As all the fans prepare themselves for the cold in Metlife stadium, the Broncos and Seahawks are preparing themselves for the biggest game of their lives. This should be an exciting game as the #1 offense and defense square off, playing to go down in history. Here are a couple of reasons why each team can win the big game.
How the Seattle Seahawks can win:
1.) Defense wins championships: In the Super Bowl Era, the team ranked #1 in team defense has gone on to win all but one time. This Seattle defense is currently setting its legacy as one of the premier defenses in NFL history. This might be upsetting to those who remember the 85′ Bears or the 00′ Ravens or even the Steel Curtain of the 70s but it is true. In order for Seattle’s defense to have a major impact on this game they need to stop Manning from converting 3rd downs and force 1-2 turnovers. Both have been routine for the Seahawks as they led the league in turnovers forced and came in 3rd in first downs allowed. As I accurately predicted, if Seattle can force Manning to make errant throws they have a shot.
2.) Percy Harvin: Coming into this week there was a lot of talk about Richard Sherman and his bravado and Peyton Manning’s legacy, but the real X-factor will be Harvin, by far the most explosive player on either team. He has the ability to wreck games and I think he will play a major role in Seattle’s offense. He is also a dynamic special teams player with the ability to take any punt or kickoff to the house. Look at last year’s Superbowl, the real MVP was Jacoby Jones, a quick receiver who can stretch the defense and alter field position. Jones returned a kickoff for a touchdown and caught a 56 yard pass for a TD. Watch Harvin make a couple of big plays if Seattle is to win.
3.) Beast Mode: He may not talk much but as he says “I’m just about that action” and its true. Marshawn Lynch is one of the most powerful yet elusive backs in the game, racking up 1257 yards on 301 carries, proving to be the bell-cow of Seattle offense. Although Denver ranked 7th in yards allowed to running backs, Marshawn has conquered better defenses running for a combined 170 yards in two games against San Francisco (ranked 4th) and another 181 yards in two games against Arizona (ranked 1st). Actions speak louder than words and Beast Mode will be yelling all night against Denver.
How the Denver Broncos can win:
1.) Too many weapons: Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Knowshown Moreno, Montee Ball. All have been major contributors in Peyton Manning’s spectacular MVP season and will have to be if they want to win the Superbowl. The Seattle Seahawks secondary is stout, armed by Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, and Richard Sherman as well as some less heralded but talented players like Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond III. The constant pressure these receivers and backs provide make it hard on even the best secondaries to cover all of the options. Even if Peyton’s first, second and third options are shut down he still has the ability to dump it down to his backs in the flat or find a slot receiver across the middle.
2.) Keep the Ball: Denver had 26 turnovers this year with 16 fumbles and with a playmaking defense this is recipe for disaster. In their three losses the Broncos have seven turnovers, proving that they are not as invincible as everyone believes they are. Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball better cover up that ball because losing a Peyton Manning possession would be demoralizing.
3.) Keep Wilson in the Pocket: Russell Wilson had the highest completion percentage when scrambling out of the pocket and with his ability to run, this could make for a long day for the Broncos defense. Wilson has been struggling lately with only a 34.7 total QBR in post-season, granted those were two elite defenses in New Orleans and San Francisco, but still the point remains that Wilson is vulnerable. Denver ranked last in sacks this year but Seattle ranked last in pass protection and sack rate, so it is possible to penetrate the offensive line. The pass rushers need to have a good game for Denver to ward off Wilson and the Seahawks.
Prediction: Seattle 24- 20
Seattle defense proves to be the kryptonite to Peyton’s remarkable season as the Emerald city gets its first Superbowl ring.
All Stats from ESPN.com