ESPN Super Bowl XLIX expert picks

As the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots prepare to collide in Super Bowl XLIX, ESPN.com's crack staff of experts, writers, analysts, columnists and pundits boldly makes its predictions for the big game. The tally: 25 pick the Seahawks, 23 take the Patriots.

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Terry Blount, ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter
Seahawks 24, Patriots 20 -- Teams that have returned to the Super Bowl the year after winning it are 8-3, including the past two and four of the past five.

Mike Reiss, ESPN New England Patriots reporter
Patriots 23, Seahawks 20 -- Running back LeGarrette Blount plays the bruising role of Eddie Lacy from the NFC Championship Game, and the Patriots do what the Packers couldn't and close the deal.

Jeffri Chadiha, ESPN.com national NFL writer
Patriots 24, Seahawks 21 -- All this Deflategate talk puts a chip on New England's shoulder.

John Clayton, senior NFL writer and commentator
Seahawks 24, Patriots 20 -- Like in their victory over the Patriots in 2012, the Seahawks will need a late fourth-quarter drive to win this game.

David Fleming, ESPN The Mag senior writer and Flem File columnist
Seahawks 31, Patriots 17 -- The young, brash and fast Seahawks defense will do to Tom Brady exactly what it did to Peyton Manning a year ago.

Ashley Fox, ESPN.com national NFL writer
Seahawks 21, Patriots 20 -- The Seahawks believe in and play for each other, and that's a powerful thing.

Adam Schefter, ESPN Insider
Patriots 24, Seahawks 21 -- New England deflates Seattle's hopes of repeating.

Chris Mortensen, ESPN Insider
Patriots 20, Seahawks 16 -- The Patriots will have more answers for the Seahawks' offense, while LeGarrette Blount will present problems for Seattle. Still a pick 'em game.

Jeff Dickerson, ESPNChicago.com
Patriots 27, Seahawks 24 -- Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski is too much for even Seattle's top-ranked defense to handle.

Todd McShay, ESPN college football and NFL draft analyst
Patriots 24, Seahawks 21 -- Seattle will get pressure on Tom Brady, but the Patriots will benefit from their short passing attack and two-tight end sets.

Gary Horton, ESPN Insider and former NFL scout
Seattle 27, New England 17 -- The Seattle defense dominates this game with tight pass coverage, and the Pats' receivers struggle to get open.

Ron Jaworski, ESPN Insider and former quarterback
Patriots 31, Seahawks 20 -- Tom Brady's efficient passing and New England's strong defense will be too much for the Seahawks to overcome.

KC Joyner, ESPN.com Insider
Patriots 27, Seahawks 23 -- The Seahawks' defense doesn't fare well against power-rushing teams, so expect the Patriots to go after this weakness full bore.

Scott Kacsmar, Football Outsiders
Patriots 24, Seahawks 20 -- No tight end has been named Super Bowl MVP, but this is the moment Rob Gronkowski has been waiting for.

Todd McShay, ESPN college football and NFL draft analyst
Patriots 24, Seahawks 21 -- Seattle will get pressure on Tom Brady, but the Patriots will benefit from their short passing attack and two-tight end sets.

Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus
Seahawks 27, Patriots 24 -- Seattle didn't turn up for three quarters against the Packers and still won. If the Seahawks play for all four quarters this time, they should collect the Lombardi trophy.

Louis Riddick, ESPN Insider, former player and front-office executive
Seahawks 17, Patriots 16 -- Defensive battle that will come down to a perimeter skill player making a big play. Doug Baldwin? Jermaine Kearse?

Kevin Seifert, ESPN.com national NFL writer
Seahawks 27, Patriots 21 -- The Patriots are great at exploiting weaknesses, but the Seahawks just don't have any.

Mike Sando, ESPN.com Insider
Seahawks 27, Patriots 17 -- Seattle's speed on defense and ability to run the ball multiple ways should be the difference.

Aaron Schatz, ESPN.com Insider
Seahawks 23, Patriots 20 -- This may be the closest Super Bowl matchup ever, but when all else is equal, top defenses tend to beat top offenses.

Matt Williamson, ESPN Insider and former NFL scout
New England 27, Seattle 23 -- In a classic Super Bowl, the Patriots' versatility on both sides of the ball presents more problems than the Seahawks can handle, and Seattle's lack of pass-catchers is exposed.

Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter
Patriots 27, Seahawks 24 -- New England can play the way the Cowboys beat Seattle with a power running game and has a defense that can slow down the Seahawks. Tom Brady finally gets championship No. 4.

Scott Brown, ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter
Seahawks 20, Patriots 17 -- LeGarrette Blount averaged just 3.0 yards per carry in six games against top-10 rushing defenses in 2014, and the Seahawks will shut him down and make the Patriots one-dimensional.

Rich Cimini, ESPN New York Jets reporter
Seahawks 27, Patriots 23 -- Marshawn Lynch (between the tackles) and Russell Wilson (scrambles) will expose the cracks in the Patriots' run defense, which has yielded 4.7 yards per carry in the postseason.

Rob Demovsky, ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter
Patriots 27, Seahawks 20 -- The Seahawks shouldn't expect the Patriots to hand them this game like Green Bay did. Master motivator Bill Belichick and his coaching staff won't let that happen.

Mike DiRocco, ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter
Patriots 24, Seahawks 21 -- Seattle gave up the third-most TD passes to tight ends in the regular season and won't have an answer for Rob Gronkowski.

Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com national NFL writer
Seahawks 27, Patriots 20 -- Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch see the Patriots' 219 rushing yards allowed over two playoff games and figure they might reach that number on their own.

Tania Ganguli, ESPN Houston Texans reporter
Patriots 35, Seahawks 28 -- I learned a hard lesson in underestimating this Patriots team with my last prediction, especially with so much Deflategate-driven, motivational mind game fodder at Bill Belichick's disposal.

Ben Goessling, ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter
Seahawks 21, Patriots 14 -- It's been a long time since the Seahawks met a quarterback who rattled them. If Peyton Manning couldn't do it last year and Aaron Rodgers couldn't do it two weeks ago, I don't think Tom Brady will be able to do it Sunday.

Dan Graziano, ESPN New York Giants reporter
Patriots 26, Seahawks 17 -- Last season's Seahawks weren't beatable, but the NFC Championship Game showed that this season's clearly are, and the Patriots' the-world's-out-to-get-us week is just what Belichick needed to get the better team in the right frame of mind.

Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter
Seahawks 31, Patriots 27 -- Tom Brady tested Richard Sherman's side of the field with 10 passes and completed just three with an interception in 2012, and he won't fare much better this time around, either.

Coley Harvey, ESPN Cincinnati Bengals reporter
Patriots 31, Seahawks 27 -- To win, the Seahawks have to knock the expectedly focused Patriots off their rhythm early. Don't count on it.

Jamison Hensley, ESPN Baltimore Ravens reporter
Patriots 24, Seahawks 20 -- The Patriots will ride LeGarrette Blount after all four teams to beat the Seahawks this season ran at least 27 times for more than 100 yards.

John Keim, ESPN Washington Redskins reporter
Patriots 27, Seahawks 17 -- New England's defense, led by its corners (Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are a big reason it has allowed just 20 percent of third downs to be converted this postseason), will stand out in the end.

Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter
Seahawks 24, Patriots 20 -- The Patriots rely on short passes. The Seahawks are great at defending that.

Jeff Legwold, ESPN Denver Broncos reporter
Patriots 24, Seahawks 20 -- Both teams are proficient at taking away their opponents' best players, so whichever team gets the most from the "other'' guys will hoist the trophy.

Vaughn McClure, ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter
Seahawks 24, Patriots 17 -- To put it simply, the Seahawks will dominate on defense while the Patriots will be distracted by the controversy surrounding the Deflategate fallout.

Pat McManamon, ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter
Patriots 27, Seahawks 20 -- Tom Brady has nine touchdown passes and two interceptions in Super Bowls, and he enters the game angry about deflated footballs; making Brady angry is like poking the proverbial bear.

David Newton, ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter
Seahawks 24, Patriots 17 -- Russell Wilson is 10-0 against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, and a big reason is he has the support of the league's top defense, the likes of which Tom Brady & Co. haven't faced this season.

Mike Rodak, ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter
Patriots 17, Seahawks 14 -- Only three teams have allowed more touchdowns to tight ends in the red zone than Seattle, which is why we'll see a Rob Gronkowski spike punctuating a Patriots win.

Michael Rothstein, ESPN Detroit Lions reporter
Patriots 31, Seahawks 21 -- To go against Tom Brady, at age 37, in potentially one of his last chances to win another Super Bowl? New England will be ready and has scored 35 or more points in three of its past four wins.

Phil Sheridan, ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter
Patriots 23, Seahawks 17 -- This game will hinge on whether Seattle's injured defensive backs, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, can withstand the pressure New England puts on them.

Adam Teicher, ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter
Seahawks 24, Patriots 17 -- The Patriots generally play good run defense, but they haven't defended a runner as physical as Marshawn Lynch, who eventually will wear down New England.

Mike Triplett, ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter
Seahawks 27, Patriots 23 -- The Seahawks have the most elite unit -- a defense that can help nullify the Patriots' most elite players (Brady and Gronk).

Nick Wagoner, ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter
Seahawks 23, Patriots 20 -- This will be close, but Seattle was fifth in the league defending tight ends and should be able to do enough to slow Rob Gronkowski to repeat as world champions.

James Walker, ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter
Patriots 21, Seahawks 17 -- Both teams have allowed just 19.2 points per game in four combined playoff contests, but Tom Brady and the Patriots will make enough plays to prevail.

Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter
Seahawks 31, Patriots 24 -- With how stout Seattle's defense has been since linebacker Bobby Wagner's return, the Seahawks will have the upper hand.

Mike Wells, ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter
Seahawks 27, Patriots 17 -- Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch -- 157 yards rushing against Green Bay -- will be too much for the Patriots.

Eric Williams, ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter
Seahawks 30, Patriots 23 -- New England allowed an average of 158 rushing yards a game in the team's four losses this season, and Seattle will lean on Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson to effectively control the game on the ground.

Bill Williamson, ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter
Patriots 27, Seahawks 23 -- I expect a close, balanced game by the two best teams in the NFL, and in the end, Tom Brady wins his fourth Super Bowl ring.

Michael C. Wright, ESPN Chicago Bears reporter
Seahawks 27, Patriots 24 -- Only two teams this season allowed more touchdowns to tight ends (11) than the Seahawks, but safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor should prove too athletic and physical for Rob Gronkowski to be a major factor.

Pat Yasinskas, Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter
Seahawks 27, Patriots 20 -- Marshawn Lynch and the running game will wear down the New England defense.