The XLIX Highlight Reel

Saturday January 31st, 2015

Charlie Riedel/AP Charlie Riedel/AP

ANALYSIS

Lasting Impressions of Super Bowl Week

We asked our writers who made the trip to share a few observations and memories that will stay with them from Arizona. We also asked for a prediction, and no one is picking the Seahawks to repeat

Everything You Need To Know About Super Bowl 49, By Andy Benoit

Our film-study guru breaks down the matchups, schemes, strengths, weaknesses and gambits from every conceivable angle. And the winner will be...

Why the Patriots Will Win, By Greg A. Bedard

In a very evenly matched Super Bowl between the NFL’s two top teams—and led by the league’s best coaches—give the slight edge to New England in what promises to be a hard-hitting, low-scoring affair Sunday in Arizona

The Key to Super Bowl 49? Guy by the Name of Gronk, By Peter King

Here's why the Patriots' all-pro tight end, and more specifically the Seahawks defenders in charge of slowing him down, will determine the outcome in Arizona. Plus 10 things to watch for Sunday and, oh yeah, my official game prediction...

Dealing With the Wheel, By Andy Benoit

The wheel route is one of Seattle's signature plays. And on Sunday, it will be one of the ways they can get their middling receivers open against a superior Patriots secondary

Why Seattle’s DBs Rule, By Andy Benoit

The Seahawks secondary might be the NFL's best unit. How'd it happen? Meet position coach Kris Richard, who's about to become the next hot coordinator

Containing Russell Wilson, By Andy Benoit

The key to winning the Super Bowl for the Patriots will depend on their ability to keep Seattle's QB under wraps. Here's how New England's defense could do it

How They Get Gronk Open, By Andy Benoit

'You have to stop Gronkowski.' It's easier said than done thanks to the Patriots' use of formations and route combos. Here's how Gronk keeps getting open

This One Will Be Close, By NumberFire

Early betting lines predict that Super Bowl 49 will be close. Our statistical model agrees. According to the numbers, who is more likely to come out on top on Super Sunday?

An Early Look at Super Sunday, By Peter King

Seattle must overcome injuries, and the Patriots must get help for Tom Brady. An early look at the key players and matchups that will decide Super Bowl 49

Taking the Air Out of Seattle’s Formidable D, By Jenny Vrentas

Under investigation as to whether they deflated footballs in the AFC title game, the Patriots won’t stop pushing the boundaries in Super Bowl 49

For XLIX, Seattle Needs Beast Mode in Best Mode, By Peter King

With the elite play of the Patriots’ secondary lately, the Seahawks would be wise to focus on the ground, rolling out the QB and feeding the monster known as Marshawn Lynch

Video: Recipe for a Repeat, By Peter King

What do the Seahawks need to win Super Bowl 49? Marshawn Lynch, for starters

Video: What the Patriots Must Do, By Peter King

The No. 1 key for the Patriots on Super Sunday: Get Gronk going

STORIES OF SUPER BOWL XLIX

Where Does It Come From? By Robert Klemko

This idea, that he can accomplish anything he wants on the gridiron. We traced Russell Wilson's roots, from Richmond to Raleigh to Madison to Seattle, to figure out just how he willed himself to the top of the football world

Inside Belichick’s Library, By Jenny Vrentas

The hundreds of books, many collected by his father, that played a role in shaping the strategies and philosophies of Bill Belichick

The Bus Continues to Idle, By Jenny Vrentas

Eligible for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 2011, Jerome Bettis is hoping to finally get a call from Canton this weekend

‘Joy Wells up in My Heart,’ By Don Banks

The Super Bowl returns to Glendale for the first time since 2008, when David Tyree entered NFL lore with The Helmet Catch. He’s not in Arizona this week, but the former Giants wideout relives the moment with fans nearly every day

A Conversation with the Legion of Boom, By Robert Klemko

After an almost unfathomable comeback win in the NFC championship, we joined up with Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, By ron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane and, of course, Richard Sherman as they prepared for a Sports Illustrated cover shoot, and for the Patriots. Here’s what they had to say about teamwork, where they stand in history and, oh yeah, Tom Brady

