Too busy on Super Bowl Sunday to scan the Internet for flashy headlines? While you’re serving the guests at your Super Bowl party, we’re serving up the hottest and choicest pieces of Super Bowl content The Washington Post has to offer — all in one place.
Go on and dig in. It’s far more digestible than that queso you’ll be snarfing on Sunday.
Who: New England Patriots (12-4) vs. Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
When: Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
TV: NBC | Where to Watch: Best spots in D.C. area
Line: New England minus-1 (Jan. 30)
Neil Greenberg brings his fanciest of Fancy Stats to bear on the Big Game, previewing what to expect when each team has the ball and which side will prevail.
When the Patriots have the ball
This offense flows through Brady, who has more career postseason games (28), wins (20) and touchdown passes (49) than any quarterback in NFL history. But he will have his hands full with Seattle’s secondary.
According to Pro Football Reference’s expected points, which represent the estimated point value at the start of a given play, based on down, distance, and field position, the Patriots’s passing game has been worth almost 11 points per game (10.8). The Seahawks pass defense, which includes the pass rush, has saved the team less than four points all season.
The key for New England will be to keep the pressure off Brady and for him to complete the short passes while getting the ball to their best playmaker, tight end Rob Gronkowski.
When the Seahawks have the ball
The Seahawks were the league’s best rushing team during the regular season, averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and feature two of the most dangerous runners in the NFL: quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch broke a league-leading 88 tackles on the run and averaged 2.96 yards after contact. Almost half of those broken tackles were towards the outside (40) and he racked up even more yardage on those runs after contact (3.4).
— Neil Greenberg (Read More)
Study up on the key storylines laid out in-depth by Post national sports writers Mark Maske, Adam Kilgore and columnist Sally Jenkins.
Can Seahawks defense beat down Brady like they did Peyton Manning?
Last season’s Super Bowl ended with the debate raging about where the Seattle Seahawks’ defense ranked among the all-time greats, and with Peyton Manning taking offense to being asked whether his team’s performance had been embarrassing.
Now the Seahawks are back in the Super Bowl and will face another legendary quarterback Sunday in Tom Brady. So the question becomes: Can the Seattle defense do to Brady and the New England Patriots what it did to Manning and the Denver Broncos?
— Mark Maske (Read More)
The Seattle job would be Carroll’s final chance, he knew, to test himself and either succeed or fail at the sport’s highest level.
Carroll’s nine-year reign at Southern California had made him one of the most successful coaches in America. In the minds of most NFL officials, fairly or not, he remained a gum-chewing, fist-pumping, mantra-spouting softie, perfectly enthusiastic for college kids but not disciplined enough for professionals. In college, he was king. In the NFL, he was nicknamed “Pom-Pom Pete.”
— Adam Kilgore (Read More)
It’s the scandal touched off by a pffffffffft. A whisper of escaping air that begs the question, what is the real substance of DeflateGate, anyway? Let’s stop right there and admit something about this whole matter: No one at the Super Bowl can say whether it’s even important. Which may be why the NFL is having such a hard time investigating the thing. League officials are trying to figure out what they need to get to the bottom of it, a gauge or a French theoretician?
Either the New England Patriots are a dynasty or the rest of the NFL are their longtime dupes, depending on your view of DeflateGate and how much you suspect Tom Brady and Bill Belichick for their cool, blithe, fast-tracked lives. There are a lot of subtle thermodynamic principles involved in the question of whether someone altered game balls to give Brady a better chance of reaching his sixth Super Bowl.
— Sally Jenkins (Read More)
They won’t line up across from one another. They won’t even be on the field at the same time.
But the New England Patriots’ Darrelle Revis and the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman are perhaps the NFL’s two most accomplished cornerbacks, so their “matchup” in Sunday’s Super Bowl has led to plenty of dialogue this week about their similarities, dissimilarities and prospects for outshining one another on the sport’s biggest stage.
— Mark Maske (Read More)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowksi is a matchup nightmare for just about any NFL defense. He is big, powerful and surprisingly elusive. He is the most effective pass-catching target for quarterback Tom Brady.
But the defense of the Seattle Seahawks has made it abundantly clear that it is not just any NFL defense. … The presence of dynamic, do-everything safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas makes the Seahawks better equipped than anyone else in the league to deal with Gronkowski. That sets the stage for a significant subplot to Sunday’s Super Bowl.
— Mark Maske (Read More)
Approximately $119 million was bet on the Super Bowl last year. If you want to know where the smart money’s going in 2015, take a gander at the articles below.
The Big Game: Matt Bonesteel breaks down everything you need to know about how they’ll view this game from Vegas.
Prop Bets: When it comes to the Super Bowl, you can bet on anything. Seriously.
Square Tips: You’ve seen the grid, but what are the best squares to own? Neil Greenberg knows.
Experts’ Picks: Who are the experts backing? Kelyn Soong rounds up the picks from experts around the country.
Not a football fan? Then savor the Super Bowl for the commercials. The Early Lead provides an early look at what to expect.
Get an early glimpse of the upcoming ads.
Remember the adorable squiggly puppy that teamed with a Clydesdale to win the hearts of Super Bowl viewers in last year’s “Puppy Love” commercial for Budweiser?
Well, he or she and the horses are back only this time in “Lost Dog,” the impish lil pup has gotten him/herself into a pickle by running off. That scamp.
— Cindy Boren (Read More)
Katy Perry will take the stage, but what surprises lay in store? Style’s Emily Yahr lays out all the info on hand for this year’s halftime extravaganza.
Katy Perry, the pop star with more Twitter followers than anyone on Earth, is set to take the halftime stage at the Super Bowl on Sunday. What will she sing? What will she wear? How many people dressed as cats will be involved? Here’s everything that we know so far.
— Emily Yahr (Read More)
Don’t know what to serve for your Super Bowl party? Dish out a football feast with these culinary creations. They taste like victory.
It’s almost time for the Super Bowl, meaning . . . meaning your diet-related resolutions have already gone out the window, right? If we’re going to be honest — and we are, we’re all friends here — the Super Bowl has never been never about restraint.
— Becky Krystal (Read More)