FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (87) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks' Kam Chancellor in the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle.  A Super Bowl matchup well worth watching: Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski vs. Seattle's Kam Chancellor, one of the few safeties in the league capable of stopping him.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The New England Patriots generally are prepared for anything, and we can boil down their Super Bowl approach to the Seattle Seahawks in two ways: Their attack if Seattle goes to man-to-man coverage, and their attack for the Seahawks’ “Cover 3” zone. When we look at how the Patriots might try to beat Seattle’s fantastic “Cover 3,” we’ll see ways the Patriots can get tight end Rob Gronkowski open. It’s obvious Gronkowski is a huge part of this game. [ Watch the Super Bowl live here and on NBC Sports – Sunday at 6 p.m. ET ] Seattle’s foundation is the “Cover 3,” in which three defensive backs are responsible for a deep third of the field. But they’ve used a lot of man this season as well. They used man a lot against Green Bay in the NFC championship game, but that might have been because they were behind and needed to get a little more aggressive. Either way, New England will have a plan. Against man-to-man coverage The Patriots are really, really good in the pass game when it comes to shifts, motions, stack release and bunch concepts. They’ll move around a lot to get to routes that can beat man coverage. They put stress on a defense with all their pre-snap movement and formations. You can get a good look at this from the AFC championship game. Julian Edelman is split wide, comes in motion, and you can see how that affects the Colts’ man-to-man coverage on him. It creates some confusion. Cornerbacks Greg Toler and Darius Butler communicate anticipating some kind of bunch/stack concept as Edelman comes in motion. Edelman runs an initial inside stem as if he’s going to run a drive route with a natural rub element (theoretically picking off Edelman’s defender with another Patriots receiver’s route), and then was open when he cut outside. It’s a great concept against man.

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