Superbowl XLVIII – Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
Superbowl XLVIII is almost here, and features the Denver Broncos vs. the Seattle Seahawks.
This year’s Superbowl is interesting on so many levels, but none more than the fact it’s being played in a cold weather outdoor stadium. New York is the site of this year’s game and there’s has been a lot of buzz about weather having an effect.
As of this writing the forecast doesn’t look too bad, with temperatures in the 30’s and possibly some light rain or snow.
Bad weather doesn’t really have the effect on offenses as many would claim. If you listen to quarterbacks talk about bad weather, it’s the wind that can cause problems. If the field is slick, it’s actually advantage offense, because the defensive players don’t know which way the offensive players are moving.
The Denver Broncos come into the game with a 13-3 regular season record. They came off a first round bye to beat the San Diego Chargers 24-17 in the Divisional round, and the New England Patriots 26-16 in the AFC Championship.
The Broncos offense was the story of the year as they led the NFL with 457 yards per game. Denver also scored the most points in the NFL by a long shot at 606. The 2nd place team, the Chicago Bears believe it or not, scored 445.
The Broncos are loaded on offense. Quarterback Peyton Manning led the NFL with 5477 yards and an eye popping 55 TD’s.
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had 1430 yards and 14 TD’s. Tight end Julius Thomas had 788 yards and 12 TD’s. Wide receiver Eric Decker had 1288 yards and 11 TD’s. Wide receiver Wes Welker had 778 yards and 10 TD’s out of the slot.
Running back Knowshon Moreno had 1038 yards and 10 TD’s. Last but certainly not least, running back Montee Ball contributed with 559 yards and 4 TD’s.
On defense, Denver was 19th overall giving up an average of 356 yards per game, and 22nd in points allowed at 399.
The Seattle Seahawks also had a regular season 13-3 record, and also had a first round bye coming into the playoffs. They beat the New Orleans Saints 23-15 in the Divisional Round, then the San Francisco 49’ers 23-17 in the NFC Championship.
The story for the Seattle Seahawks was defense. They led the NFL in points allowed at 231. Seattle also led the NFL in yards allowed at 273 per game. Seattle had an astounding +20 takeaway margin as well.
On offense it sounds like the Seahawks will get wide receiver Percy Harvin back. The Seahawks offense was led by running back Marshawn Lynch, who had 1257 yards and 12 TD’s. Quarterback Russell Wilson had 3357 yards and 26 TD’s.
Seattle’s offense was ranked 17th overall with 339 yards per game, and 417 points. The strength of their offense is the run game. Denver was able to shut down New England’s three-headed rushing attack, so it will be interesting to see if Seattle can get Lynch going.
I think we all want to see what happens when the Broncos offense collides with the Seattle defense in good weather. Would it be neat to see the game in a blizzard? Sure, but then we wouldn’t get to see both teams at their best in good conditions.
The blueprint to beating Peyton Manning is getting in his face. Manning is all about timing and precision, and if you can throw that off, you can get him rattled. Seattle knows this and has the ability to rush him with their front four.
Manning will be looking to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible to avoid the rush. The only drawback with quick three step drops is it doesn’t give your receivers much time to get down the field. Seattle plays an “in your face” type defense, and could pose problems to Denver’s wide receivers.
A lot will depend on how the officials call the game. If they let Seattle play physical, Manning will struggle. If they call the game tight, advantage Broncos.
This will be a fantastic matchup of the #1 offense vs. the #1 defense. I wouldn’t even venture a prediction in this one. The latest Vegas line is Denver by 2.5 points. If I were a betting man, I’d take Seattle and the points, but I think I will sit this one out and just enjoy the game.