For several years, I have solicited the Super Bowl predictions from broadcasters we have seen and heard from in the Hudson Valley. My thanks goes out to everyone who has participated, so here goes:
Gary Apple, SNY SportsNight host
Seattle 24-21. Seattle’s defense has the chance to go down as amongst the best in NFL history, and I believe that defense will dictate the outcome of the game. Pete Carroll is a master motivator, winning titles at both USC and with the Seahawks and he will mastermind back-to-back Super Bowl victories. Of course all could change if Richard Sherman misses the game for the birth of his child, but in lieu of that I like Seattle.
Jason Barrett, former WEOK/WALL talk show host; program director of 95.7 The Game in San Francisco
Seattle 27-17. I can’t see Russell Wilson having another poor game so I expect him to play smart mistake-free football. We also have seen the Patriots struggle vs. the Giants in their previous two Super Bowl trips due to not being able to handle physically tough defenses and that’s exactly what Seattle brings to the table. I see the Seahawks winning led by a strong running game from Marshawn Lynch and a strong defense which limits Tom Brady and New England’s passing attack. Even if the Pats deflate 11 footballs it won’t be enough.
Bruce Beck, WNBC-4 sports anchor
Seattle 28-24. I can’t see Russell Wilson throwing four picks again and having another bad game. The Seahawks defense will force at least two turnovers. Brady, Belichick and Carroll are all looking to solidify their legacy. It should be a tremendous game.
Geoff Brault, Marist basketball and football radio announcer, WGNY talk show host
Seattle 24-21. I think this is one of the most-balanced Super Bowl matchups in recent memory. A lot of people think the Seahawks are too simplistic on offense but when you look at their zone-read runs and whatnot, a lot of it is very interesting. They, like the Patriots, really maximize the potential of their personnel. I’m a big fan of Richard Sherman and the Seattle secondary and I think they’ll come up with a big play in a big spot.
Ed Coleman, WFAN host, reporter
New England 27-24. Both sets of cornerbacks are outstanding but edge to Pats. There is only one island – it’s called Revis – and he and Browner can better contain Baldwin, Lockette than Sherman and Maxwell can handle small but quick Amendola, Edelamn, LaFell. The Pats have had a lot of success with Revis alone on the No. 2 receiver and doubling the No. 1 receiver, and if they single both, they have an extra man for Beast Mode Lynch or a spy on Russell Wilson.
There is only one Marshawn Lynch, but LeGarrette Blount has done a reasonable impersonation of him since walking out on the Steelers.
Mistakes always a key. Pats had NFL low 13 turnovers, Seahawks right behind at 14. Pats led the AFC with a plus-12 turnover differential. Must turn red zone mistakes into TD as opposed to FG like Green Bay.
Can’t wait for Gronkowski-Chancellor collisions in the secondary. Pats must protect Brady in pocket. Seattle will limit Gronk but Brady must find him occasionally to move chains.
I’m a Boston Native. Seattle a great team capable of repeat, but thankful Pats not playing Giants again!!
Kevin Connors, ESPN anchor and host; former RNN sports anchor; fill-in Marist basketball announcer; former Army football sideline reporter
Seattle 26-21. I find myself wondering if I DARE pick against Tom Brady? As a Bills fan I should know better. The Brady/Belichick combo has kicked our heads in for 13 seasons – and it feels like longer. I’ve never seen a better QB than Brady – and giving Belichick two weeks to game plan is almost unfair. That said, I think this Seahawks defense is elite. And I think karma (and fully inflated footballs) do New England in.
Charlie Cornacchio, former Cablevision 6 and Sports1 sports anchor
Aside from DeflateGate (which I think the NFL concocted to give this game the drama it lacks), this game really has no compelling aspect. A returning champ against a franchise with the most AFC championships since gas was $1.40 a gallon in 2002 – even the East Coast vs. West Coast thing is just a “thing.” There’s no underdog and no element of surprise this year. Face it, if Seattle wins, will you be surprised? If New England wins, will you be surprised? Exactly.
If defense wins championships then I go with Seattle. But if you like symmetry, then I still go with Seattle. Consider this: Every two-to-four years passes before we get a Super Bowl repeat, except for the eight-year drought back in the 80s, before the 49ers picked the pattern back up and won it in ‘89 and ’90. But then the pattern resumed to every two-to-four years before another repeat. Well now, we are in another eight-year drought since New England won back to backs in 2003 and 2004. Seattle winning it last year sets up the pattern for another back to back. Ah, symmetry!
