If the Patriots had found a way to get past Denver, would they have had a chance of knocking off Seattle, or were the Seahawks simply too dominant in Super Bowl XLVIII?
Raj: I still think they would. Yes we saw Seattle's defense and what they did. Remarkable. However, when it comes to the NFL's best defenses, BB finds a way to read and exploit them. It may not happen early but you can count on the fact that it will. Maybe even with all that, Seattle still wins? Possibly but then they're just the better team. But I certainly know that the Pats won't go home just scoring 8 points. It would have been a very hard fought game. And knowing the Pats of this season, anything's possible so they could have came out with a win.
Jason: It's a completely different game with the Pats on the field, but it's tough to see how any team could have beaten the Seahawks if Seattle executed as well as they did in the Super Bowl. The thing that surprised me most was the amount of pressure Seattle got when only rushing four or five guys. They basically ate Denver's offensive line for breakfast without having to sacrifice much in terms of coverage. The biggest difference between Denver and New England is how the Patriots would have responded to that pressure. Brady probably would have taken a few more sacks instead of trying to do too much with the football, and the shorter patterns for the wide receivers would have allowed him to get the ball out a bit quicker. No way do the Patriots give up that many free points. A sharp Seattle squad still likely wins that matchup, but the game certainly wouldn't have been over at halftime.
Rick: The Seahawks were simply too dominant in this game. I wouldn’t have given the Patriots much of a chance to knock off the Seahawks. To beat Brady, you need a dominant defensive line, which the Seahawks have. Considering the trouble Denver had with the D-Line, it would be much more problems for the Patriots. Aaron Dobson would have had two weeks to get healthy, but Richard Sherman would have shut down Julian Edelman. Plus, Marshawn Lynch would have controlled the clock and kept the offense off the field. We would have looked at Brady’s third straight Super Bowl loss if that was the matchup.
Derek: Sunday night was the Seahawks' night. They brought their A+ game to the table and Denver didn't stand a chance. I don't think New England would have stood much of a chance either had they advanced to the big game. I do think that Tom Brady and company would have at least made the game competitive by limiting the turnovers and eliminating some of the major blunders like the opening safety and the kickoff return at the beginning of the 2nd half.
I was hoping that the Patriots could get to the Super Bowl and catch a break with bad weather that could sway a potentially sloppy game in their favor. With the way Seattle played and the rather mild weather, they would have been running into a buzzsaw. I'm more than happy to see Peyton Manning saddled with that Super Bowl loss than Tom Brady.