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Super Bowl XLIX Roundtable: Seahawks vs. Patriots

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Contributors: Mark Fabrick, Jonathan Garza, Waleed Hawatky, Carlos Marical, Henry Montemayor, Anthony Yniguez

The game of games is near kickoff as the Seahawks and the Patriots get ready to do battle to find out who reigns supreme for the 2014 NFL season.

Seahawks’ Path

Arguably football’s hottest team, the Seahawks won six straight games to finish the regular season, and nine out of 10, after starting the season 3-3.

It will continue to be debatable, but, the Panthers used their home-field advantage to unseat the Cardinals, but then ran into Russell Wilson and the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks.

And when Cam Newton and bunch felt there was a chance of coming back in Seattle against the Seahawks and the 12th man, Kam Chancellor picked him off and took it back 90 yards to seal Carolina’s fate 31-17.

Then the following week they would overcome a 16-0 deficit against the Packers, outscoring them 28-6 in the second half and overtime as Jermaine Kearse took a 35-yard pass from Wilson to the house for the win.

Wilson overcame four interceptions to find himself in his second straight Super Bowl.

Patriots’ Path

A throwaway game (in which Tom Brady did not play) against the Bills in Week 17 makes the Patriots’ 12-4 record look a lot weaker than it really is. It’s hard to believe that this team lost Week 1 against the Dolphins.

The Ravens have traditionally been an Achilles heel for the Patriots, and this year looked to be no different as they held a 14-point lead twice. But, Brady and company, name Rob Gronkowski, helped to get New England back on its feet.

A 51-yard touchdown pass by Julian Edelman to Danny Amendola would even things up before a TD pass to Brandon LaFell in the fourth quarter finished off Baltimore.

Then deflate-gate happened.

And the Patriots plastered the Colts 45-7 behind three LaGarrette Blount touchdowns. Even offensive tackle Nate Solder got into the scoring column, catching a TD pass from Brady.

Our team of panelists will have a look at this year’s matchup and give their prediction.

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Broker: Super Bowl Tickets Are Crazy Expensive This Year

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Looking to go to the Super Bowl? Prices to the big game will set you back at least $8,000 according to ESPN.

Resale brokers are really hiking up the prices, and won’t disclose the locations of the seats until the Wednesday before the game. Although websites like TiqIQ require these brokers to choose the exact seat locations or cancel the sale.

What some brokers do is take money from buyers when the prices are higher, and then actually purchase them days later as prices start to come down.

One ticket broker told WCB Sports that he believes that the number will come down toward $7,000 to get in to the big game. He believes that the market will be unlike ever seen before.

 

NFL’s Internal Review Reveals Fewer Concussions in 2014

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Concussions and torn ACL injuries were down in 2014 according to the NFL’s internal review.

Concussions
2012 2013 2014
261 229 202
Torn ACLs
2013 2014
57 49

No number was disclosed for the amount of concussions that went undiagnosed.

A thought is that players are becoming more aware of ways to better conceal these injuries.

Among other numbers discussed in the review was that helmet-to-helmet hits were down 28 percent from last year.

The number of torn MCLs are actually up.

Torn MCLs
2013 2014
136 138

 

Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Marcus Mariota No. 1?

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There is a “real sense” that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have set their sights on drafting Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota with the No. 1 overall draft pick in April’s NFL Draft.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter says that many NFL scouts and executives believe that Florida State QB Jameis Winston is the best pro prospect at the position.

Bear in mind though that there is still the NFL combine, pro day, several interviews and tons of investigations into Winston’s past that could haunt him or help his stock.

Mariota’s Ducks defeated Winston’s Seminoles in the 2015 Rose Bowl 59-20 on New Year’s Day in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff before they were defeated by the Buckeyes of Ohio State 42-20 in the National Championship.

The dual-threat QB won the Heisman trophy this past season, while Winston was the recipient of the award the previous season.

With the second pick in the draft the Tennessee Titans are surely salivating at whichever QB does not go with the first pick.

News: Potential Rams NFL Stadium Going To Inglewood Ballot In June

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Football could be one step closer to returning to Los Angeles, as the city of Inglewood plans to ask voters in June to approve plans for a $2 billion NFL-ready stadium at Hollywood Park.

The Orange County Register reports that the proposed 80,000 seat stadium will be on the ballot in time for the June 16 election.

