Going into the Super Bowl, the big name players are the ones most people talk about. Obviously, this practice does make some sense; the likelihood that Tom Brady or Russell Wilson ends up having the biggest impact on the result of Super Bowl XLIX is extremely high, after all. If not them, it’s likely that another star like Richard Sherman or Rob Gronkowski or Marshawn Lynch will decide who gets to lift the Lombardi Trophy.
As Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith can tell you, however, it’s not always the guy you expect who steps up and makes the plays that decide the game. With two teams as equally matched as the Patriots and Seahawks, the game may very well tilt on a few individuals simply winning their one-on-one battles.
These players who could shape the outcome of football’s biggest game are all over the field and on both sides of the ball, with many of them still relatively anonymous. While they may be unknowns for now, come February 1, one of them may become a household name. Putting the obvious players off to the side, here are 10 Players to Watch During Super Bowl XLIX.