Posted January 15, 2014

Patriots, Seahawks and Broncos appear on cover of Sports Illustrated

AFC East, AFC West, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, NFC West, NFL Playoffs, Seattle Seahawks, Sports Illustrated Cover
Damian Strohmeyer for SI

(Damian Strohmeyer for SI)

With Championship Sunday upon us, this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated features the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.

The Patriots entered the season plagued by question marks on offense. But several unheralded contributors stepped up amid that uncertainty, propelling New England to an AFC title game meeting with the Broncos. Senior writer Tim Layden details those players in this week’s cover story.

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“These Patriots are the unlikeliest AFC finalists of the Bill Belichick era, a team that went 12–4 despite being steadily thinned by personnel losses [injuries and otherwise] from June into January,” Layden writes. LeGarrette Blount, who emerged from the bottom of the depth chart, ran for a franchise-best four touchdowns and 166 yards in New England’s 43-22 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the divisional round.

(Robert Beck/SI)

(Robert Beck/SI)

Although Seattle is known more for its 12th man and read-option offense, its defense has become legendary under coach Pete Carroll. Senior writer Jim Trotter details the evolution of that defense, specifically the front seven.

“[Carroll's] motto is Always compete — another way of saying Never be complacent. So instead of waiting for the defense to improve with experience and familiarity, he and new coordinator Dan Quinn asked six of their 10 returning starters to line up at new positions or to play new roles.”

(Jed Jacobsohn for SI)

(Jed Jacobsohn for SI)

Wes Welker graces the third SI regional cover. The Broncos face the Patriots, Welker’s old team, in the AFC title game Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

17 comments
Pattay13
Pattay13

I am a Pats fan but no 49ers? Huh. Didn't realize there are only 3 teams playing on the championship Sunday. :-[ 

animasphere
animasphere

In a little over a month, we've had to put up with Candlestick and Harbaugh's ugly mug on SI covers. Get over it!

pirate
pirate

Again, I'm sure it's not meant as a slight. They are *regional* covers, and since SF and Seattle are in the same publishing region, they couldn't both be on the cover, and Seattle *did* win the division and No. 1 seed. But did you notice the headline? The cover story is apparently about what the Niners have to do to win the game. If the Niners want to be on the cover that matters – the one after the game – all they have to do is win.


Go 'Hawks!

Ken14
Ken14

As a die-hard Forty-Niner fan, I can only see this, (SI's omission of the Niners) as a badge of honor---especially after the Niners take down the Seahawks and the AFC Champion in the Superbowl.  Thanks SI for your pettiness & senility.  

Cool
Cool

LMAO.. only SI can do something this silly and childish.  4 teams left and they choose 3 for their covers.  

BobbySabnani
BobbySabnani

Glad the Niners didn't make it, now that means we aren't jinxed, phew!

Joe R2
Joe R2

No Niners?  I'm not a fan of any of these teams but it only seems fair to have ALL 4 teams on the covers.  Is Peter King's mancrush on Justin Smith a thing of the past??

beastmode206
beastmode206

SHAME ON SI FOR ONLY DOING 3 COVERS AND NOT 4 AND IM A HAWKS FAN. NOT COOL AT ALL

James160
James160

It's kind of hard not to state the obvious here...and you can bet the Niners will use this as bulletin board material

deanrobert99
deanrobert99

Seahawks, Broncos and Patriots on SI cover?  This clearly makes the 49ers the Super Bowl favorites.  Damn that SI cover curse...

MariaKirchner
MariaKirchner

@James160 

Highly doubt that this time.They did put up billboards previously,however they are now banned by the city and the advertiser.

pirate
pirate

@James160I seriously doubt the Niners need "bulletin board material" to be motivated for this game. They're regional covers, and Seattle and SF are in the same region. Only one was going to make the cover. I would think the chance to go to the Super Bowl would be enough motivation for a professional football player. 

But yeah, damn the SICKOD (Sports Illustrated Cover Kiss of Death.)



Cool
Cool

@pirate @James160 With two teams in the same area, it would make more sense to put both on the cover and sell more copy... but SI has never been known for doing the right thing.  Perhaps they are hoping for SF to win it all and believing in their own jinx, but I doubt it.