Super Bowl XLIX: Know Thy Lesser Known Enemies

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We are all familiar with Uggs spokesman, super model marrier, and all around dreamy quarterback Tom Brady. Besides Jeremy Lane, most of us in the great Pacific Northwest also are aware of Patriots All-Pro tight end and professional partier, Rob Gronkowski.

While Brady and Gronk might be household names and impact players, who else from the villainous Boston-based NFL franchise should we be watching out for on Superbowl Sunday (besides the Patriots equipment manager….ok, last Ballghazi joke, I promise)?

The Patriots are known for game planning multiple offensive and defensive schemes from week to week. As unpredictable as Carrie Mathison off her meds, you never know what you’re going to get out of the Patriots. While the actual game plan may vary, Bill Belichick and Co. will depend heavily on the following underlings when they square off against the Seahawks.

Chandler Jones

The younger brother of cocaine aficionado and UFC fighter Jon Jones and Indianapolis Colt defensive tackle Arthur Jones, the 3rd year pass rusher is a physical presence to be dealt with.  The youngest Jones brother is almost impossible to block without a double team, and can create havoc in the running and passing games.

Jones has struggled through some injuries this season, so his sack totals dropped from 11.5 last year to 6 in 2014, but he’s healthy now and playing at a high level.  Like most of his players on defense, Darth Belichick likes to line up Jones in different spots to create mismatches, and the former Syracuse Orangeman is capable of making game-changing plays with his mix of speed and power.

Russell Wilson excels at slowing down pass rushers by getting them to stop their feet and change directions.  Jones is the type of athlete that can change directions quickly and chase down the Seahawks signal call in the backfield.  If Jones loses contain on Wilson, it could be a long day for the Pats defense, who have struggled all season containing mobile QBs.

Julian Edelman

Much like Steve Largent, Edelman has found success in the NFL despite being white, small, slow, and not athletic. Nothing but great hands and better routes. Well…this isn’t exactly true. Sleep on him, and he’ll make you pay with his sneaky athleticism. Edelman can get it done in the passing and return games. After all, you don’t have over 200 catches over consecutive years if you aren’t a productive player.

Edelman is a chain mover. Lots of catches, but not a lot of stuff down field. Much like the last Superbowl, if the Seahawks can cut down on the yards after catches, they’ll be in good shape. Watch for Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor to make some tone-setting hits early and often.

Jamie Collins

Collins is the ultimate Belichick defensive player. Tough, smart, and versatile. In only his 2nd year, the former Southern Mississippi linebacker has made his mark in the NFL. Whether defending the run, dropping back in pass coverage, or rushing the passer, Collins has been effective.

The Pats will line up Collins all over the place. Throughout the game, you will see him at all the linebacker spots as well as both defensive end positions. Collins has also proven adept at forcing turnovers: Four forced fumbles and two interceptions were credited to him during the regular season.

On Superbowl Sunday, Collins will be faced with the unenviable duty of trying to slow down Marshawn Lynch, which is a tough task for anyone.

Chandler, Julian, and Jamie. Sounds more like members of a British boy band than NFL players, but these guys can play. The fewer times these three names are called out on Superbowl Sunday, the better for Seahawk fans.

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