It’s go time Hawks fans
That moment we have all been waiting our entire lives for, or at least since the final whistle in Detroit, is finally here.
The Seattle Seahawks will face off against their foes of yesteryear, the Denver Broncos, in what should be one of the best Super Bowl’s of all time. At least on paper.
Matchup: Seattle vs. Denver
Venue: MetLife Stadium
Time: 6:30 PM (3:30 PM local)
Weather: Mid to upper 30’s at kickoff, slight chance of rain or snow
Team Records: Seattle 15-3. Denver 15-3.
Standings: Seahawks NFC Champions. Broncos AFC Champions.
The scene was set almost two weeks ago, but for many, this matchup was destined to happen before the kickoff of that first pre-season game so many months ago.
The Seahawks took it to the Broncos that day, even though it was only an exhibition game, our top ranked defense did some damage to the Broncos first unit, including Mr. Peyton Manning himself.
Now some 4 months later, the Seahawks faithful want to finish the job that neither John Fox nor Pete Carroll would allow to happen in a pre-season game.
Game note/How they match up
High powered offense vs. punishing defense. Peyton Manning against the Legion of Boom. That is the story line being played out by multiple news outlets, but I think there is a lot more than the offense vs. defense plot.
But more importantly, will the Seahawks linebackers allow Manning to slant them to death with those 5-6 yard precision passes that he uses to slaughter defenses?
Just questions at this point in time, but I think these are going to be the keys to a Seahawks victory.
What to watch: Seattle
With a flip of the ball Richard Sherman became the Super Bowl’s villain, which is kind of nice since now we don’t need ESPN to make up any drama for the game.
But, ultimately, this is what to watch for in this game: How Richard Sherman backs up his huge performance in the NFC Title game.
Denver has the superior receivers by far, and Sherman can only cover one at a time, so the question is, will Manning tempt fate the same way Colin Kaepernick did?
Of course Sherman has some help from the rest of the LOB too.
What to watch: Denver
Much of the same as the previous statement, but really if Denver is going to win, they will need to get some movement out of the backfield.
A move that hasn’t proven to be too easy this year for teams facing the menacing Seahawks front line.
But this ultimately will be a battle between Peyton Manning and the Seahawks secondary.
Seattle O vs. Denver D
This is where the Hawks need to deliver. The Denver defense is good, but they aren’t San Francisco good, or Carolina good or even Arizona good.
All teams that the Seahawks beat this year using their tried and true philosophy: Get the ball into the hands of Marshawn Lynch.
Russell Wilson is going to have to do a better job of completing his passes on third downs too, 3 and outs have been the Achilles heel of this team for the better part of two months now.
With the addition of Percy Harvin back in the lineup, this should open up some options for Wilson, but I honestly think that the Hawks need to employ the talents of both Zach Miller and Luke Willson often in this game.
Denver O vs. Seattle D
No more broken record talk about Manning vs. the LOB.
The man who needs to step up the most this game will be Bobby Wagner. Not saying that he hasn’t all year, but he is the heart and soul of the middle of this defense.
Manning likes to hit slant passes, no secret here. Wagner will have to be a force in the middle so there won’t be as many open lanes for Manning and Wes Welker to hook up on.
And then there is the pass rush. Manning hasn’t been sacked a single time this post season! That is just crazy. The front 4 will need to get to him early, and often. Disrupt his timing, and knock him on his butt, all day long.
Denver is the favorite at the time of this article by 2.5 points. But, it is common knowledge that Peyton Manning is under .500 as a starter in games that have a kickoff temperature of below 40 degrees.
The kickoff temperature according to multiple sources on Wednesday state that the kickoff temp will be right around 36 degrees, with gusts of wind up to 20 MPH.
I’ve been saying for the past week and a half that the weather will play a huge role in this game, and with a cold and windy night in New Jersey on the horizon, this plays into the hands of the Seahawks.