This will be my last post (unless I can’t sleep Saturday night) and I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. There’s about a million articles right now out there on the interwebs, and most have weighed their opinion one way or another on whom they think is going to win this game.
I thought about breaking down this matchup as much as possible, but I came to a realization today. This isn’t going to be a battle of X’s and O’s. Peyton Manning has so much experience and has played so much football, there’s nothing the Seahawks will do that’s going to confuse him. He will be able to understand everything the Seahawks do.
And the Seahawks aren’t even going to try to confuse him. They are going to play their same game they have all season. They will just line up, play the cover 3, and dare Peyton to try to beat them in one on one matchups. This is actually why I love the Seahawks chances. They play the scheme they want, and dictate to Peyton Manning what he’s going to want to do. If you want a better breakdown of the Seahawks coverage schemes, no one does it better than Danny Kelly at Field Gulls.
I am a homer of course, and I want to see the Seahawks win as much as I’ve ever wanted anything in life. But I’m also just super confident in this team, and think they will win.
The game will come down to some other X-factors people haven’t talked about as much.
In addition to the big key stats that I highlighted previously, I think this game will boil down to these elements:
1. Physicality: Will the Broncos be able to match how physical the Seahawks are going to be? The NFC Championship was a heavyweight slugfest. It was like watching Ali vs. Frazier. A bloodbath. Guys got hit and hit hard. There must have been a dozen injuries. The AFC championship, in contrast, was like watching a Floyd Mayweather fight….no less impressive, toying with his opponent, basically being unstoppable on his way to another sure victory.
But what happens when Floyd gets hit in the mouth? What happens when pretty boy Floyd gets into a dogfight, where he has to rely on pure will? That’s what we’ll find out on Sunday. If the Broncos can keep their composure, absorb huge hits from the Seahawks defense, and play tough physical defense on Marshawn Lynch, they have a great chance to win.
Easier said than done.
2. Experience: The thing keeping me up at night is this statement: “We’ll learn from this, and we will bounce back”. Because that’s what I heard last year after the Seahawks got bounced by Atlanta last year.
The Seahawks are young and inexperienced. They can’t play like they will be here again, because there’s no guarantees in this league. The Seahawks chance to win a Superbowl is now, and they can’t look back.
I can see the Seahawks playing tentatively, looking like a deer in headlights, leaving Seahawks fans to wonder what happened to our beloved team. The Seahawks may snap out of it, but it could be too late. If the Bronco’s jump out to an early lead, I worry about our ability to come back.
3. Health, Hunger and Youth: By the same token, youth can be an advantage. In my humble opinion, the Seahawks are younger, healthier and hungrier. As I wrote in a previous article, I compare these Seahawks to a pack of wolves. They are hungry for a championship, and while both teams won’t quit, I wonder how much desire the older Broncos have at their age. Some of those players are past 30, and in a game which is sure to be a dogfight, I question their ability to keep grinding it out.
On the other side, the Seahawks are at 100% health, and I don’t see them getting worn out or worn down by the Broncos. If the Broncos win, it won’t be due to lack of effort on the Seahawks part.
So by my count, that’s 2 out of the 3 areas in which Seattle seems to have the upper hand.
Despite the media hype surrounding the Broncos offense versus the Seahawks defense, I believe the key to the Seahawks winning and losing, lies in the hands of one man: Russell Wilson.
If Russell Wilson can play like he did in weeks 1-13, which, if he can shake off the nerves I think he will, we will win. If the game gets too big for him and he regresses, I can’t see the Seahawks winning.
As for my prediction, I have three possible outcomes in my head that I’ve played in my mind over and over. I put each scenario as equally likely to happen, so I’m putting a 66% chance the Seahawks win this game. Take it for what its worth. Here are the scenario’s:
The Broncos win a nail biter
The Seahawks come out tentative and apprehensive. 12′s at home are wondering who this team is. Peyton Manning does what Peyton Manning does and picks apart the secondary. The Hawks don’t give up any big plays, but they get beat underneath by Decker, JT, Welker and the 2 headed running backs. The Broncos jump out to a 20-6 halftime lead, and Seahawks fans start to sweat.
The Seahawks come out in the 2nd half looking better and more relaxed. Russell hits a few deep passes, and Beastmode finally finds some room. The defense is finally able to hold the Broncos offense, but time is running out and the Seahawks can’t quite poke the ball in the endzone for the final time. Clock expires and the Broncos win 27-23. Peyton goes down as one of the greatest, and I’m stuck writing about the NBA and Mariners baseball for 6 months.
The Seahawks win a nail-biter
They are tentative early due to lack of experience, but the defense holds the Broncos to field goals and keeps it within reach at halftime (13-3 Broncos). In the 2nd half, the Seahawks get some big plays from both sides of the ball, and Beastmode starts running downhill to kill the clock and keep the ball out of Peyton’s lethal hands.
Seahawks win 24-20, the Seahawks win their first ever Superbowl, and the city goes nuts. MVP goes to Russell Wilson for a couple huge plays in the air.
The Seahawks win in convincing fashion
Broncos fans will hate that prediction, but I can see it happening. If this Seahawks team is as focused as they’ve been all-season, can execute on both sides like we know they are capable of, this could be a rout. The Seahawks are simply more talented up and down the roster. They have no weaknesses. If Peyton struggles to move the ball against the Legion of Boom as the corners press and play their weapons tighter than any team has ever before. Peyton hesitates, and is sacked or hit a few times, causing him to be a little more happy foot than usual. Russell Wilson gets going, and the offense and defense are playing well.
The defense makes one or two huge, game momentum changing plays, and the Broncos fall behind at halftime, 21-7. The Hawks pile on in the 3rd with Beast, before the Broncos make it somewhat interesting in the 4th. That is until the Seahawks get one final explosive play….either a pick 6 on defense, a blocked punt for touchdown, or a Percy Harvin kickoff return, and the 12th man starts celebrating.
Seahawks win 34-17. Marshawn Lynch wins the MVP with 3 touchdowns, as the Broncos have no answer for Beastmode. He will be the best running back the Broncos have faced all season and it will show.
Beastmode will say 4 words in his MVP speech “We comin home 12′s!”
And the city erupts.
See you on the other side.
Categories: NFL and Seahawks