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2015 Super Bowl XLIX MVP Odds and Predictions: Favorites, Dark Horses and Sleepers

super-bowl-xlix2015 Super Bowl XLIX MVP Odds and Predictions: Favorites, Dark Horses and Sleepers: The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will be battling it out for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday, but while one team will take home the title, one lucky player will take home MVP honors. Aside from Chuck Howley in Super Bowl V, every MVP has come from the winning team. Not surprisingly, quarterbacks have dominated the award, winning 26 times, including four of the last five. On the flip side, defensive players have won the award just nine times, but Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith does happen to be the defending winner. With that in mind, here is a closer look at the players that could take home MVP honors for Super Bowl XLIX.

The Favorites

If the Patriots end up winning the Lombardi Trophy, there is a good chance it will be because quarterback Tom Brady had a big game. After all, New England has a passing attack ranked in the top 10, and if Brady gets the better of Seattle’s top-ranked secondary, his numbers will carry even more weight. Whether it is a late drive to seal the win or just a solid all-around performance, Brady has the best chance to claim MVP honors if the Patriots emerge with a win.

The driving force of Seattle’s offense remains running back Marshawn Lynch, and he has continued to be a workhorse in the playoffs. Granted, the Patriots have a solid run defense, but the Seahawks have the top-ranked rushing attack for a reason. “Beast Mode” is able to run over and wear down even the toughest defensive fronts, and if the Seahawks control the game, it will likely mean big numbers for Lynch. A 100-yard game and a couple scores could spell MVP for Lynch.

Although the Seahawks have a run-first offense, quarterback Russell Wilson plays a big part in the team’s ground game. He is a dual-threat weapon, and his ability to create big plays with his legs and with his arm gives him plenty of chances to leave his stamp on the game. Throw in the fact that quarterbacks have historically dominated the Super Bowl MVP Award, and a solid showing from Wilson in a win would likely be enough for him to grab top honors.

The Dark Horses

He is at a bit of a disadvantage because a big game from New England tight end Rob Gronkowski also means a big game from Tom Brady, but “Gronk” is also the heart and soul of the New England passing attack. The Patriots don’t have many explosive playmakers at receiver so Gronkowski should be involved early and often. If he is able to repeatedly beat Seattle’s stout secondary and run over tacklers on his way to some big plays while monopolizing the looks from Brady, he could snag MVP honors instead of the guy throwing him the ball.

If trash talking and self-promoting were factors in MVP voting, Seattle corner Richard Sherman would have already won the award. Instead, he will have to let his play earn him the honor. He is the most well-known member of Seattle’s top-rated, “Legion of Boom” secondary, and whichever receiver he is covering, he is going to have a huge advantage. New England just doesn’t have the weapons on the outside to beat Sherman, and one big interception could be all it takes to clinch the MVP Award.

The Sleeper

He has been used sparingly since signing with the Patriots in the middle of the season, but when running back LeGarrette Blount has been given carries he has produced. Heck, he just finished pummeling the Colts for 148 yards and three scores in the AFC title game. Given Seattle’s stingy, hard-hitting defense, there is a good chance Blount will be called on to try to power the ground game. If he finds the end zone a few times, he could steal MVP honors from the bigger names in the game.

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