Sunday night will see the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks battle it out in the most watched annual sporting event in the world, the Super Bowl. Both teams will be looking to be crowned NFL champions and leave the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey with a brand new piece of jewellery on their fingers.
The big battle will take place between the Broncos number 1 ranked offense and the Seahawks number 1 ranked defense. Newly crowned league MVP Peyton Manning has had a historic season at quarterback for Denver. With targets in his receiving core such as Wes Welker, Erik Decker and Julius Thomas it’s no surprise that Peyton threw for an NFL record 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. However, the main X factor in the Broncos offense is wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas. With big play ability that can break a game wide open, the way the Legion of Boom deals with Thomas will be critical. It will also be imperative that the front 4 of the Seahawks are able to get consistent pressure on Manning. If he is given time in the pocket then there is no doubt that he will be able to pick apart Seattle.
The man who has been garnering all the headlines in the build up to Super Bowl 48 has been the self proclaimed “BEST CORNER IN THE LEAGUE”, Richard Sherman. There has been much made of whether Sherman will line up opposite Demaryius Thomas during the game, however Sherman confirmed that he will stick on the left side of the defense as has been the case throughout the season. This will allow Denver to line up Thomas on the opposite side to avoid Sherman. It really will be a fascinating battle between the best secondary in the league and the best receiving core in the league.
As far as the Seattle offense is concerned they need to protect Russell Wilson much better. He was sacked 4 times in the NFC Championship game leading to 2 fumbles. With the Denver defensive front playing much better during the playoffs, it will be vital for Seattle to ensure Wilson is given time in the pocket. They’ll also be hoping Marshawn Lynch can go “beast mode” and rack up some yardage on the ground. This would take some of the pressure off the offensive line and help them keep Wilson protected so he can attack the much maligned Denver secondary.
Percy Harvin will also be making a rare appearance at receiver for Seattle. Since being traded from Minnesota in the offseason, Harvin has appeared in just 2 games. Sunday will see him suit up for a 3rd time and his impact on kick returns could be very important. We saw last year how kick/punt returns can effect the Super Bowl with Jacoby Jones winning MVP, in part for his 109 yard kickoff return touchdown. Harvin is one of the most explosive returners in the game and if he can give Seattle consistently good field position it will go along way to helping them to win.
I think that the Seattle defense will be able to hold Denver to just 2 touchdowns, whereas the Broncos secondary will struggle to contain the speedy receivers of the Seahawks. I just give the edge to Seattle, with them winning by 4 points.
My prediction: Denver Broncos 20-24 Seattle Seahawks