Connor Ryan ready for his first Patriots game in December 1999.

Connor Ryan, Staff Writer

December 26, 1999. A younger version of myself sits on the freezing cold bleachers of Foxboro Stadium for my first-ever Patriots game. Pats vs. Bills, Drew Bledsoe vs. Doug Flutie. The Bills won 13-10 in overtime.

You know who the head coach was for the Patriots in that game? Pete Carroll, who is now the Seahawks head coach. You could say my Patriots fandom has come full circle as we approach this Super Bowl.

As much as I would love to see the NFL championship come down to a best of seven series of the Oklahoma drill between Lagarrette Blount and Marshawn Lynch, but alas, the game must be played, and I’m here to tell you why the Patriots are going to win this game.

First off, the Patriots finally have a healthy Rob Gronkowski. I can’t express to you how important it is to the Patriots that the party boy tight end is healthy and playing this week. The Patriots offense is like a car, Gronk is the engine and Brady is the driver. I could get into the matchups and schemes about Gronk all day long, but I won’t. All I have to say is Gronk is ready to throw Richard Sherman out of the club.

Now the real scheme and strategy I want to talk about for the Patriots offense is Julian Edelman. The former Kent State Golden Zips quarterback, taken in the 7th round, is now one of the top slot receivers in the NFL. The last time the Seahawks and Patriots played back in 2012, when the Legion of Boom was still hungry for recognition, then Patriots slot receiver Wes Welker ran all over them to the tune of 10 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown catch. The Patriots are also the best team in the NFL with quick, short passes.

Seattle’s defense this season has allowed a 72 percent completion percentage on short passes, which is good for 27th in the NFL. That being said, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are primed for big days.

Now, the Legion of Boom deserves all the credit they receive. It’s probably the best secondary the NFL has ever seen or ever will see.

But this Patriots defense is nothing to look past. The addition of Darrelle Revis has been incalculable to this defense. He has given the Patriots a true lockdown corner that they haven’t had since Ty Law. Brandon Browner, a former member of the Legion of Boom, is ready to dish out a dose of their own medicine. Of course, Vince Wilfork up the middle could eat Marshawn Lynch whole and a family sized bag of skittles if he had to.

I don’t know about you, but Seattle’s offense looked less than impressive against Green Bay in the NFC Championship game. Marhsawn Lynch will more than likely go over 100 yards, but eventually Russell Wilson will have to throw and make a play and that’s where this game could be won or lost.

Fun fact, the Kansas City Chiefs are the only team to beat both the Patriots and Seahawks. So congrats Chiefs fans, you have something to be happy about. The two teams who lost to both Super Bowl teams are the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos, nice company to be in Denver.

Bill Belichick is probably one of the best coaches to find different ways to motivate his teams. Before Super Bowl XXXIX, where the Pats beat the Eagles to secure their dynasty, Belichick, the morning of the game in their final team prep, sat them down and read them the Eagles championship parade plans set for that Tuesday.

That was in a super bowl where most of the country believed the Patriots would win. Now the Patriots are being questioned by just about everyone for deflated footballs. Belichick has been drilling into his players’ brains that everyone now believes that everything they accomplished this season is now fraudulent and should have an asterisk next to it.

You bet your bottom dollar the Patriots are going to play this game angry. The last time this team played angry? Week five against the Cincinnati Bengals, and they spanked them 43-17. That game was coming off a week where the Patriots were embarrassed on Monday Night Football against the Chiefs, when Trent Dilfer called them “weak” and questions about Tom Brady and his future with the team swirled around New England like snowflakes during a Nor’easter. Expect that team again on Sunday.

The last reason the Patriots will win this game, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., the greatest Patriot that America has seen since George Washington. Go ahead and snicker, shake your head and roll your eyes. There’s no mistaking greatness when you see it.

Brady is about to play in his sixth Super Bowl. Go ahead and tell me about the last two Super Bowls Brady played in, and you’ll realize two of the greatest catches in NFL history separates him from already having 5 rings. Brady has been his old self during these playoffs, torching the Ravens in the divisional round and dominating the Colts in the AFC Championship.

The Legion of Boom does not scare Tom Brady. The last time Brady went up against the Legion of Boom in 2012, he only went 36 for 58 for 397 yard and two touchdowns. I fully believe Brady has been listening to all the haters this week mixed in with “Welcome to the Jungle” on repeat getting ready for this game. So Richard Sherman, you asked Tom Brady after that game two years ago, “You mad bro?” let me answer for Mr. Brady. Yes bro, he’s mad.

Let Rich say what he wants about the “Legion of Boom” and “Beast Mode” and Russell Wilson’s “It Factor” and meatball subs, I’ll stick with what’s worked since 2001 when the Pats took down “The Greatest Show on Turf.”

My message to the Pats is to do your job and we’ll be onto the parade. And just as Pete Carroll did in my first ever Patriots game, he will fail one more time for Patriots fans everywhere. Inflate this.