- As valuable as offense is and yes we need them to do well tonight, defense is where the Patriots will win or lose this game. They must stop Marshawn Lynch tonight. If they can do this it will force Wilson to win the game which is exactly what the Patriots want to happen. If Lynch is running up and down the field it would take a miracle for the Patriots to win this game. It's not going to be easy but if anyone can make it happen it's Bill Belichick. Yes this team has struggled against the run. But when they couldn't stop Baltimore they found a way to shut their running game down in the second half which was a big key to victory in that game.
- Offensive Line. This is one of their toughest tests of the season. Probably the biggest difference in the Patriots super bowl wins and losses was the play of the offensive line. In 2003 the Patriots neutralized the Carolina Panthers front 7. They won that game. In 07-11 the Patriots were manhandled by the Giants defensive line. They lost those games. Anyone see a pattern here?
- Middle of the Field. Attacking the Seahawks down field is not smart nor does it play to the Patriots strength. The key is the middle of the field. If they can get Rob Gronkowski going along with Julien Edelman in the short passing game they will have success against Seattle. This will take away Seattle's corners and neutralize their pass rush.
That's about it in my opinion. The Seahawks are a good, but simple team. There's nothing complex going on in their offense. I know people love Russel Wilson and think he's the reason they came back against Green Bay, but people fail to realize Marshawn Lynch was the one who got the offense going against the Packers. If Russel Wilson does not have a running game he cannot do the things he does and that will give the Patriots full control of this game.