If you're Seattle, there's some big things you will be watching (Brady, Gronkowski). For New England, you have to keep Beastmode in check the whole game, among other things.

The balls will be fully inflated at University of Phoenix Stadium as the 50th edition of the World Championship of Professional Football (it's original 1967 title) is played.  According to Fox Sports, they are:

  1. Who's Eligible - And Who's Not?  The Patriots befuddled Baltimore Raven defenders in the divisional round by using four offensive linemen, but a big ineligible tight end in place of a tackle on one side of the line or the other.   His presence - plus that of an eligible receiving tight end,  messed up the Raven's defensive alignments.  And who knows?  Seattle might come up with a similar wrinkle.
  2. The Lynch Factor:  Marshawn Lynch ended the Green Bay game with 157 yards rushing, the bulk of which came in the 4th quarter.   Of late,  he has been bottled up a bit until late in the second half.  He likes to wear down a defense, so New England will need to keep him accounted for until the clock says 0:00.  New England cannot shut him down for 3 quarters then watch him run over them in the 4th.
  3. The Gronk Factor:   As much as he acts like a lunatic caveman at times,  New England TE Rob Gronkowski is a physical specimen Seattle does not face in the NFC.  He's more physical and powerful than Vernon Davis of the Niner's or any other team in the NFC West - or NFC period.  It doesn't help that Gronk responds well to being called out by defenders, like the Seahawks Jeremy Lane did last week.
  4. Special Teams:   New England was ranked 3rd among NFL teams in punts, punt returns, kickoffs and kickoff returns.  Seattle was 17th but lost dynamic return man Paul Richardson to a knee injury in the Carolina playoff game. Doug Baldwin, his replacement, will need to come up with some big plays.  Both teams are known for running trick plays, so watch for that.
  5. Seattle Pass rush vs. New England Offensive line:   If Brady is to have success, he will have to remain upright.  Unlike Aaron Rodgers or other other mobile signal callers, Brady doesn't run much.  If left untouched, he will pick anyone apart.  However,  if pressured by Seattle's top pass rush,  he could have a day like he did years ago against the Giants when he was sacked 4 times and knocked around in that stunning Big Game loss.

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