PHOENIX — Who’s going to win the Super Bowl?

The New England Patriots? Or the Seattle Seahawks?

What color confetti is going to waft through the air at University of Phoenix Stadium? Who is going to hold up the Vince Lombardi Trophy?

Inquiring minds want to know. Yesterday.

I’ve gone back and forth on my answer a lot. I’ve thought about it, probably over-analyzed it. I think this is going to shape up to be a tremendous game.

But this is not an easy choice. There are so many things to consider, starting with how much the whole Deflategate/PSI New England controversy distracted the Patriots in their preparation.

Now we all know that nobody can circle the wagons like the Patriots. Got a scandal? Bring it on.

The Patriots can block out the outside noise, as they like to call it, better than anyone. It becomes an us-against-the-world scenario and you know they’re rallying behind their coach, Bill Belichick, and quarterback, Tom Brady. Those two have been attacked by the national media as if they committed a capital offense.

But still, you wonder how much time was lost when Belichick investigated the psi question. And you wonder how much sleep Brady lost as his reputation was being torn asunder.

Then there’s just everything to consider about the game. It’s a truly intriguing matchup, one the NFL couldn’t have hand-picked any better.

You have the defending Super Bowl champs in Seattle trying to become the first team to repeat since New England did it in 2004 and 2005.

You have charismatic quarterbacks in Brady and Russell Wilson, whose early-career success is following the same path a young Mr. Brady took.

You have two of the best – no, you have the two best – cornerbacks in football in New England’s Darrelle Revis and Seattle’s Richard Sherman. Their styles are a little different, especially when it comes to talking, but no one plasters their receivers better.

You have two of the most innovative coaches in the NFL in Belichick and Seattle’s Pete Carroll, who just happened to precede Belichick in New England. Think this game might mean something to him?

You have Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch, who runs like a beast and grunts at the media like one. And you have New England’s LeGarrette Blount, who left New England for Pittsburgh, then left Pittsburgh in the middle of a game in November … only to end up back in New England.

When I look at this game, I think it comes down to one thing, really. The running game.

Seattle had the NFL’s No. 1 rushing offense, led by the bruising Lynch and the elusive Wilson. Lynch pounds inside and off-tackle, and gained over 1,300 yards with 13 touchdowns. Wilson, mostly on the read-option, ran for 849 yards this year. Amazing.

If the Patriots can control Seattle’s running game, or at least slow it so Wilson has to become a playmaker as a passer, then they have a good chance of winning. That puts a lot of pressure on linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower, and defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich.

The Patriots’ mantra this year has been “Do Your Job.” If they do, if they don’t try to do something spectacular on every play, the Patriots can slow the Seahawks.

Conversely, the Patriots have to run effectively.

Seattle’s defense is ranked first overall, first against the pass (no surprise given the nature of the Legion of Boom secondary) and third against the run. The Seahawks are big up front, fast, athletic and love to smack people in the mouth.

They normally give up only 81.5 rushing yards per game. But in the playoffs, Carolina and Green Bay have found creases in that run defense, averaging 133.4 yards per game.

Blount needs to be close to 100 yards. It’s that simple. The Patriots’ passing game relies a lot on play-action fakes by Brady. Those freeze the linebackers and safeties, and allow his receivers to find small holes in the coverage.

If the Patriots can’t run, the linebackers and safeties are simply dropping into coverage, taking away those holes.

Someone suggested that the Patriots do what they did against Baltimore, which was also stout against the run. Have Brady throw the ball 50-plus times. Won’t work against Seattle. The Seahawks’ cornerbacks are exceptionally better than the Ravens.

So, who’s going to win? Well, I have never picked against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. In fact, if you go back, you’ll find that I picked the exact score of their win over the St. Louis Rams, the game that started this whole dynasty thing.

And I think the Patriots have a great chance to win this game.

But I don’t think they will.

In the end, Seattle’s defense is just a little tougher.

Seattle 23, New England 21.

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