It’s About More than Me, By Richard Sherman

Feels great to be back on the biggest stage—more established, a little more grown up—with my Legion of Boom brothers. Above all, these past 12 months have shown me that we have the power, and the duty, to shape our own destinies

When They Were Younger, By Emily Kaplan

The men playing in Super Bowl XLIX are remembered by their high school and college coaches, who share stories about their former charges playing a church organ, tricking out a beat-up Cadillac, giving haircuts in the locker room and getting trapped in a locker (we’re looking at you, Tom Brady)

The NFL’s Reality TV Mess, By Andrew Brandt

PSI: New England and Saints Family Feud—as engrossing as anything the networks can concoct—pull back the curtain on the internal pressures and paranoia pervading the NFL

Al Michaels: Voice of the Super Bowl, By Jenny Vrentas

The legendary play-by-play man on calling his ninth Super Bowl, the criticism of his comments on commissioner Goodell and the Mueller Report, and his favorite telecast of all time (hint: it’s not the Miracle on Ice)

A Super Bowl Comeback, By Peter King

Eight years removed from being told he’d never again ref in the NFL, Bill Vinovich is preparing to officiate the sport’s biggest game. A look at his remarkable story, plus more on the Patriots’ Deflategate response and 10 things I think in Phoenix

Avoid the Dreaded Twos, Fives and Nines!

You have no say over what numbers you'll pull in your Super Bowl squares. But here are your odds of winning

DEFLATEGATE

Deflategate Will Be a Complicated Investigation, By Peter King

In the mystery of the inflation levels of footballs, many key pieces of information are missing. The NFL's hired investigators will have to rely on forensic evidence to find the truth, along with getting a buttoned-up organization to be forthcoming

Deflategate: Some Perspective, Please? By Don Banks

In a season like no other in NFL history, I’ve come down with a serious case of controversy fatigue. Let’s all take a deep breath and exhale. This doesn’t rise to the level of threatening the integrity of the game in any lasting way

The Deflategate Rundown (And a Little Super Talk), By Peter King

The Patriots aired their side of the story Thursday, and now the football world awaits the NFL’s ruling. (Don't hold your breath.) Here’s where things stand, along with a quick peek ahead to what we’ll be watching for next week in Phoenix

Reaction Around the League: From Anger to Shrugs, By Greg A. Bedard

Most NFL coaches and GMs are in Alabama for the Senior Bowl—seemingly a million miles from the epicenter of Deflategate—and sentiment over the severity of a possible Patriots offense is decidedly mixed

VIDEO: How Officials Check Ball Pressure

During our Game 150 series, The MMQB got an exclusive look at the pregame check for proper inflation. You know you want to see it

Deflategate: The Pressure is Building, By Peter King

Don't expect discipline before Super Bowl Sunday—the NFL desperately needs to get this one right. But if anyone in the Patriots organization is found to have tampered with a game ball, the punishment will be severe

VIDEO/AUDIO

Photo Reflections: Dan Marino

While looking at old Sports Illustrated photos, the Hall of Fame quarterback reminisces about his college years and NFL career

Photo Reflections: Barry Sanders

The legendary running back looks back on famous Sports Illustrated photos, from Oklahoma State, to the Detroit Lions, to his Hall of Fame induction

1Q Interview: Hall of Famer James Lofton, What Kind of Numbers Would You Put Up in Belichick’s Offense? By Andy Benoit

1Q Interview: Alan Branch, How Are the Patriots Most Different from Other Teams? By Andy Benoit

1Q Interview: Patrick Chung, How Have You and the Pats Improved in Man Coverage? By Andy Benoit

1Q Interview: Stephen Gostkowski, Are You Ready to Kick on the Big Stage? By Greg A. Bedard

1Q Interview: Trent Dilfer, What Do You Think About Your Early-Season Criticism of the Patriots? By Greg A. Bedard

Podcast: The MMQB Podcast with Andy Benoit – Super Bowl 49 Preview, By Andy Benoit

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