It would make things clearer for St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke to bring the team back to the city it called home from 1946 to 1994.

While Inglewood would benefit greatly from the new stadium, it isn’t unfamiliar to hosting a professional sports franchise, as the Lakers called the Great Western Forum their home from 1967 to 1999.

A stadium would be ready for the 2018 NFL season.

Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. said to the voters: “Understand (that) this is a once-in-a-lifetime (opportunity) in one place, and that place is Inglewood right now.”

Twitter User: Super Bowl Is Rigged, Was Determined In August

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Super Bowl XLIX takes place on Sunday, but, according to a user on Twitter, it has been predetermined since before the start of the 2014 NFL regular season.

The tweet was made on Sept. 4 by @RiggedNFL:

In this tweet the owner of the account claims to have been tipped off on Aug. 27, 2014. And while it probably is all just a coincidence, the user returned on Jan. 18 to give off a prediction of the Patriots winning by six points in overtime.

And Tom Brady will be the MVP of the Super Bowl.

Top 10 Weirdest Betting Props For Seahawks Patriots Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLIX will be played on Feb. 1, and is expected to take in lots of cash from bettors both online and in Las Vegas.

Here is a list of the 10 most unorthodox bets you can place at Bovada.

10. Cross Sport: What will be higher?

TigerEdelman

 Tiger Woods’ day 1 score at the Masters? (+120)
Julian Edelman Receiving Yards? (-150)

Edelman, 28, averaged 69.4 yards/game in 2014, best in his six-year career. In his last four years he didn’t drop below 74 yards, which wouldn’t bode all too well on the golf course.

However, the Seahawks are great against the short passing game, and allowed just 186 passing yards/game, 17 yards better than the next-best team, the Chiefs, who held Edelman to just four receptions and 23 yards in Week 4, a 41-14 win for Kansas City.

Woods, meanwhile, makes his return to the Masters after a one year absence.

At Augusta National in 2013, Woods posted rounds of 70, 73, 70 and 70, finishing at -5 for the tournament and tied for fourth place.

Tiger has promised not to let Rory McIlroy win a Masters in 2015. Does he have plans to take it, himself?

Regardless of how Tiger does (I think he’ll do well), I don’t like Edelman’s chances in this bet, and would bet that the Seahawks find a way to shut him down.

Pick: Tiger Woods

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Bay Area Fans Can Meet Their Sports Heroes With These Rare Experiences

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Bay Area sports fans have been able to enjoy success recently (Giants World Series titles and 49ers Super Bowl runs) and historically (Raiders and 49ers championships), and now have an opportunity to meet the sports heroes that have created those memories. IfOnly, a company that offers incredible VIP experiences, has a robust Bay Area sports component giving fans an opportunity meet, golf, train, and eat with champions from their favorite teams.

See below for 49ers, Raiders and Giants experiences, and check out IfOnly for experiences in sports, music, food, and style offerings as well:

49ers

Perhaps the greatest quarterback and wide receiver combo of all time are Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, and 49ers fans can have unique and behind-the-scenes experiences with both of them. Additionally, another legend Ronnie Lott and current star Frank Gore have VIP offerings on the site. With Rice you can train with him at his legendary training ground, “The Hill.” Montana has a QB camp, among other opportunities, and Ronnie Lott will join you for dinner at Michael Mina’s local restaurant. Gore has the most expansive options, as he would join you for a baseball game, for dinner, or even for a Bar Mitzvah. Additionally they offer personalized messages and autographs. There is something for everyone.

Raiders

Fans of the silver and black can experience some amazing times with Raiders legends Marcus Allen and Tim Brown, particularly if they are also fans of golf. Both Allen and Brown will join your group for a round of golf. They also have autographs and personalized messages at a lower price point. Current Raiders Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley offer personalized signatures on the site as well.

Giants

An incredible opportunity for fans at AT&T Park is also available, and it comes with a bit more than just a seat at the ballpark. IfOnly is offering an incredible opportunity for fans to take batting practice at AT&T Park, and give it their best shot to splash one in McCovey Cove. The experience – which is for up to 75 people – comes with a behind-the-scenes tour of the ballpark with a buffet lunch, an opportunity to meet a former Giants player, and a new hat to wear to your next Giants game.

Post contributed by TiqIQ.com ticket services. 

