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2015 Super Bowl: 5 Questions For The New England Patriots Before They Play Seattle Seahawks

First Posted: Jan 21, 2015 01:37 PM EST
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New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick

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The New England Patriots will play the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 1. But, before the game is played, plenty of questions remain from fans. Offense, defense, special teams and head coaching all come in to play when deciding a champion.

Here are five huge questions for the Patriots.

1. Can They Stop Beast Mode?

Marshawn Lynch has the nickname "Beastmode" for a reason. Lynch is arguably the best running back in the NFL mainly because he can run through you, and he always shows up in the playoffs. The Seahawks had the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL this season thanks to Lynch, and you can bet they will rely on him once again. The Patriots have an average run defense, but the Baltimore Ravens may have exposed their defensive line in the divisional round with 136 rushing yards. If the Patriots can't stop Lynch and significantly lose the time of possession battle, the Patriots won't have a chance.

2. Will Tom Brady Have Time To Throw?

In the last two Super Bowls -- both against the New York Giants -- the Patriots lost primarily because of the defensive pass rush. There's nothing better than being able to get to the quarterback without blitzing. The Seahawks have a good defensive line, and ther battle against the Patriots front five will be the biggest matchup to watch. Obviously Brady isn't a very mobile quarterback, so keeping him protected is extremely critical to winning the Super Bowl. Although running back Shane Vereen is an average blocker, and Robert Gronkowski will have blocking duties as well.

3. Will LeGarrette Blount Show Up?

In the 2011-12 Super Bowl, BenJarvus Green-Ellis led the Patriots in rushing yards with just 44. In the 2008 Super Bowl, Laurence Maroney had a team-high 36 rushing yards. That's 80 combined rushing yards from your two starting running backs in the last two Super Bowls. In other words, the Patriots haven't had a reliable running game in the biggest games recently. LeGarrette Blount played terrific against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship with 148 yards on the ground. Facing the Seahawks will be much tougher task, and the Patriots need Blount to provide a balanced offensive attack.

4. Will Patriots Receivers Get Open?

Everyone knows the Seahawks have the best secondary in the NFL. Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor make up the "Legion of Boom." Julian Edelman is Brady's go-to guy, but tight end Robert Gronkowski is the x-factor. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell is the best deep threat for the Patriots. Could we possibly see Brian Tyms in action? Maybe it's time to unleash Tim Wright. The Patriots receivers (and backs) have to get open and fight for every yard possible to provide Brady with targets to throw to.

5. Will the Patriots Defense Contain Russell Wilson?

A case could definitely be made that Russell Wilson is the most clutch quarterback in the NFL. Even when he threw a career high four interceptions against the Green Bay Packers last week, he found a way to go on a game-winning touchdown drive in overtime. Wilson had an incredible 849 rushing yards this season, the 16th most of any player in the league. Dropping back into safe zone coverages can be extremely detrimental because Wilson can make plays with his feet. Linebackers such as Jamie Collins, Dont'a Hightower and Rob Ninkovich will be key factors to ensure Wilson doesn't run in the open field.

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