Feeling Super: Looking At Possible Super Bowl MVPs

4 of 5

January 26, 2015; Chandler, AZ, USA; New England Patriots free safety

Devin McCourty

(32) addresses the media during a press conference after their arrival in preparation for Super Bowl XLIX at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots

Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New England Patriots running back

LeGarrette Blount

during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

#5: Legarrette Blount

Another one who seems kind of low at 5, but bear with me; the reasoning is sound.

While I expect Blount to have a strong game – and need one if New England is intent on winning – I just cannot shake this feeling that Bill Belichick could do what he always seems to do with this position and switch to using someone else for seemingly no reason.

That would be a mistake, since Blount is playing the better than the other runners while also happening to be the exact type of back that can pound against a tough front like Seattle’s.

But who knows?

The others all do have talents worth potentially using as well.

Shane Vereen is the best option they have for catching backfield passes. Brandon Bolden has a shiftiness that Blount lacks. Jonas Gray brings what blount does, but because of his overall limited use still stands as a decently unquantified asset who could have some element of surprise to bring to the table.

Blount could – and should – receive the vast majority of the work at RB for the game, but there is a good chance that any one of those teammates of his could cut into his snaps and steal away his potential impact. Because of that, he goes no higher in the prospective rankings.

#4: Devin McCourty

This may be a surprise, but to those who are watching carefully it shouldn’t be.

Most would think if anyone in the secondary were to end up with the award, it would be Revis or maybe Browner. Those people probably also don’t notice just how good McCourty has been this year, or the matchups being presented.

More from Lombardi Ave

McCourty may not have the statistics people crave from players in the secondary (2 INT, 1 FF), but his impact on the Patriots’ defense is undeniable.

Going by Defensive DVOA statistics from Football Outsiders, New England was #2 overall versus passes over the middle. They were also #13 versus deep passes, which was just a couple slots under Seattle (#9). McCourty surely wasn’t the only reason for that – players like Revis/Browner help – but his play on the back end allowed the Patriots to trot out players like Kyle Arrington as a #3 CB and have replacement-level guys like Logan Ryan and Pat Chung beside him without getting demolished.

He didn’t make the Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team (though he did get some votes), but he’s definitely a top-notch player.

If Seattle attacks deep, there’s a good chance he’ll be there to make a play. If Seattle underestimates him the way the mainstream public does, he’ll make them pay.

Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New England Patriots outside linebacker

Jamie Collins

during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

#3: Jamie Collins

This ranking bases off of two thoughts.

One, this guy is good. Two, he’s becoming a big name, and fast.

Collins flashed potential last year and got talked about some once the playoffs came around, but having his team lose before the Super Bowl slowed chatter some.

Actually it was more of a delay, because he continued to add onto his impressive showings once this year began. He’s just kept improving and impressing all season, and the hype has only accelerated in the playoffs.

He made some big plays against the Colts to help put things out of reach, and now the media is continuing a two-week window to fixate on storylines. Had this whole DeflateGate thing not happened, he’d be one of the big stories.

He still has that level of newness that the media tends to love, so if he does anything remotely eye-catching this weekend, you can bet his name will be right up at the top of Super Bowl MVP ballots.

Next: Highest-Level Options From New England