49ers WR Tai Streets gets a lift from Derrick Deese after scoring a touchdown. (AP)
In the week leading to the Super Bowl I asked former NFL players to predict the outcome of the game and why they believe the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks will win. Here are their picks:
Terrence Metcalf (former guard with the Chicago Bears): "I'm going with the Seattle Seahawks this year. Russell Wilson made every mistake he could, yet he still found a way to beat The Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks have the best running back in the NFL in Marshawn Lynch. He has speed, power and great vision at the line of scrimmage. To an offensive lineman, that just adds gravy to the run game.
I believe New England, with Brady running the show will make plays on offense, but they're going to have problems with Seattle’s defense. With Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor in the defensive backfield the receivers for the Patriots will have problems. Micheal Bennett and Cliff Avril will get pressure on Brady. Bennett knows how to get skinny and plug the gaps in the run game as well as pass rush. So, let's Go Seahawks!!"
Derrick Deese (former left tackle and Super Bowl Champion with the San Francisco 49ers): “I'm gong with the Seattle Seahawks. They seem to have a team that just doesn't care about anything but each other. Nothing seems to get in the way on or off the field that stops them from reaching their goal. A young team but a young team that plays like a veteran team should play. Pete [Carroll] has done a great job with his staff and team.”
Jorge Diaz (former offensive lineman with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers): "I think we have a match up of two of the best teams in the NFL in this Super Bowl. We have two great quarterbacks, one looking to cement his legacy and another who is trying to create his own. When you look closer at these two teams there is one thing that stands out that clearly separates one from the other and that is Seattle's defense. They are battle tested against the league’s best and the job they have done on [Peyton] Manning, [Aaron] Rodgers , [Drew] Brees and [Tom] Brady in the past makes me believe that the reason why they will repeat as Super Bowl champions is because of that defense!"
Reggie Givens (former linebacker and special teams captain with the San Francisco 49ers): “The game is broken up into 3 phases: Offense, Defense and Special Teams.
Offensively, [Tom] Brady & [Russell] Wilson will cancel each other out. Brady will have more passing yards while Wilson and [Marshawn] Lynch will control the game with their legs.
Defensively, New England will keep the game close by allowing the Seahawks to mostly fields goals. However, Seattle will win this phase with better overall tackling, pressure on Brady and being the more physical team.
Special Teams will ultimately decide the game. The Patriots are not strong with their returns and tend to give up extra yards with the cover teams. Seattle has better tacklers and is solid in all areas.
Conclusion: Both teams are not going to light up the scoreboard but in the end Seattle’s Defense & Special Teams will prove to be too much for New England and Tom Brady to overcome.
Final Score: Seahawks 19 Patriots 13"
Evan Moore (former tight end with the Cleveland Browns): “The New England Patriots always seem to respond well when in the midst of controversy. Pats win 27-23.”
Willie Williams (former cornerback and Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers): “It's going to be a great football game. It's going to be interesting how New England handles the Deflate Gate issues. Seattle wins. Love the defense.”
Hillary Butler (former linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos): “This year's easy! No Butler Bowl [Seattle vs Denver]. Seahawks all day. Defense wins championships! Last year's #1 defense is better this season. Look for [Tom} Brady to have his balls deflated, as we go back-to-back!
Tony Bouie (former safety with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers): “Seattle. After the collapse of Green Bay and the trouble the Patriots are in with "Deflate Gate", it looks like the Hawks are in for another Super Bowl win.”
Tom McManus (former linebacker with the Jacksonville Jaguars): "I hope the New England Patriots kick the c*** out of 'em [Seattle Seahawks]. Then they can tell all who said they were cheaters to kiss their a**. Patriots win 38-28."