NFL Super Bowl Preview - Seattle Seahawks - Denver Broncos
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s that time of the year! Time to invite your friends over, grab a few beers and fill up the table with enough American style snack food to last for hours. That’s right, it’s Super Bowl Sunday.
Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets. What makes this interesting is that it’s going to be the first Super Bowl ever played in a cold climate, all the previous ones have been played either in the southern parts of the USA or in an indoor arena. So weather might have it’s say but both teams have certainly prepared for that.
Now onto the teams. The AFC Champion, Denver Broncos, has been dominating the league in offence for the whole season. Many also consider this to be the best offence the NFL has ever seen, and the statistics certainly support that claim. Not only did they lead the league in points, total yards as well as passing yards, they also broke multiple NFL records such as: Most points during a season (606), most touchdowns (76), most passing touchdowns (55) and most passing yards. (5477)
The powerhouse of this offence is of course their quarterback Payton Manning. While he has been among the best of the league for many years, as you can see from all of the new records, this year was something spectacular. A huge credit also goes to the Broncos offensive line, they have done an excellent job of protecting Manning, especially in the playoffs where Manning has not been sacked once.
Obviously they also have a great set of receivers. Demariyus Thomas has definitely been Manning’s favourite target this year but you can’t dismiss receivers Eric Decker and Wes Welker, or tight end Julius Thomas. Each one of them is definitely dangerous. On the ground game they will most likely use both Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball, though both have had only limited success during the playoffs.
Their defence is not to be underestimated either, especially as they have managed to improve their game all season long. In the regular season they finished 19th in total yards allowed per game, now in the post season they are 2nd. They have done exceptionally well against the run, but the Seahawks will be offering a tougher ground game than their previous opponents.
Then onto the NFC Champions, the Seattle Seahawks. With the Broncos we talked a lot about the offence, well with the Seahawks it’s the defence that got them this far. 1st in the league in points allowed, 1st in total yards as well as passing yards and 7th in rushing yards allowed during the regular season. And it’s not just that, they also managed to create 39 turnovers (1st in the NFL) during regular season.
They have showed some signs of slowing down though. While their defence has certainly played well in the playoffs, statistically they are towards the average in yards allowed. However, their strength lies in their ability to create turnovers which makes it still possible for them to be the number one team in points allowed during the post season. Mind you, the Broncos are right behind them with only a 0.5 point per game difference.
Offensively they are well known to be a rushing team. Marshawn Lynch has had good success running the ball all year long and their quarterback Russell Wilson doesn’t mind keeping the ball himself if he sees an open running lane. They have scored 4 touchdowns in their two playoff games, 3 of those have been by Lynch.
Their passing attack has been quiet during the playoffs, the team clearly relies on their rushing game and amazing defence to win their games. Quarterback Russell Wilson has only managed 318 yards through the air in the post season, leading to a single touchdown. The return of receiver Percy Harving (out due to a concussion) as well as the high scoring Broncos offence will certainly lead them to throwing the ball more than they are used to.
Finally, let’s take a good look at how the teams got here. The Broncos first played against the San Diego Chargers and took home a 24-17 win. Though they only won by a touchdown, they were in a comfortable lead during the whole game. The situation was very similar against the New England Patriots: Broncos won 26 – 16 but never had to worry during the game. In fact, in both of these games, the opponents only managed to score a decent amount of points in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks’ first game was very similar to those of the Broncos. They completely shut down the New Orleans Saints offence for the first three quarters of the game. The Saints only woke up in the last quarter but it was too late and Seattle advanced with a 23 – 15 win. Their game against the San Francisco 49ers was very different though, the 49ers were leading through the first three quarters and the Seahawks were struggling. They did manage to win with a 6 point difference, mainly due to their defence which created three turnovers on three consecutive 49ers offensive drives. Not only did these turnovers leave the 49ers without points, they also provided the Seahawks’ offence with good field position making it easier to put the points on the board.
The Broncos have been strong all season long and don’t show signs of stopping here. Their offence is great and their defence has managed to rise to a point where they are more than capable of stopping the Seahawks offence. The Seahawks on the other hand have struggled offensively during the playoffs and have relied on their defence for the wins. They shut down Drew Brees for over half of the game, they forced 3 turnovers in the last quarter against Colin Kaepernick, I don’t see them doing either of these against the best offence in the league.
As always, the Super Bowl is a game where neither team gives up. Games are played until the very last second and often the winner isn’t decided before the final whistle is blown. Looking back at the Super Bowl scores, most of the time the games have finished with a very tiny margin. So we will be skipping on the handicaps here and going for a Denver Broncos win.
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Alex Lucken 2013-2014 Season - Hit Rate 54.5%- Staked 2200.0 Returned 2267.10 ROI 3.1%