Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New England Patriots quarterbackTom Brady
speaks during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
New England Cont.
He’s one of the best QBs in the league still, and the face of the franchise (if you don’t count Belichick). Everybody knows him.
There isn’t much else I really need to say about him. If he has a strong game and his team wins, that MVP trophy is as good as his.
The storylines just line up so well that you almost just HAVE to give it to him in a win, as long as he doesn’t have a 2005-Ben-Roethlisberger-type performance here.
Because there is one guy who almost certainly takes the cake in a Patriots’ win, barring some 350+ yard, 4 TD explosion from Brady or a stinkfest from the offense as a whole.
Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski speaks during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
#1: Rob Gronkowski
New England can win this game in a variety of ways.
They could put on the type of defensive showing Green Bay did against Seattle for most of that game, but finish the job this time around. They could run the ball down the defense’s throat to open things up and hit some key passes down the stretch. Brady could pull out a vintage domination and just make every throw despite the defense’s best efforts.
But with any outcome, I see one common denominator: Gronkowski.
He is the most important player outside of Brady to the Patriot’s offense, hands down. Hell, he doesn’t even need to catch passes; his mere presence is enough to bend a defense. Plus, his blocking talents alone would make him a valuable contributor to any team.
People like Jeremy Lane of Seattle can talk all they want about him not being that good. To a point, he probably isn’t as otherworldly as we and the media in general like to discuss him as (everyone does tend to be prone to hyperbole these days).
He is still extremely good; that cannot be denied. And for New England to win, he won’t be either.
Seattle has as good a chance as any to slow him as anyone, but barring some freak injury (hope not) or all-game triple-coverage, I don’t see any legitimate expectations that have him not producing some significant plays.
Take those plays, add in the all-around media love, then combine them with a New England victory and you’ve written a simple recipe for Gronkowski – Super Bowl MVP.
Honorable Mentions/Dark Horse Candidates
– Darrelle Revis/Brandon Browner: These two would surely be at the forefront for most games, but the thing with the Seahawks is that they really just don’t pass all that often anyway. They’ll have to take some shots eventually, but don’t expect them to challenge Revis and Browner if they don’t need to.
Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New England Patriots defensive tackleVince Wilfork
addressees members of the press during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Sports
– Vince Wilfork/Dont’a Hightower/Chandler Jones: These guys will need to make impact plays for New England to have a decent chance at a victory, but where they need to have the biggest combined impact – the run game – won’t likely produce enough of the highlight-reel plays that tend to help in terms of garnering awards such as this.
Jones would look to have the best chance of that, but with the usually-low number of passes Seattle throws his potential impact is lessened
The Legion of Boom will still be a diabolical matchup for them; it’ll take precise maneuvering and great timing to connect against this defense.
While they can and will have to make some plays, expecting an MVP-quality game from either is probably a fool’s errand.
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