Keys to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy
I can’t believe this will be the final “Blueprint to Victory” piece that I get to write this year, maybe even longer depending on how next year’s assignments pan out.
It has been a crazy season full of ups and downs, but mostly ups! Thank you all for sticking out the epic season with me.
As I sit here in my hotel room just a block away from Super Bowl Boulevard wondering what I can say that hasn’t already been said, I realize the 12th man is on the cusp of celebrating the Seattle Seahawks‘ first Super Bowl victory.
At this point, the game has been over-analyzed by any and every person who covers the sport. Luckily, I don’t cover the sport as a whole, I cover the Seahawks. I can be more in touch with reality than the talking heads who seemingly only want to discuss the great Broncos offense.
They will tell you that the Denver’s offense is the best offense in history. Statistically, that is true — well, through the air anyway. What they fail to mention is that the Broncos faced the easiest strength of schedule, while the Seahawks battled through the 10th toughest.
I’d say the Seahawks are definitely the more battle-tested team, especially when you consider the fact that they had to play the 49ers three times. San Francisco is the most physical team in all of football — not including Seattle, of course.
Offense vs. Offense
A lot of questions marks have surrounded Seattle’s offense lately. That may not be as much of a factor as some people would like you to think, so let’s take a look at the defensive strength these two teams have faced.
Six of the last seven games, the Seahawks have gone up against top-10 defenses. Meanwhile the Broncos only faced top-10 defenses twice all year including the postseason.
Percy Harvin played in part of two quarters during that span. The Seahawks managed to find pay dirt in both of the quarters with Percy Harvin playing a vital role on each of those touchdown drives. Unfortunately, for the most part, Percy has been sidelined with injuries, which has voided Seattle’s offense of their most explosive offensive weapon.
Guess who’s back for the Super Bowl?
Defense vs. Defense
Denver has the 22nd-ranked scoring defense in the NFL. Seattle is averaging just under 34 points per game against defenses ranked 20th or lower this season. Most of those games, the Seahawks offense played without Harvin and with as many as three starting offensive lineman sidelined. This week, everyone is healthy.
I’m not saying this is going to be a cake walk, but the Seattle Seahawks are the better team. As statistically brilliant as Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ offense has been, the Legion of Boom is one victory away from going down as the greatest secondary of all time.
Think of the legendary defenses like the “Steel Curtain,” the “Purple People eaters” or the New York Giants’ “Big Blue Wrecking Crew.” The “Legion of Boom” will take their rightful place among the greatest defenses of all time if they are able to contain Manning on Super Sunday.
If I know that, you know that they know that. I sure wouldn’t want to be the one standing between this young, hard-hitting defense and glory. It is a good thing Wes Welker has six inches of padding on each side of his helmet. He’s going to need every bit of it on Sunday.
Manning can be frazzled if a defensive line starts to hit him. They don’t even need to get sacks, they just need to make him uncomfortable.
It is Friday night here in the Big Apple, and I’m getting so excited that I can feel the electricity running through my body. I hope reading this has a similar effect on you.
All of a sudden my nerves have calmed and I’m, for the first time in almost two weeks, realizing that this game is Seattle’s to lose.
Super prediction: The Seahawks come out of the gate slowly. Pay close attention to the physical nature of Seattle on both sides of the ball, as it starts to wear on the Broncos.
After an extended halftime, Denver’s bodies will be tired of being beaten up and the Seahawks will take control of the game in the second half. Pete Carroll will lead his team to victory, and the Seahawks will win Super Bowl XLVIII 31-17.
Richard Sherman will be named MVP, making him the first defender to win the award since Dexter Jackson of the Buccaneers won it in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Also expect Marshawn Lynch to have a huge game. After all, he’s ‘Bout that action boss.