This weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year, but it is also one of my least favorite weekends of the year. The fact that this is the biggest and most important game of the NFL season, and it’s the final game of the season. There are really no words to describe how big the Super Bowl really is and how much it means to either team. The Super Bowl city, in this case the New York and New Jersey area, is literally the epicenter of football, and it’s an awesome experience. I got the chance to go to Indianapolis in 2012 for the Giants and the Patriots. I didn’t go to the game, but I got to experience all the things that go along with a Super Bowl city. It was one of the best days of my life.
These two teams are no doubt the two best teams in the NFL. The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. At the beginning of the season, I picked Denver and Seattle in the Super Bowl. A safe pick, and it turns out I was right. Now I just don’t know who to pick in the actual game. There’s a case for each team, and in my opinion, it really is a push. So let’s look at each team and decide what they have to do to be world champions on Sunday night.
The Broncos have the best offense, and the best QB in the NFL. They have a terrific offensive line that has been able to protect Peyton Manning all season long, and one of the reasons he has had such a good season. They have wide receivers that are strong, physical, athletic, and smart. They have depth at every position on offense including running back and tight end. Depth is important because the Seahawks will key on certain players in the game like Decker, Thomas, Welker, and Moreno, creating opportunities for guys like Andre Caldwell, Montee Ball, and Virgil Green.
Defensively, they have struggled at times during the season, but have overall played well. They have a good defensive line led by Shaun Phillips and “Pot Roast” Terrance Knighton. The linebacker position is solid with Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan. In the secondary, Champ Bailey is finally getting the chance to play in the Super Bowl after a long, hall of fame career. Back there with him is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The secondary may be the most important part of the game for Denver, and could give them an advantage.
The Seahawks have the best defense, and the best CB in the NFL. The Legion of Boom is by far the reason they have had so much success in 2013. The way they communicate, play physically, and make plays on the ball are what give them an advantage. The Seahawks defensive line has gone somewhat unnoticed so far this season, and they a very important part of the defense, clogging the run and pressuring the quarterback all season long. Linebackers Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner will be critical in Sundays game because of the speed and crossing routes the Broncos like to run.
Offensively, it starts with Russell Wilson. Wilson has struggled as of late, and it has been showing. Seattle’s offense has struggled, and it isn’t going to get easier with Denver’s secondary. The offensive line has to be able to protect Wilson, and let him step up in the pocket to make the throws. Percy Harvin will be back, and he can be a game changer, if he can just play the whole game without getting hurt. You better believe Denver will be bringing it whenever Harvin is on the field. Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin will need to be able to get down the field and play fast against a quick secondary in Denver. The most important part of the offense for Seattle is Marshawn Lynch. They need to give him the ball and keep giving him the ball all day. He will bust one eventually, and he will be running with an attitude in the biggest game of his life, against a team that has played great run defense in the playoffs.
Peyton Manning has had 2 weeks to prepare for this Seattle defense, and you better believe he will be ready. The Broncos all season long, have been able to run long, crossing routes across the field and Seattle has struggled against that at times this season. Look for Denver to run play action from tight formations with the receivers close to the formation. This gives Denver an advantage by bringing the linebackers up on the play action and throwing the crossing routes behind them. Keep in mind that Seattle has only faced ONE top ten offense this season. Yes, ONE.
Passing Game: Denver
Marshawn Lynch has been beast mode throughout the season, and I expect that to continue in Super Bowl XLVIII. He has to get the ball early and often. Denver’s defensive line has been good but not great, and a strong Seattle running game will open up things in the passing game for Russell Wilson, and cause problems for the Broncos defense.
Running Game: Seattle
Defensively, there is nothing Seattle can’t handle. They have the best secondary, and one of the top defensive lines in the NFL. I expect them to bring a lot of pressure at Peyton Manning, meaning Peyton has to get rid of the ball early, and not have chances to throw the ball down the field. This ball hawking secondary will be licking their chops with the guys up front pinning their ears back and rushing Peyton.
We all know that football is not just offense and defense, it’s also special teams. Denver has playmakers at every position on special teams and that in itself can be a game changer. Trindon Holliday will have an impact on the game on Sunday. Seattle has struggled on special teams multiple times this season. Denver has the best kicker in the NFL in Matt Prater, and he will also play a big role in the game, especially with Seattle’s defense causing problems for Manning and stalling drives.
Special Teams: Denver
So there you go. It’s a push. I have been having a hard time trying to decide who I am going with, but I’ve decided it’s time to ride! All week I have been getting a feeling about a Peyton Manning drive to end the game, and solidify Peyton’s legacy as one of the greatest of all time. I predict Peyton will lead the Broncos down the field will :04 remaining, and Matt Prater will kick a 42 yard game winning field goal to give Denver their 3rd Vince Lombardi Trophy.
What do you think? Let me know by heading over to the Daily Poll tab, and making your pick!