensive lineman: Patriots 27, Seahawks 21.
Barry Sanders, former Lions RB: Patriots 35, Seahawks 34.
Bill Romanowski, former Boston College and NFL linebacker: “I think the team that scores the most points is going to win. I know that’s a little hard for some people to understand. And I think the Patriots will score more points.”
Chris Cooley, former NFL tight end: Patriots 24, Seahawks 17.
Hugh Millen, Seattle radio and TV personality and former Patriots quarterback: Seahawks 27, Patriots 25 — “I think this defense is going to do enough against those relatively average receivers for the Patriots.”
Jack Youngblood, former rams linebacker: Patriots 37, Seahawks 21 — “I’m going with Brady.”
Joe Theismann, former NFL quarterback: “I think New England wins by seven.”
Justin Tuck, former Giants defensive end: Seahawks 27, Patriots 21.
Mike Haynes, former Patriots and Raiders defensive back: Patriots 28, Seahawks 20 — “I think they’re going to win in the fourth quarter. I think they’re going to win using the running game.”
Ickey Woods, former Bengals running back: Seahawks 28, Patriots 24.
Jim Miller, former NFL quarterback: Patriots 27, Seahawks 24.
Pat Kirwan, former NFL executive: Seahawks 24, Patriots 21.
Scott Hanson, NFL Network: I’m leaning toward the best defense in this game. I think Seahawks by a field goal.”
Deion Branch, former Patriots and Seahawks receiver: Patriots 17, Seahawks 10.
As for WEEI’s hosts, Gerry Callahan (28-24), John Dennis (27-24), Christian Fauria and Lou Merloni predicted the Patriots to win. Kirk Minihane went with the Seahawks, 24-20.