Another NFL season is nearly in the books and we are left with just two teams, the offensive juggernaut Denver Broncos led by first ballot Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and the impenetrable defense and mental toughness of the Seattle Seahawks.
Undoubtedly, most everybody has heard all the assessments and seen all the numbers, watched all the preview shows, listened to all the talk shows and know everything about the upcoming Super Bowl game except for one thing: who is going to win.
Well that is where I can help you, net traveler.
First thing that jumps out at me is the weather. Any fear of snow and frigid temps is now gone although the game will probably settle in around 40 degrees for most of the evening with only a slight chance of rain. While the weather would give an advantage to the Seahawks who focus their offensive attack on the ground and who capitalize on mistakes when their defense is on the field to turn the tables on their opponents, it won’t be wet enough or cold enough to thwart Peyton. I still expect two picks from Manning although I’m not sure that alone will determine the outcome of the game.
What’ll be interesting is how the time of possession battle will be won. Marshawn Lynch is certainly one of the best running backs in the league at churning yards and keeping the clock and the chains moving in the right direction and will have plenty of running room against the Broncos who’ve been playing better on that side of the ball of late but also haven’t faced a back of his caliber. His effectiveness will unlock the Seahawk passing attack and that is about the only way they’ll be able to keep up with Peyton and the Broncos on the scoreboard. If Beast Mode can’t open up that passing game and allow Wilson and company (and maybe even most importantly, Percy Harvin and his ability to create explosive gains in a multitude of spots within a formation), then the Seahawks will struggle to score the 30 points needed to win this game. There’s no doubt that the Seahawk defense can hold the Broncos to under 30 and maybe even closer to 20 than Denver is accustomed to but it won’t matter if the Hawks aren’t putting up any points of their own.
Truth is, the Seahawks offense has been anything but reliable so far in the postseason with Russell Wilson looking off balance for most of every game they’ve played. To his credit and ultimately a direct reflection of Seattle’s coach, Pete Carroll, they have remained fiercely unrattled and focused and it has allowed them to hang tough when the sledding got tough. They’ll have to be that way once again as they are going to get punched in the nose a couple times at the least by Denver’s record setting, explosive offense.
All that to say the game will come down to how far the Seahawks are behind in the fourth quarter when they tap into their reserve energy tanks. They will be amped at kickoff and maybe much more so than the Broncos as that is kind of how they roll. If they are unable to sustain that energy into the fourth when they find themselves trailing by 10-14 points and in need of some miracle working by their hardnosed QB Wilson, they will run out of juice and lose. If they can stay even-keel through out the contest and keep it to within 14 points, there’s a solid chance they eke it out.
My call is that they do. I love Peyton and will be rooting for him personally as I feel that he is already, even without this victory, possibly the greatest QB of all time, a second ring would only cement it. But as a Raider fan, I cannot support his Broncos lol and the Seahawks are simply further removed from being a dire rival of ours so I am slightly more partial to them. Either way, I subscribe to the defensive side of the ball in almost every sport and the Seahawks are simply the best with their throwback, over the top defensive intensity and elite skill level. I think Denver has finally met their match in chilly, cloudy New Jersey. Homer Simpson called it 19-14 Broncos way back in 2005 but…
Seahawks 31 – Broncos 27