Not a Betting Man

Anyone who bets the Super Bowl this year is walking on the cliff’s edge. There is no way to predict the outcome, because talent will not rule, strategy will.

Both teams are savvy enough to attack their opponents where it will matter. The question is who will make the best counter-attack? If both rushing offenses stall, who will be the difference-maker? Or will one team manage to move the other enough to rush for first downs? These are imponderables.

On paper Seattle has the beef to batter the Patriots, but the Patriots have had two weeks to prepare for this. You can bet there will be plays that confound the Legion of Boom. You can bet they will have a secret weapon, like Shane Vereen on a post pattern, Tim Wright on a slant, or James Devin for the screen pass.  They play best when they outnumber you.

The Patriots have the secondary to stop Seattle’s receivers, but who can predict what will happen every time Wilson scrambles? How long can the secondary contain the scrambling receivers? Can Dont’a Hightower reach the quarterback before he finds the open man? Can James Collins slow Marshawn Lynch long enough to muster the reinforcements?

There will be surprises. Both coaches have tricks up their sleeves. How will the defenses react to wrinkles in the offense? How will the offense recognize the disguised coverages? It’s all a chess game played by two grandmasters.

This is why, if I had the big money, I wouldn’t risk it on this game. This game should be competitive until the fourth quarter. Then we’ll see who has made the terminating move, which line has folded and which stands strong, which offense has come up with answers to the defensive strategies, which team has kept key players intact till the end. It’s all a crap shoot, even if both teams come with the best effort they can give.

I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I wouldn’t put money on this game. Plan on heart attacks well after the two-minute warning.

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