Super Bowl XLVIII Preview: The Seattle Seahawks

Published: Feb 02, 2014 04:11am EST
By Michael Owen, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 02, 2014 @ 04:21am EST


Sit back America, this one should be fun.

Championships are won with rushing and defense. Period. History favors Richard Sherman and the Seattle defense, and I would never want to try to argue with history...or Sherman (why is he so angry?).

It's right there in the NFL big-game chronology:

For the 5th time in Super Bowl history the #1 defense is taking on the #1 offense, The top rated defense is 3-1 in the previously aforementioned games. Throw in a possible nasty taste of North New Jersey wind and maybe some precipitation to make things slick and uncertain for Peyton Manning on Sunday at MetLife Stadium ...

Well that's why I'm picking Seattle, a truly great defense, to upset the record-setting Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

I have recent examples to show as well to make my point:

The 2007 Giants took down Tom Brady and Randy Moss against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Much like this years Broncos, that Patriots team set the record for most points in a regular season, scoring 589 -- which was topped this season by Denver's now-record 606.

The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp that beat up the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

The 1990 New York Giants behind Lawrence Taylor, who shut down the first flash of the Jim Kelly/Thurman Thomas Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV.

Ronnie Lott and the 1984 49ers, who knocked down legendary QB Dan Marino's Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. Forgotten in all that was that Miami had put up the third-highest regular-season point total at that time.

Lastly, 1983 Raiders on the heels of the greatness of Lester Hayes, whipped a Washington team that scored a then-NFL record 541 points in the regular season in XVIII.

That's the history, all pointing to Seattle's defense controlling this game. It's up to their offense to A) control the clock and B) Keep the Broncos offense off the field

Much has been said this week about Manning's legacy and while in my opinion he may be the most cerebral Quarterback of all time, his playoff record indicates that he's just a notch higher than Dan Marino, complete greatness, but only 1 SB win in all of those chances.

Now there's an outside chance Manning will blow through the Seattle defense just as he did most of Denver's previous opponents this season, but it's not likely. He exploited weaker defenses in an overall weaker conference not to mention he's yet to face the likes of Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Brandon Mebane and the rest of the Seattle defense that hound pounded the 49ers three times this season and held all regular-season opponents to an NFL-low 231 points.

Post season is a different game as shown by Denver's scoring output narrow down from the Madden-like 37.9-point regular-season average to an average of 25 in the two playoff victories.

I expect that number to drop even more on Sunday, likely down to the low 20s or even the high teens, due to the Seahawks ability to get some sacks (Manning has yet to have been sacked this post season), pressures and likely a few turnovers (you heard it here first: Manning gets picked 3 times).

It's been proven that it's easier to keep a strong, tough defense going into February than it is to keep a record setting offense going along the same path. Look at it, it's the only reason why a guy of Manning's stature is only 11-11 in the post season.

Based on this, Seattle will only need to produce 23 or 24 points from Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle offense to win this game. If the Seattle defense keeps giving them great field position, this isn't unlikely.

In researching this game, it came down to one thing for me, Seattle gave up only 172 passing yards per game in the regular season, by far No. 1 in the league; the next-closest was New Orleans at 194.1. Against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game, aside from some huge runs from Colin Kaepernick, we saw that Seattle can stop the run also.  Manning is not nearly as fleet of foot as Kaep....he won't have those chances.

What this game will come down to is that if Seattle can run the ball on offense, control the clock PLUS knock Manning around on defense, the Broncos don't have much of a chance of getting good field position and moving the ball consistently; and if they can't do that, they won't win.

The Broncos haven't faced a defense anything like the Seahawks all season -- the closest was when Denver crushed the Giants in Week 2 at MetLife and while the Giants put up decent defensive stats this season, that defense bears no resemblance to Seattle's "Legion of Boom".

On that note, while Seattle's defense didn't face a dominant offensive force all season, they did shut down New Orleans -- a top 10 squad -- EASILY in two meetings. Both games were in Seattle, a huge advantage, but the Saints and Drew Brees had zero answers for the Seahawks.

If Denver were facing anyone else, I'd be willing to give Manning every chance to win his second Super Bowl despite his suspect post season record; but Seattle has a great defense, one of the best we've seen in years...possibly up there with "That Ravens Team".

Regardless, this game could be epic and the fan should enjoy every moment of it. Watch this one and take it in, it may be a long time before we see another like it.

Prediction: Seahawks 27 Broncos 21...Manning throws a pick in the final 2 minutes to seal the victory for Seattle.

You heard it here first


Comments (8)

  • Michael Owen   Feb 2, 2014 @ 07:45PM
    make that 2 and a pick 6 -

  • Anonymous   Feb 2, 2014 @ 07:18PM
    Peyton throws Interception #1... 1 of 3 per Michael's Prediction -

  • epolnoff   Feb 2, 2014 @ 03:00PM
    Better a Tony Romo than a Mark Sanchez. -

  • Anonymous   Feb 2, 2014 @ 02:24PM
    To go against the grain... I'm going with the long shot Seattle Seahawks too! -

  • Lance Rinker   Feb 2, 2014 @ 04:37AM
    Haha, not happening.

    And you mean a Romo. Because that's a move that Romo has made a permanent part of his 'strategery'... -

  • Michael Owen   Feb 2, 2014 @ 04:27AM
    and not a Romo, a Manning -

  • Michael Owen   Feb 2, 2014 @ 04:25AM
    believe it

  • Lance Rinker   Feb 2, 2014 @ 04:22AM
    Do you really believe that Peyton Manning is going to pull a Tony Romo at the end of the game? C'mon man.. -

Michael Owen
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