SUPER BOWL RULES FOR DUMMIES

Deflated balls. Cheats. Star players refusing to answer questions at press conferences.

The circus off the field has almost overshadowed the fact, that the 49th Super Bowl is back on and the Seattle Seahawks are here to defend their title against the New England Patriots. No team has won back to back Super Bowls since…New England, a decade ago.

The Patriots have recently been called the New England Deflatriots, amidst claims that the balls they have used recently were deflated on purpose to make it easier for star quarterback, Tom Brady. I’ve never heard of a man wanting to deflate his balls, but there’s always a first for everything.

To be fair, Brady has already been to five Super Bowl’s and won three, so I’m not sure a slightly deflated ball helps him that much.

“I’m just here, so I won’t get fined”, was the line Seahawks star running back, Marshawn Lynch said 29 times in his recent media interview, when he was asked any question. If you haven’t seen this interview it’s funny initially. If you don’t want to listen to it all, I can tell you exactly what he says “I’m here so I won’t get fined”. This is literally all he says.

He definitely isn’t ‘just here’ on Super Bowl day and he will most likely be the key difference in this game.

Seattle’s quarterback, Russell Wilson, is in only his third season. So far he has taken this team to the playoffs and won a title. He can play.

The Seahawks played their worst game of the season to make the Super Bowl, but they won. They simply can’t play that poorly again.

The Patriots have breezed through the playoffs and that is the reason I feel they will struggle.

This game has the game’s best ever defense, Seattle’s, up against Tom Brady who is about to play in more Super Bowls than any other player and is arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the game.

I just don’t think New England’s defense will be able to counter the brilliant run game of Seattle and I predict them to go back to back.

FINAL PREDICTION: Seattle 28 New England 20

The game will be played at 10.30am (AEST) on Monday 2nd February, 2015.

If you don’t know how NFL works, here are the basic rules:

TIMING
Games are divided into four, 15 minute quarters. At the end of the first and third quarters, the team with the ball retains possession heading into the following quarter. That is not the case before halftime. The second half starts with a kickoff in the same way as Rugby League or Union.

HOW IT WORKS
Each team essentially has 4 tackles to try and make 10 yards (just over 9m).

If a team manages 10 yards (or longer) they are then given the opportunity to try and make another 10 yards within 4 tackles. In NFL terms it is called a down rather than a tackle. Eg/ if it is 2nd and 8, this means that the offensive team is on its 2nd tackle and they still need to make a further 8 yards to reach 10 yards and receive their next set of 4 downs (tackles).

On the 4th down, if the offensive team is too far away to kick a field goal, they will kick the ball for field position, like in League on the 5th tackle.

The main difference between Australian codes of football and NFL is, that after the ball is kicked, the kicking team isn’t allowed to re-gather the ball.

Play begins at what is called the line of scrimmage. The offensive team is allowed to only throw the ball forward, once, behind this line of scrimmage. However each team may pass the ball backwards as many times as they like (which is termed ‘a lateral’).

THE TACKLE
A player is tackled when one or both of his knees touch the ground. The play is then over (even if the ball comes loose).

SCORING
A touchdown (which is the same as a try) is worth 6 points. To score a touchdown if you are running towards the goal line, the ball simply needs to cross the goal line (it doesn’t have to be grounded over the goal line). If someone is catching the ball in the ‘end zone’ (in goal area), the person catching the ball needs to have two feet in bounds at some point in time.

After a touch down is scored, the offensive team tries to convert the touch down which is worth one point. This kicking conversion attempt is taken from directly in front of the goal posts.

Teams can also attempt a 2 point conversion, which is where they will try and score a touchdown again, from the opponent’s 2 yard line.

Like in Rugby, field goals are worth 3 points and can be attempted from any position on the field.

OVERTIME
In order to win the game, the team who wins the coin toss must score a touchdown on their first possession.
If they only score a field goal, the opposing team then gets a chance to score. If they kick a field goal, the game continues. If they score a touchdown, the game ends.

If the game is tied after both teams have had a possession, then the next score wins.

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