The 49th edition of the Super Bowl features the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. Kickoff for the game is at 4:30 PM (MT) today and will be on the NBC television network in the United States.
Here are the other links as part of my Super Bowl XLIX preview, but if you wish to see my pick go ahead and scroll down.
Going back to when the Super Bowl was last played in Arizona, the NFC Champion has won 5 of the last 7 Super Bowls. It would be seven straight had it not been for Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII and a Ravens goal line stand in Super Bowl XLVII.
In the Super Bowl era (1966-now), only seven teams have gone back-to-back: Packers (1966-67), Dolphins (1972-73), Steelers (1974-75, 1978-79), 49ers (1988-89), Cowboys (1992-93), Broncos (1997-98), and Patriots (2003-04).
In that same time period, three teams have entered the game as defending champion and has failed to repeat. The Cowboys entered Super Bowl XIII as the defending champion and lost to the Steelers who then went back-to-back.
In January 1984, Washington was the defending champion and had the number one scoring offense. They scored 9 points while the Raiders scored 38.
The last team to enter a Super Bowl as the defending champion and lose was the Packers in 1997. Denver came in as the wild card team and behind this play and Terrell Davis' 3 rushing touchdowns pulled off the 31-24 victory.
Including the NFL Championship games prior to Super Bowl I (1933-65), six teams have repeated as league champion: Bears (1940-41), Eagles (1948-49), Lions (1952-53), Browns (1954-55), Colts (1958-59), and Packers (1961-62, 1965-67).
Meanwhile, there have been eight instances where the defending league champion came into the championship game and failed to defend their title. The Giants twice in 1935 and 1939. The Bears quest for a three-peat was stopped by Washington in 1942, but in the following season Chicago defeated Washington 41-21 for the title. The Cardinals won the championship in 1947, but failed to repeat in 1948 and it kicked off a playoff win drought that wasn't broken until January 1999.
The Browns stormed to the NFL championship in 1950, but failed to repeat in 1951 losing in rematch to the then-Los Angeles Rams. The Lions (yes, the Lions were once a good team) beat the Browns by 1 in the 1953 NFL title game, but lost 56-10 in the rematch the following season.
In 1965, the Browns were the defending champions but lost to the Green Bay Packers who not only won the 1965 NFL crown, but also the first two Super Bowls. As of now Green Bay is the only team to have won three consecutive championship games.
So in the entire history of the NFL Title Game/Super Bowl period, 13 teams have repeated as league champion with the Packers and Steelers doing it twice while 10 teams, including the Giants twice, came into the championship game as the reigning champion have failed to defend their title.
So… who wins Super Bowl XLIX?
So it is time to make a pick after careful analysis.
The line opened with Seattle by 1 and has since shifted to New England by as much as 2.5 points. According to some lines, it is a pick 'em.
Here is Madden NFL 15's take on the game.
NFL Network, Bleacher Report, and Sports Illustrated have their predictions on the game. ESPN also has their picks as well as various proposition bets on the game. Grantland's Patriots homer Bill Simmons is predicting Patriots 27, Seahawks 19 in his recent mailbag. 3 of the 4 analysts of Inside The NFL say the Patriots while Ed Reed is picking the Seahawks.
TransGriot's Monica Roberts has her pick up. Even though I won the regular season title in our picks, she has a 8-2 record in the playoffs better than my 7-3 record. She is picking Seattle.
Deadspin and FiveThirtyEight looks at the statistical analysis of the game. The Deadspin analysis concludes that both teams are the best in their respective conferences while FiveThirtyEight's piece notes that both teams are good, it does not exactly equate to game quality. Just because the two best teams meet in the championship round does not mean that the game will live up to the billing.
All right, like in previous years, I am stalling for time. It is time to reveal who I, Michael Watts, think will win Super Bowl XLIX.
At the start of the season I said Seattle will hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.
At the start of the playoffs I said that I will keep my pre-season Super Bowl pick as Seattle.
So on the morning of Super Bowl XLIX, my pick is…
SEAHAWKS 27, PATRIOTS 20
Super Bowl MVP: Marshawn Lynch