Dean Darling, Army football analyst, Marist/MAAC basketball play-by-play
Seattle 20-17. Low-scoring game, two great defenses. Think kickers and special teams will be big in this game.
Charles Davis, New Paltz grad, Fox Sports football analyst, NFL Network analyst
Seattle 27-24. When a game like this appears to be even, I lean toward the better defense, and in this case, I believe Seattle’s is better overall. Both do a great job taking the ball away (New England is plus-12, and Seattle is plus-10 in turnover margin), and Seattle’s pass rush has really amped up over the last seven weeks.
Seattle QB Russell Wilson cannot afford to get off to the slow starts that have plagued him his last three starts (obviously the slowest being vs. Green Bay in the NFC title game). If he does, New England has the capability of seizing total control of the game.
Against the odds, I like the Seahawks to repeat, and continue to totally reshape the NFL legacy of their head coach, Pete Carroll. And, for those who thought, and continue to think he’s simply a “rah, rah, Joe College” style of guy? You don’t know him or his methods at all.
Rich DeMarco, Army football, basketball, baseball announcer
Seattle 22-13. Like the great defenses of the Steelers, Bears, Giants, Ravens and Buccaneers, the Seahawks belong in that category, and when those defenses get to the Super Bowl, they rarely – if ever – lose the game. While I expect this game to be quite competitive, the Seahawks will make more defensive plays in the end.
Steve Eggink, Marist basketball announcer
Seattle 24-13. I’m a big Seahawk fan being from the Northwest, growing up in Eugene, Oregon. I have been through many down years so it’s great to see them back on top!
Mike Ferraro, former Marist basketball, football announcer
New England 20-17. I think these are very evenly matched and talented teams, and I believe this is going to be a great game. I’ve been really impressed with the Patriots’ schemes and uses of their personnel. I think coach Belichick and coach McDaniels will be able to score enough points with their creativity to win.
Eric Frede, former Cable 6 sports anchor and Marist basketball announcer; SNY UConn women’s basketball announcer; freelance play-by-play
New England 24-20. On paper: Seahawks win. But with an “Us-against-the-world’’ mentality and a hint of desperation for Belichick and Brady because of a long Super Bowl drought, the Patriots ride emotion to victory.
Jack George, WPDH/Mix 97.7 radio disc jockey; past Time Warner sports
New England 31-17. The Seahawks got lucky two weeks ago against Green Bay with the comeback. It will not happen again.
Kevin Halpenny, WDLC football announcer, former WGNY talk show host
New England 30-27. Two real good defenses should lend itself to a low scoring game, right? Not here. The Patriots get one more field goal than Seattle to win their fourth title. I see New England getting out to a lead early, weathering the storm of a fierce Seattle comeback, and then Tom Brady tells the haters to take a hike with a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.
Howard Herman, former Army basketball announcer
New England 31-24. All of this controversy regarding DeflateGate will do nothing but give Bill Belichick the ammo to play it that everyone hates the Patriots. Besides, if the Seahawks can’t stop the Brady-to-Gronkowski tandem, Seattle won’t win. Seahawks don’t have enough offense, in my opinion. And as a native Pittsburgher and a Steelers fan, I am not a Patriot toadie.
Marisa Jacques, Time Warner Cable sports anchor
Seattle 35-21. Their defense is fantastic, even if Richard Sherman isn’t 100 percent. Offensively, they’ve gotten better throughout the season. Marshawn Lynch is going to let his play answer the questions. Speaking of questions, while the talk has been all about under-inflated footballs in New England, the Seahawks have been able to just focus on the game and their game plan. Regardless, all this talk about deflated footballs has been a distraction for the Patriots.
Seth Leavitt, Time Warner News sports anchor/reporter
New England 31-27. I feel that New England is motivated to prove it can win a clean game, and get Tom Brady his fourth Super Bowl title. Although Seattle has the best defense in the league, the Patriots are the most well-rounded team – and that will be the difference.
Lindsay (Liquori) Quackenbush, former Cable 6 sports anchor; Florida TV sports anchor
Seattle, 20-17. The Seahawks defense will have a big impact on Brady, Gronk and Blount. The X-factor will be Richard Sherman’s arm injury, and if he is playing at 100 percent. Russell Wilson needs to step up his game from the NFC Championship.
