My preseason picks of the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are facing off in SuperBowl 48 this season. The Seahawks who have the number 1 defense will be matched up against the Broncos who have the number 1 offense. That alone should make for some good drama. The two best teams are clearly playing for the right to be named the Super Bowl Champions and hoist up the Vince Lombardi trophy.
For Seattle fans this is history in the making and a dream come true. Seattle sports are known for disappointing fans throughout the years. The city of Seattle had 1 NBA Championship back in 1979 with the Seattle Sonics and even that team has left the city to become the OKC Thunder. The only other championships that are in Seattle are from the WNBA teams the Seattle Storm who won in 2004 and 2010. But lets be honest how many of us watch or even care about the WNBA. The Mariners a team that tied an MLB record for most wins in 2001 with 116 have never even made the World Series.
So too say the least the Seattle Seahawks and the city are hungry for a SuperBowl Championship. Especially after the Superbowl loss in 2006 to the Pittsburgh (we steal) Steelers who clearly were in cahoots with the referees. So the Seahawks are trying to avenge their one and only Superbowl appearance and loss. The Seahawks hope to make this 2013-14 a memorable season and cement their legacy as champions. This Seahawks team is a better team than the one that lost in 2006. This Seahawks team is the complete package. From Russell Wilson commanding the helms at Quarterback to Beastmode Marshawn Lynch creating seismic Beastquake Earthquakes every time he carries the ball. Don’t even get me started about our defense. The Hawks Defense or as they say in Seattle SEAFENCE is the BEST in the league. As Richard Sherman put it so eloquently after the Hawks beat the Niners in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, “Im the Best corner in the league.” It may come across as arrogance but at least he has proven that statement to be true on the field. Shutdown sherman should truly be his name because sticks to his receivers and does not get beat. In fact anytime that Sherman is targeted it is either intercepted, deflected or an incomplete pass. Sherman leads the NFL with the most interceptions in the regular season with 8 INTs. Along with Sherman is All-Pro Earl Thomas. Earl the Pearl makes big play after big play. The Seahawks secondary is impeccable. Along with the corners are the safeties such as Maxwell and Thurmond who are defensive stoppers. The front seven that includes Big Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett who are sack masters and fumble forcers are truly too much too handle. This Seahawks team is so deep at every position. Russell Wilson has all the offensive tools and weapons and uses his accuracy, decision-making, and athleticism to his and the Seahawks advantage. Hardly will you see Russell make an ill-advised pass or inerrant fumble (insert first play of NFC Championship game). With Beastmode Lynch the Skittles remain flying and the Hawks ground and pound game is want keeps the opponents off balance. Once the Seahawks get things rolling on the ground it opens up the passing game and air attack for Russell Wilson. DangeRuss is just as cerebral and smart as Peyton Manning, the scary thing about Russell is he has tremendous speed, accuracy, and always makes the right play. It is a wonder why he was passed up until the 3rd round of the NFL Draft because of his height. Russell has all the intangibles and everything you want in a Quarterback, not too mention he is a fantastic community driven and family man off the field.
Now lets talk Denver. Honestly just like the Niners game, I’m not that scared. Denver is overloaded with talent offensively but defensively they are not as great as the #1 Seahawks defense. Peyton Manning set the offensive passing record with 55 touchdown passes this season. Manning also set the passing record for most yards thrown in a season (surpassing Drew Brees) with 5,477 yards completed. The product of Tennessee was second in QB rating with a 115 percentage and third in completion percentage at 68.3 percent. The Broncos led the NFL in total offensive yards with 7,317 under Manning, averaging 37.9 points per game and gaining an average of 457 yards per game. Basically this all says that the Broncos are really efficient and a high powered offense that like to air it out with Peyton Manning. However we cannot forget the ground game of the Broncos. The Broncos were 15th in the NFL in total rush yards with 1873 average 117 yards per game. So not the greatest of running teams but a middle of the pack type team on the ground. The Seahawks however make there money on the ground as they were number #4 in total rush yards with 2188 and 138.6 rush yards per game. So the two squads play a very different type of game. Manning has many weapons offensively that he likes to target. Not only that but he likes to spread the wealth and the ball can literally be thrown to anyone. Manning targets his deep threat and number #1 receiver Demaryius Thomas, to his slot and speedster Wes Welker, to his big Tight Ends Julian Thomas and Jacob Tamme, to the lengthy Eric Decker. Peyton is very cerebral and audibles at the line changing the play more than most people change lanes in traffic. Manning will try to draw the Seahawks defense offsides and look for holes in the coverage. The key for Seattle to keep their playmakers back in coverage and play tight man to man. The Seahawks secondary which is the best in the league cannot give up the big plays and lose sight of receivers. If the Seahawks are able to shut down the playmakers for the Broncos and get pressure and sack Manning then it should result in a win for Seattle.
Clock management will be key to this Superbowl. Whoever controls the ball and the clock will determine the outcome of this game. If the Seahawks can sustain long run heavy time burning drives that produce seven they will definitely be favored to come out on top. If Manning and the Broncos can do the same and consistently put up touchdowns then the Broncos will have the edge. Like I said clock management and time of possession that produces scores will determine Super Bowl 48. If the Seahawks defense who was a leader in takeaways and defensive scores can fluster and get pressure on Manning then the Hawks will have a clear advantage and make the load on the offense much easier. Turnover Thursday as the Seahawks say at practice will be crucial against a pass heavy offense like the Broncos.
The X factors in this game for Seattle will be the plays of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse offensively as well as Beastmode and Russell having success in the passing and running game. Defensively Sherman and Thomas will be key as well as Thurmond and Bobby Wagner making key stops. The 12th man will be huge even though the game is played on a neutral site at Metlife Stadium, the fans will bring the intensity for the Seahawks.
For the Broncos, the X factors are Decker, Welker, Tamme, and of course Peyton. Defensively if the Broncos can get pressure on Russell and limit Lynch to under 100 yards then they will be successful.
Predictions: The Seahawks over the Broncos 20-13. Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman co-MVPs. Marshawn Lynch Beastmode with 148 yards and a touchdown. Seattle will be bringing home their first Super Bowl in Franchise history. Party in the Rain.