January 26, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safetyKam Chancellor
(31) addresses the media during a press conference in preparation for Super Bowl XLIX at the Arizona Grand Hotel. at Arizona Grand Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Chancellor would usually be moreso lumped in with exactly what the previously-mentioned linebackers are expected to do (run-stopping and Gronk coverage), with some spot coverage on the back end added in for good measure.
So what distinguishes him from them here?
With Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman both injured, I think there will be more asked of Chancellor in terms of coverage. Now, both of those guys are expected to play, but with how things looked during/after their last game I can’t imagine they won’t be adversely affected.
They should still do pretty well, but giving Chancellor some more workload could minimize the negative impact of those injuries.
Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running backMarshawn Lynch
sits at his podium during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
As I said before, it is Lynch who acts as the engine to the Seahawks’ offense.
He brings the power and gets stronger as the game goes on. It seems like with every hit, he goes harder and is more and more determined to run down everybody in his way.
He gets plenty of attention – though not always because of his play – but because of the narratives and fanfare thrown the way of Russell Wilson and the headline-grabbing secondary on defense, he still manages to be undervalued by everyone when discussing them.
Not by me. I understand his value there and know that of any player on that team, he is the most important guy. As much as people want to believe this team would be here without Wilson, it would have a better shot of getting to where it is without him than it would without Lynch.
Bold statement? You bet. But really, it shouldn’t have to be. The dude may not like talking to the media, but Lynch should get more respect from them in terms of his importance to the success of this team. Without him, they’d be trapped in a no-man’s land with a middling offense and superb defense, hoping for the right breaks more often than forcing those breaking themselves.
We may see this first-hand: if they end up cutting him this offseason – seemed a pretty sure-fire assumption before the NFC Championship Game; worth keeping an eye on – it may be just the break other teams need to overtake them.
Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman reacts during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Sports
Honorable Mentions/Dark Horse Candidates
– Earl Thomas/Richard Sherman: If one or both are healed up significantly by game time, either is liable to cause a few big plays if given the opportunity
If any one of them puts up a large portion of statistics compared to the rest of the group, they’ll definitely see consideration for MVP honors
Even without those injuries forcing more onto them, both are sure to see plenty of responsibility out there whenever New England decides to go to three-receiver sets.
It isn’t tough to imagine them making a few plays if Brady avoids Sherman; doing so would give either fuel for their MVP candidacy.
January 26, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiverDoug Baldwin
(89) addresses the media during a press conference in preparation for Super Bowl XLIX at the Arizona Grand Hotel. at Arizona Grand Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
But still, they’ll need at least a few major plays there most likely.
These two are the most likely candidates for receiving action; Baldwin through short/intermediate areas and Kearse breaking things deep.
Next: Viable Patriots