Seahawks anticipating Super rematch

Posted Feb 3, 2012

Who will win Sunday’s Super Bowl? We asked seven Seahawks. Three picked the Patriots. Three picked the Giants. And Marcus Trufant picked the obvious: “The team that plays the best will win.”

Sunday’s highly anticipated game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants isn’t just another Super Bowl, it’s the sequel to what many consider the best of the previous 45 Super Bowls between these two teams four years ago.

This season, as with that season, the Patriots were expected to reach the Super Bowl. This season, as with that season, few outside the Giants’ locker room expected them to be the Patriots’ Super Bowl opponent – this time at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.


Five former Seahawks will participate in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday:

WR Deion Branch:Caught 190 passes and scored 15 touchdowns in five seasons with the Seahawks (2006-10) after being acquired in a trade with the Patriots. Branch was traded back to the Patriots in 2011.
LB Niko Koutouvides: A fourth-round draft choice in 2004, he played four seasons with the Seahawks and was their leading special teams tackler in 2005 and 2007 and shared the lead in 2006. Koutouvides played with the Broncos and Buccaneers before joining the Patriots this season.
LB Tracy White: Spent two seasons with the Seahawks (2003-04), playing primarily on special teams. White played with the Jaguars, Packers and Eagles before joining the Patriots in 2010.
DT Rocky Bernard: Started 55 games from 2002-08, after being a fifth-round draft choice, and his 29 sacks rank eighth in franchise history – with 8½ coming during the Seahawks’ Super Bowl season in 2005. Bernard joined the Giants in 2009.
SS Deon Grant: Started 48 games in three seasons at strong safety, averaging 75 tackles, and was a three-time co-captain after being signed in free agency in 2007. Grant joined the Giants in 2010.
Note: WR Isaiah Stanback, the former University of Washington quarterback who was on injured reserve with the Seahawks in 2010, is on the Giants’ practice squad.

This season, the Patriots rode yet another exceptional performance by Tom Brady (5,235 passing yards and 39 touchdown passes) to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the AFC. In the postseason, they have dispatched the Denver Broncos by 35 points and Baltimore Ravens by three.

The Giants, meanwhile, had more forks stuck in them than all the baked potatoes in Idaho as they were losing four in a row to fall to 6-6. Tom Coughlin’s job was in jeopardy (again) and Peyton Manning’s position as the best quarterback in his family was secure. But the always-say-try Giants won three of their last four regular-season games and captured the NFC East title with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the final game of the 2011 season. In the postseason, the Giants held the Atlanta Falcons to two points on wild-card weekend and then took to the road to beat the NFC’s top two seeds – the 15-1 Green Bay Packers and 13-3 San Francisco 49ers – to claim the conference championship.

On Feb. 3, 2008, the Patriots entered Super Bowl XLII “clean” – 16-0 in the regular season, and having scored at least 30 points in 12 of those games; 2-0 in the postseason, with an 11-point win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and a nine-point win over the San Diego Chargers.

The Giants? They had the keys to the backdoor that season as well. They entered the postseason as a wild-card, despite their 10-6 record, and then had to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (by 10), Dallas Cowboys (by four) and Packers (by three) – all on the road – to reach the Super Bowl.

But thanks to some late Eli Manning magic, the Giants pulled a 17-14 victory from the top of David Tyree’s helmet to spoil the Patriots’ march to perfection.

So similar, yet so different.

The Patriots are the expected participant in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday; the Giants the opponent that exceeded expectations.

So, who wins “The Sequel”? We asked seven Seahawks for their prediction. Remember, the Seahawks upset the Giants in Week 5 this season. The last time the Seahawks played the Patriots was in 2008, and they lost by three points. Here’s who the current players favor in Sunday’s Super rematch:

Linebacker Matt McCoy:< “I think the Giants, even though I have a good buddy playing for the Patriots (ex-Seahawks linebacker Niko Koutouvides). I want him to win, but I think the Giants are going to win. I just think they’re a more complete team right now. They’ve got an awesome running game. They’ve got a good defense. They’ve got a good pass rush. They’ve got great receivers and a quarterback who’s done it before. They have all the experience, too.”
Score: Giants, 21-14

Cornerback Walter Thurmond: “I’m thinking the Patriots. You have to go with Tom Brady. I think he’s looking for a little, I wouldn’t say revenge, but get-back from the previous Super Bowl against the Giants. And then Patrick Chung (who’s also from the University of Oregon) plays for the Patriots, so I want to see Patrick get a Super Bowl. That would be great.”
Score: Patriots, 24-21

Cornerback Marcus Trufant: “The prediction is: The team that plays the best will win, of course. Why? Because that’s how it is in the Super Bowl. Even though both of these teams have experience playing in the Super Bowl, at times teams overachieve or do things they normally don’t do in the Super Bowl. So whoever sticks to their plan, and they do what they’ve always done, that’s who’s going to win.”
Score: It will be close

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin: “I just don’t think the Giants have anything for the Patriots’ tight ends. The Patriots don’t really have a big-time receiver outside who can stretch the field, but they do so many things inside with the tight ends, and Wes Welker, and Deion Branch. It’s hard to stop, and I don’t think the Giants can stop it. And I don’t think the Giants have enough offensively to out-power the Patriots.”
Score: Patriots, by a lot

Cornerback Roy Lewis: “The obvious pick is the Patriots, but the Giants are really, really hungry right now. And when you’ve got a team that’s really, really hungry and willing to go all out, they can be a dangerous team; an explosive team. So I like the Giants, because I like their scrappy attitude. The Patriots have a great guy in Tom Brady and a great team and a great coach. But I’m going to go with my old buddy (ex-Seahawk) Deon Grant and say the Giants.”
Score: I don’t really know, no one has a clear-cut advantage

Guard John Moffitt: “I’m going with the Patriots. I think they’re better. I think they’re going to win it. The Giants have looked good. But I just think quarterback against quarterback; Brady’s going to take it.”
Score: Patriots, 24-14

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu: “I’m going Giants. It’s always about the team that’s been hot. They have a lot of confidence and the defense is playing pretty well, too. Eli Manning is having a great year, a great postseason. I think with all the attention on his brother, he has a big chip on his shoulder to go out and do well and get another Super Bowl to top his brother a little bit. I think some of those things kind of play a big role to him, as far as silencing some of his critics.”
Score: Giants, 35-28

So that’s three for the Giants, three for the Patriots and one too close to call. Talk about prediction parity.