If you had not previously surmised the game of the week, it is the Superbowl, this Sunday. The Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks in what is the 5th matchup since the merger of best offense versus best defense, but the first time since the bests have both the highest scoring/least allowed and most yards gained versus most allowed.
The Denver Broncos, starring Peyton Manning having the best regular season a quarterback has ever had. Achieving one yard more than the yardage record and breaking the touchdown record by 5, in addition to having his team break the single season team scoring record, the Denver Broncos are the most prolific offense in the history of the league. This, however, comes with an asterisk to many avid followers of the NFL. The best defense the Broncos faced all year was the Texans, who went 2-14, the league’s worst team. The average defense the Broncos faced was 20th, facing teams with porous defenses such as Philadelphia, at the beginning of the season, Dallas, and Washington. Manning accrued gaudy numbers in these matchups, while struggling against the mediocre defenses of New England and San Diego. If Manning plays well and overcomes some of his playoff issues, which were reflected, despite some beliefs, in both of his games this year, scoring low in both matchups with each team. How will Peyton fare against the best defense in the league?
The aforementioned best defense in the league, the Seahawks, have been rated as the number one or two team all year and, in a stunning turnabout, the team that the ESPN commentators actually predicted would represent the NFC in the Superbowl before the preseason. Now, while you are recovering from shock that the commentators were actually correct, there is some information that also needs to be addressed. The Seahawks, like the Broncos, faced little opposition to their gaudy numbers. The only good offense the Seahawks faced was New Orleans in Seattle, twice. While both teams have one of the greatest quarterbacks of their generation, there is one integral difference: NO has Jimmy Graham, Denver has Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, former New England star Wes Welker, along with TE Julius Thomas and running back Knowshon Moreno, all who are better than their New Orleans counterparts (excluding the Julius Thomas/Graham matchup). The Seahawks were able to contain Graham in their meetings by double, and sometimes triple, covering Graham, a luxury they will not have with Denver’s plethora of capable targets. Sherman, along with the rest of the “Legion of Boom” will have to definitely step up if they want to contain the team with the best combinations of weapons in the league.
In what could be one of the higher scoring games, with the Seahawks’ offense keeping up against the weaker defense, or a lower scoring with the playmaking Denver defense stepping up to match the physicality, this Superbowl is surely going to be one for the ages. Prediction: The Seahawks take charge at first, but Peyton catches his stride in the second half. Denver wins 34-20