3 reasons the New England Patriots can win Super Bowl XLIX

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If Bill Belichek, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are to claim Super Bowl glory in Arizona then they’ll have to do it against the defending champions, the Seattle Seahawks; a team that haven’t lost in eight straight outings.

The Patriots are by no means the underdogs though. In fact, they are so highly rated that Ladbrokes can’t separate their chances of winning the greatest show on earth from the Seahawks by even a decimal point, making both sides 10/11 to reign supreme on February 1.

As the betting indicates, the Pats are a fearsome side, one that will take some beating in its own right and has a number of positives against it when weighing up the likely Super Bowl champions. Here are just three:

Tom Brady is a multi-touchdown master in the postseason

No starting quarterback will have made more Super Bowl appearances than Brady by the time his duel with the Seahawks is over, so it is no surprise that the former 199th pick has collected a few postseason records in that time.

One stat that doesn’t come with a record, but is perhaps the most crucial in this matchup, is the fact that Brady has seven postseason games of three touchdowns or more, putting him second on the all-time list.

That means the California native regularly beats defenses, no matter how great or good they are, with his own arm, something he may well have to do at the Super Bowl.

Rob Gronkowski is healthy this time

Brady’s key man when passing the ball is his tight end, who was the most targeted player in his position during the NFL’s regular season.

This will be Gronk’s second trip to the Championship game. He played on a badly-sprained ankle in 2012, caught just two passes for 26 yards and lost.

Injury-free this time around, the 25-year-old’s brute strength will be key to helping New England dish out some payback to an aggressive Seattle defense.

The Seahawks’ defense isn’t at full health

Speaking of that defense, both Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas suffered nasty injuries in Seattle’s dramatic win over the Green Bay Packers on the way to the Super Bowl.

There is certainly no guarantee that they’ll be undercooked come game time, but if they play hurt, it hands a serious advantage to the Pats.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.