Otis Livingston, WCBS-2 sports anchor
Seattle. I think Super Bowl 49 is gonna be a tight, hotly contested game. I think in the end Seattle will win its second straight title. Russell Wilson will out-duel Tom Brady, thanks to the Seattle defense.
Marc Malusis, CBS Sports Radio host, SNY contributor
New England 17-13.
Tony Morino, former Cable 6 sports anchor, Army football and basketball announcer
Seattle 38-17. I believe the NFC is a better conference than the AFC and that factors into my prediction. Seattle hasn’t played its best game of the playoffs and yet still find itself in the Super Bowl. If they needed a team to bring out the best in them, New England can do that for anyone. The Patriots’ defense has been doing it with smoke and mirrors all season. The fog clears on Super Bowl Sunday.
Sweeny Murti, WFAN Yankees reporter, talk-show host
Seattle 23-13. I like a close game most of the way, dominated by the defenses for the most part. Some big plays by the quarterbacks and a bunch of field goals accounting for the scoring until Marshawn Lynch wears down the Pats late for a game-clinching drive.
Bill Rogan, Denver talk show host; former Army basketball, football announcer; former Hudson Valley Renegades announcer
New England 31-20. The Patriots defense is better than it has been in recent seasons and I think Belichick will be able to stymie the Seahawks offense. I believe the Pats run wild on the Seahawks, which will open up the passing game. Gronkowski is going to have a big game. The last Super Bowl he was in against the Giants, he was hobbled by an injured ankle. He’ll be ready for Seattle. (By the way, bad uniform matchup. The Seahawks uniforms are atrocious, an eyesore. The Pats unis are average at best … their old uniforms were classic. Miss those.)
Rick Schultz, former Army basketball, football, hockey announcer; former Hudson Valley Renegades announcer
New England 27-17. As solid and mature as Russell Wilson has been, in an evenly-split matchup I’ll still take the more experienced team.
Dave Sims, Westwood One NFL announcer, former WFAN host
Chris Spatola, CBS Sports Network basketball announcer, West Point grad
New England 24-17. Belichick, with two weeks to prepare … are you serious?! It’s a lock. No coach in professional sports I have more respect for than Belichick, and no competitor in professional sports I have more respect for than Tom Brady. That said, I love when championships are decided by clearly the two best teams. Should be great!
J.W. Stewart, NBC Hartford sports anchor, former ESPNews and Sports1 anchor
New England 23-17 in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. Brady to Gronk will be the winning play. I think the Pats need to run the ball with LeGarrette Blount to win. Tough task for the Pats’ defense, trying to stop Russell Wilson AND Marshawn Lynch. But I believe Belichick and Brady will find a way.
Keith Strudler, WGNY sports talk show host, Marist communications professor
New England, 31-24. I’m still convinced that the Packers won the NFC Championship, so my picks are probably meaningless. … I secretly am hoping for a Seattle blowout since that’s the best chance for Marshawn Lynch to grab his crotch. And more than anything, I’d just like to see if the league would hand out its first eight-figure fine.
Brandon Tierney, CBS Sports Net host; St. John’s basketball analyst; Marist grad
New England, 31-20. They remain the most well-rounded team in football and can beat Seattle in more ways than Seattle can beat them. Legacies are at stage, and following all of the noise with DeflateGate, the Pats transfer that energy into a positive. Pats, going away.
John Tobin, former WPDH-FM morning show host
Seattle, 27-14. Seattle D-line wins the day. They fire out of their stances like rocket ships blasting off. They’ll be too much to handle. Brady will be frustrated just like Manning last year. He’ll be dumping off by the second quarter.
Since SpyGate in 2007, in the games where Brady was sent packing, the PATS have averaged 16 points per game.
I was in the tiny minority last year who predicted Seattle by two scores or better.
People get caught up in QB-hype all the time. Brady is a big time folder if it gets rough out there … and I expect it to.
Chris Watson, Time Warner sports anchor
Seattle 28-17. Defense wins championships. I didn’t think that was the case until I saw what they did to the Broncos last year. Can’t go against them again this year.
Rick Zolzer, long-time Hudson Valley sports host, announcer
New England 23-21. It is a matter of which team has less players I don’t like: Seattle has Lynch and Sherman; New England has Bella-grump. Therefore, the Pats are my team (this week only).