At Long Last: It’s Super Sunday – Tom Goldman FEBRUARY 01, 2015 5:31 AM ET


Football pundits say could be one of the closest, most exciting championship games ever.

Football pundits say could be one of the closest, most exciting championship games ever. Charlie Riedel/AP

Are you ready for 17 and a half minutes of football???!!!!

That, according to a study by the Media Education Foundation, is how much live football action there was in last year’s Super Bowl. And pretty much what we can expect Sunday when the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 49.

But even if actual football is just a sliver of the four-hour NBC broadcast, it’s still a relief finally to be done with the pre-Super Bowl week of hype — which ran the gamut this year from frivolous to ominous.

There was talk and more talk about footballs losing air and Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch ceding air (time). There was Tom Brady’s cold — he’s better — and Bill Belichick’s love of monkey puppets. Really Bill? You call that a “stuffed animal?”

There was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell trying to move on from the league’s “tough year,” and reporters saying not so fast — a lot of questions are still unanswered.

But today all the talk ends, as attention turns to what football pundits say could be one of the closest, most exciting championship games ever.

There’s been no shortage of statistics and scenarios explaining why the Patriots will win their fourth Super Bowl of the 2000s — the team’s first since 2005 — and confirm their dynasty status. There’s just as much fodder for why Seattle will become the ninth team to win back-to-back titles and secure its own dynasty label.

The teams have identical 14-4 records. In general, Seattle’s offense has leaned more on the running of Lynch, whose “Beast Mode” nickname captures his churning, relentless style. New England’s offense relies on the brilliant pocket passing of quarterback Brady.

Still, the Seahawks won a thrilling NFC Championship game thanks to quarterback Russell Wilson’s dazzling throws in overtime; and New England running back LeGarrette Blount was beastly himself in the AFC title game, running for 148 yards and three touchdowns.

The point is, both teams can win throwing and running the ball. Although for each offensive unit, a formidable defense stands in the way.

Article continues:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/02/01/383018097/at-long-last-its-super-sunday