By David Sauer
NFL fans should be happy with this Super Bowl matchup. It’s old versus young, offense versus defense, pass versus run, Denver versus Seattle.
Seattle’s secondary will have its toughest challenge of the season taking on the high-flying Denver pass attack. Richard Sherman, the self-proclaimed best corner in the game will get his chance to prove it facing Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas.
The way to stop Manning and his receiving gang is by pressuring Manning. New England’s defense failed to pressure Manning in the AFC Championship game and failed to win the game.
Seattle’s front seven will have to pressure Manning because if he has the time, he will find a receiver, no matter how good Sherman thinks he is.
The Seattle pass rush should have an easier time getting to Manning, who will definitely not be running for 130 yards like Colin Kaepernick did. If they can get to Manning quickly, it will allow Sherman and Earl Thomas to make plays and force interceptions.
As always, the Seahawks will look to run the ball first. Marshawn Lynch will have an easier time finding holes to run through than he did against San Francisco’s fourth best run defense, but maybe not a lot easier.
The Broncos main goal against the Patriots was to take the run away. If Denver takes that approach in the Super Bowl, Russell Wilson will have to win the game through the air. Despite their success against Tom Brady, Denver was still 27th in pass defense during the regular season.
Although Wilson won’t light up the stat sheet with passing yards, he will be able to make the big play when it needs to be made.
The determining factor could be the weather in New York. Freezing temperatures could end up making the difference, and Seattle is better built to handle adverse conditions.
By Ryan Woods
Could it get better than this? The NFL’s top-ranked offense, led by Peyton Manning, will face the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL’s top-ranked defense, in the 2014 Super Bowl.
With a 26-16 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, the Denver Broncos return to the biggest stage in sports for the first time since 1998.
When “on pace for” became “finished with,” Quarterback Peyton Manning had registered the most impressive statistical season in the history of the NFL. Manning set new all-time records for total yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55).
Manning, this season’s likely league MVP, looks to further cement his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time with a second Lombardi Trophy.
The 2013 Denver Broncos will be remembered for its potent offense that now holds numerous single-season records, but don’t overlook what this defense, specifically against the run, has accomplished in these playoffs. Led upfront by Terrance Knighton, this group held San Diego and New England to an average of just 64.5 yards on the ground.
The biggest challenge for this defensive front awaits them in Marshawn Lynch. Lynch is one of the premier backs in the league and the focal point of Seattle’s attack. The Seahawks will pound Lynch between the tackles early and often. How Denver’s defensive front holds up will go a long way in determining the the winner.
The biggest x-factor of this game could be the weather in New York City. This is the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city. The nastier the weather the more of an advantage Seattle and its rushing attack will have.
A year ago, Baltimore and San Francisco went down to the final bell. Will this year be the same?