Super Bowl XLVIII: Five Key Matchups
America’s unofficial holiday is upon us, Super Bowl Sunday. The best offense in football will square up against the league’s most tenacious defense. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will kickoff tomorrow night in East Rutherford in what is already a historic matchup.
And it would not be a Super Bowl if our NFL analysts Collin McQuade and Daveson Perez didn’t make predictions beforehand, and as expected, they disagree on tomorrow’s outcome.
Collin McQuade: 27-23 Denver
- Denver: 2 Field Goals, 3 Touchdowns( 1 Moreno, 2 Manning)
- Seattle: 3 Field Goals, 2 Touchdowns( 1 Lynch, 1 Wilson)
Daveson Perez: 28-20 Seattle
- Russell Wilson throws 2 TD’s and Marshawn Lynch runs in for 2 TD’s
- Manning throws 2 TD’s and the Seahawks defense forces 2 FG’s
1.) The Old versus The New: Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson
DP: Peyton Manning has always come up short in these situations. He is Superman and playoff action is his kryptonite. That is not to take away from the phenomenal season that he has had this year, but this simple fact is that when these moments come around Manning tends to shrink. On the other hand the young man Russell Wilson has a chance to propel himself to be the future of the league if he takes advantage of this situation against the legendary Peyton Manning. This Super Bowl will be a break-out game from Mr.Wilson and that he will finally be recognized not just as a game manager, but as a dominant quarterback in this league.
CM: Peyton Manning will show greatness on Sunday and Russell Wilson will be the game manager some think he is. Seattle will rely heavy on the run game to try and take the clock away from Manning and not let Wilson have an opportunity for failure. Peyton manning will rise to the occasion and take a few risks but that also may land him in some hot water.
2.) Seattle Secondary vs. Dynamic Denver Receiving Core
DP: For the greater part of this season so much has been made of the “5 weapons” that the Broncos possess in Demarius and Julius Thomas, Wes Welker, Erik Decker, and Knowshon Moreno in the back field at running back. This receiving core certainly is a high caliber team of receivers, but they have not faced a secondary like that of Seattle’s. The only two teams coming remotely close to the weapons that are on Seattle’s defense are the Houston Texans(2-14) and the Kansas City Chiefs that allowed Andrew Luck and the Colts to drop 35 on them in the second half to knock them out of the playoffs. This Seahawks secondary has four strong, quick, Pro-Bowl football players that aggressive and hit hard! The secondary will play a huge role in getting the Broncos off the field as quick as possible.
CM: I believe this is Welkers’ game. He has the most favorable matchup as he is going to be playing against linebackers and rarely lined up against a safety or corner. The tight ends and outsides will be locked up by the incredible secondary and the left side will be almost invisible with a man by the name of Sherman lingering in the area. Welker will have to dominate the inside.
3.) Marshawn Lynch vs. Denver Defense
DP: The only role that Marshawn Lynch is going to serve in this Super Bowl are in red-zone situations and as a decoy to set up the passing game. I envision Lynch scoring two touchdowns within 5 yards from the goal line. No big runs this game. Denver’s run defense is tied for 7th in the league with, ironically enough, the Seattle Seahawks.
CM: BEAST MODE will do what he does. The game will be on his shoulders as the Seahawks try to use his skills to slow the game down and work the clock in their favor. He will have a big game but the key is if Russell Wilson can use the run to set up play action and other weapons because the BEAST will wear out at some point.
4.) Knowshon Moreno vs Seattle Defense
DP: Peyton Manning is going to need Moreno to have a big game rushing if he hopes to set up his own passing game. Unfortunately for him, I do not see this happening. Just like their secondary, the Seahawks front seven is something to be afraid of. Not only do they put pressure on the quarterback in key situations, they are also highly adept at keeping running backs out of the end zone. They have only allowed four rushing touchdowns all season long. That is tied for 1st in the league, with the Carolina Panthers. Sorry Knowshon.
CM: Denver’s run game will be a factor but a small one. It will be to set up play action and to draw in safeties so receivers can get better breaks downfield. Denver is going to have to establish the run so that the Seattle defensive backs can’t just sit back and have a field day in nickel coverage.
5.) Richard Sherman vs Outside Wide Receiver.
DP: Sherman is known for talking smack and backing it up. His comments about Manning “throwing ducks” and Manning’s response are going to make for an exciting Super Bowl. For this reason I believe Peyton will get baited into throwing balls Sherman’s way and accordingly Sherman will back up his talk and intercept one, maybe two passes thrown in his direction.
CM: I believe that whether Thomas or Decker, whoever is in the game on the left side of the field will be eliminated by Richard Sherman. They will be non-factors unless they can switch it up or use Welker as a chip player like they did against Aqib Talib. Other than chips and crossing patterns the Richard Sherman factor will make us focus on the right half of the field for the day.