NFL News: CBS Sports To Produce And Televise Thursday Night Football Games

thursday-night-footballThe National Football League has partnered with long-time broadcast partner CBS to produce and televise Thursday Night Football for the 2014 season as announced Wednesday by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

CBS will air eight early season games that will also be simulcast on NFL Network, which will televise the final eight late-season games leading up to the playoffs. It includes two Saturday games in addition to 14 Thursday games.

All 16 games will be produced by CBS Sports and broadcast by Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, with NFL Network hosting and analyzing the pregame, halftime and postgame shows alongside the CBS broadcasters.

The agreement is for the 2014 season with an option held by the NFL for an additional year.

Broncos vs. Seahawks Super Bowl Preview: Peyton Manning’s Last Stand?

SBPeyton Manning’s doubters are rather quiet on this Sunday morning as his Denver Broncos get ready to square off against the Seattle Seahawks from New York’s MetLife Stadium in the pinnacle of American sports, the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLVIII
Seattle Seahawks (13-3) vs. Denver Broncos (13-3)
MetLife Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey
3:25 p.m. PT
FOX

Game-time weather: Cloudy, 44 degrees

Wind: 3 mph, NNW

So it’s not going to be the coldest Super Bowl (39 degrees, Super Bowl VI, Tulane Stadium, New Orleans) ever, at least not by the weather forecast, but it’s going to be freezing out there as Peyton Manning locks up with Richard Sherman and the Seahawks.

First and foremost it’s going to be about the battle in the trenches. If the Broncos continue to protect Manning as well as they have (hasn’t been sacked since Week 17), the sky is the limit.

The Seahawks have three sacks in the postseason, including two in the NFC Championship game of Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers.

And these two teams actually met in the preseason, a 40-10 shellacking by the Seahawks of the Broncos in Seattle.

But the 12th man will be staying in the Pacific Northwest. This is a neutral-site game under some pretty intense weather conditions.

Hey, Manning stood up during that game, but the Seahawks ravaged the Broncos thanks to a pretty solid defense.

One stat to take note of in that game though is indeed the sacks. While the ‘Hawks couldn’t get to Manning, they sacked backup QB Brock Osweiler four times.

Manning played about a quarter and a half before getting lifted with a 27-7 deficit, which was lifted due to fumbles by Ronnie Hillman and Julius Thomas. And boy, if you know Thomas’ season, you can bet that he is not likely to fumble the ball in this one.

And the Seahawks showed then what they are so good at doing now: Taking advantage of the other team’s mistakes.

While Russell Wilson isn’t a world-beater, he is a very smart player, who combined with Marshawn Lynch, can beat you handily.

But as everybody knows, it’s all about the Broncos’ offense and the Seahawks’ defense.

Neither team has actually exceeded 30 points in the playoffs, shocking for Denver, who was held under 30 just three times during the regular season.

Everybody has been talking about Richard Sherman, and you’ll see a nice matchup with he and the Broncos’ receivers, but they’re that much better than those of the 49ers. While San Francisco had Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, there’s Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas to deal with, in addition to fantasy football monster Eric Decker and the previously mentioned Thomas.

There is just too much of an argument as to why the Broncos should win this game.

Now how about the Seahawks?

The Broncos have been known to get lazy and even let a comfortable lead get away in New England, a 24-0 lead. Remember that game? Gillette Stadium is just 340.7 miles away from today’s game, and it too was a primetime game.

Want to talk cold? Peyton Manning has thrown one touchdown against six interceptions in weather conditions like today’s. Nothing the Legion of Boom won’t salivate at.

What happened the last time the Seahawks visited MetLife Stadium? They shut out the New York Giants, 23-0.

Wouldn’t you say they hold the field advantage tonight?

Some might say so. Few would argue it. I say it’s going to live up to the hype that all have given this game. Expect a higher scoring game than you previously anticipated, and that’s why it will favor the Broncos.

When you play fire with fire it typically favors the side whose specialty is being complimented, and the Broncos are offensive juggernauts, the best in NFL history according to the numbers.

But if the Seahawks’ defense finds a way to shut down Manning, watch out, Denver could be looking at single-digits in addition to frost bite.

Look for the kickers to have some fun too. Yes, Matt Prater, the guy that kicked a 64-yard field goal, setting an NFL record against Steven Hauschka, the guy that seemingly never misses.

It will be one for the ages.

Prediction: Broncos 29, Seahawks 24
MVP: Peyton Manning