So here we are at the end of another magnificent NFL season with two teams left standing to battle for the elusive Lombardi Trophy in the ultimate American sporting event… the Super Bowl. This season the annual championship game will be played in an outdoor cold weather environment at MetLife Stadium in the Jersey Meadowlands. Opinions have been all over the place regarding the potential for bad weather during this Super Bowl. Everything from competitive advantage, to the integrity of the Championship game, and logistics for fans attending have been questioned since the game was awarded to North Jersey. By the way just a quick side-note this game is being played in New Jersey not New York, the national media tends to give credit where it shouldn’t be given. Regardless, for those of us that will watch on TV with friends/family it will be a spectacle like no other. I’m giving the NFL two thumbs up for having the guts to move this game outside into the elements. Let’s be real for a second, football is a game meant to be played in the most outrageous of weather conditions. How dare you spoon feed me my Super Bowl year in and year out in the same weather conditions. It’s about time we let the two best team’s battle it out in a blizzard, or a monsoon. The NFL prides itself on being at the forefront of competition in American sports so I applaud them for making this move and putting these guys outside in the cold North Jersey weather.
Now onto the actual game itself which will feature the two top teams in the NFL. Next to watching the Eagles make the Super Bowl this is probably the next best matchup any football fan could have asked for. You have the two top teams in the league going against each other for the championship of the world. This matchup will be only the 2nd time in the past twenty years the two teams with the best record will meet in the Super Bowl. I’m not going to lie initially I wanted to see the 49ers make it but when I stopped and thought about it and read into it a little more it’s pretty clear the storylines/matchup will be better with the Seahawks going against Denver.
The football gods really blessed us with this one, the number 1 offense going up against the number 1 defense, you can’t really ask for much more as a football fan. The Broncos were the highest-scoring team of all time. They’ve rolled over teams left and right this season. But the old saying is defense wins championships. The Seahawks have been dominating offenses all season. They shut down a high powered New Orleans Saints offense twice this season. But the question will be can the Seahawks survive in a neutral environment without the 12th man supporting them.
The quarterback matchup will be one for the ages. New school represented by 2nd year QB Russell Wilson against old school represented by Peyton Manning. Wilson brings that mobile QB play to the game. He has the most regular season wins by a QB in his first two seasons since 1950. He’s also the only QB in NFL history have a 100+ passer rating in both his rookie and second season.
Manning represents the old school pocket passer. Some of the greatest QB’s of all time have been of the pocket passer variety and opinions vary all over the place if the mobile QB will be surpass the classic pocket QB. Manning can help put that debate to rest a little longer by winning the big game. Manning is coming off the greatest regular season by a QB with 5,477 yards passing and 55 TDs. He’s attempting to become the first QB to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises having gone 1-1 so far with the Colts. Not only that but Manning is really playing for his legacy. Stat wise he’s probably the greatest QB to ever play the game but his playoff record and lack of Super Bowl rings don’t put him at the top. If Manning really wants to be considered the top QB of all time he needs this win in North Jersey to cement his legacy.
The Seahawks defense led by overnight twitter sensation Richard Sherman will be up for the challenge of stopping Manning and the Broncos offense. The Seahawks secondary finished the regular season ranked first in total and scoring defense. It ranked first in points allowed, yards per game allowed, and total takeaways. Sherman has been under a firestorm of criticism after he was interviewed immediately following the NFC title game and lashed out against 49er receiver Michael Crabtree. Some out there called it unsportsmanlike and brash. I say let the man go because being brash and bold has gotten his defense to the top of the rankings and now his team all the way to the Super Bowl. Why change anything now? Sherman and the Seattle defense will need all the confidence they have to stop Manning and this Bronco offense.
I foresee this being a close game and one we’ll remember for a long time. It’s new school vs old school at the QB position. Its defense vs offense, and its reputation and legacy on the line for Manning. I like the Seahawks chances of winning this game. Their defense has been amazing all season no matter who they’ve faced. Russell Wilson and the offense haven’t been bad either and the running of Marshawn Lynch has been a force for defenses all season.
But at the end of the day I’m a firm believer that experience helps go a long way and the Broncos have tons of it on offense. Peyton Manning and Wes Welker alone have been to multiple Super Bowls. The Seahawks have no players on their roster who have played in a Super Bowl. Manning has been sharp all season and he comes in with his offense hitting their stride again as they were in the early part of the season. Defense does win championships but in this case the defense is going up against one of the greatest of all time. That’s why I’m picking the Broncos to win this game with a final score 27-20. It’ll go down to the wire with Manning even possibly being asked to lead the Broncos downfield to take the lead late in the game. But Manning playing in brother Eli’s stadium with the world watching will make for a recipe for him to complete the comeback he wanted from the day he signed with Denver. Early prediction for next season’s Super Bowl… I’ll be writing about the Eagles playing in it… I hope.