February 2, 2014 by Ell and Mike Sports
Superbowl: #1 Offense vs #1 Defense
Denver Broncos Breakdown
The Broncos barely got any play this season from one of the best lbs on the game, Von Miller. He was suspended for 6 games to start the season and then injured his ACL later in the season. So he will not be apart of this year’s Super Bowl. Broncos still were a formidable group up front finishing 7th ranked against the run. They have a decent secondary with two good corners in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Champ Bailey. Their defensive line isn’t going to get a lot of sacks but they aren’t going to give up a lot of rush yards either. If there is one weakness in their defense, its at the linebacker position. The Seahawks will look to exploit them. And we all know about the Broncos offense, maybe the best ever, according to the numbers, they are. Peyton Manning not only set career highs in passing yards and tds but he also broke NFL records in those categories. For those who doubted Manning when he was released by Indianapolis, they can not question him or his ability now at all. He has simply been amazing, much of this has to do with the fact he was the least sacked QB and is rarely touched in the pocket. Lets now forget he has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal that he can get the ball to that can make plays. Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas are both physical wide receivers that can get open and make a defense pay after they catch the ball. Then there is Wes Welker, all i have to say about him is he is the best slot WR in the game. Then TE Julius Thomas has emerged as one of the NFL’s best tight ends and catches almost everything Manning throws at him and his size makes him a hard cover. RB Knowshon Moreno has had easily his best season as a Bronco, after rushing over 1,000 yards and is a capable receiver out of the backfield. This offense is based off rhythm, if they get in rhythm and are moving the chains, then they will be unstoppable.
Denver Broncos Gameplan
Believe it or not this does not start with Peyton Manning. It all starts with the 5 offensive lineman blocking for him. They have done a great job all year, even after losing one of the best tackles in the game, Ryan Clady. Manning has only been sacked 18 times this season. The least of any starting QB, and he is rarely touched. If Manning gets time to make his reads and time to slide and move around in the pocket, then the game will be over before it starts. No QB likes pressure and neither does Manning, but when there’s no pressure he makes defenses pay, throwing 55 tds this season. No pressure on Peyton means he gets his second ring. Also do not forget Knowshon Moreno, if they Seahawks become to focused on the pass, Moreno will gash the Seahawks D. Especially on plays when you expect the Broncos to pass, they have a tendency to hand it off to Moreno on a draw and they have been gashing defenses all season with that play. Rhythm= Success for the Broncos.
With all the hype surrounding Percy Harvin returning for the Seahawks you can expect the Broncos to be aware of him, but the Broncos must focus on stopping Marshawn Lynch. He is literally a beast and is hard to bring down. Terrance Knighton will have to get a push into the backfield and allow the linebackers behind him to roam and gang tackle Lynch. If they allow Lynch to get to the second and third levels of their D it will be a long day. Lynch vs the Broncos defense will be an interesting dynamic to watch. Don’t forget about WR Doug Baldwin for the Seahawks, he could make some plays if forgotten about.
Keep an eye out for Trindan Holiday, his speed and cut ability is always dangerous, especially on kick and punt returns. The Broncos also have in my opinion the best kicker in the NFL, Matt Prater.
Seattle’s road to the Super Bowl has been fueled by their defense. The defense is full of playmakers from Richard Sherman to Earl Thomas to Kam Chancellor. and thats anly the secondary. The Seahawks defense finished 1st in yards and points per game. Since Pete Carroll has arrived he has built one of the best defenses in the league. They are excellent in every aspect of defense. If the Seahawks come and play D like they have all season, it could be lights out early for Manning and company. While the Broncos are the most complete offensive team, the Seahawks are the most complete defensive team. They have an athletic front four, led by DE Michael Bennett who racked up 8.5 sacks this year, and was great in the NFC Championship game against the 49ers. They have a great set of young linebackers who are athletic as well and are great at covering. Bobby Wganer, who had the game winning int against the 49ers, is emerging as a great all around linebacker. Now we get to the vaunted Seahawks secondary. Their safeties are perfect compliments to each other, Kam Chancellor is 6’3 230 and will lay out anything in his path, while Earl Thomas is an exceptional coverage safety with amazing range. Then there are the corners, Richard Sherman, 20 ints in 3 seasons, many call him the best CB in the NFL, and Byron Maxwell is a solid corner with size who can hold his own as well. Combined with their physicality and speed, they are great at throwing offenses off of what they gameplan to do. On the offensive side of the ball, they aren’t too shabby either. They have one of the game’s best young QBs in Russell Wilson who is deadly in the pocket but even more deadly out the pocket, and the return of Percy Harvin will only make him better They also have what I believe one of the top 5 running backs in the game right now in Marshawn Lynch. While their offense isn’t as good as the defense, it is still good and defenses have to repsect Lynch and Wilson.
FEED THE BEAST!!! The Seattle Seahawks must give the ball to the beast, Marshawn Lynch. The longer Marshawn Lynch is on the field and moving the chains, the longer Manning and his boys are on the sideline. That means the more rest the Seahawks defense gets. Then if the run game is effective, they can start mixing in bootlegs and playaction passes. The one thing the Seahawks do not want are 3 and outs. 3 and outs means your are giving Peyton more and more opportunities and keeping your defense on the field. Look for Marhsawn Lynch to get the ball early and often.
DROP 7 RUSH 4!!! To ultimately stop the super powered Broncos’ offense, the Seahawks will rely on their defensive line to get pressure on the QB while they cover everyone else with the other 7 defenders. They will mix in blitzes but they won’t want to take too many chance because Peyton will make them pay. It will be a chess match between Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Peyton Manning. Expect a lot of jamming of the wide receivers and physical play by the Seattle secondary. Pressure on Manning means a win for Seattle!
Doug Baldwin was big in the NFC championship game on special teams as he racked up over 100 return yards. Look out for him and the return of Percy Harvin should ignite the return game as well.
I have been going back and forth on this one. On one hand you have one of the greatest QBs ever looking to solidify his legacy going against one of the best defenses I have seen. Maybe the best since the 01′ Ravens. I believe it will be a physical game and I’m going to go with the more physical team. I believe Marshawn Lynch will get his share of carries and I believe Percy Harvin will make one game changing play in the game. Peyton and Denver will move the ball but I don’t believe the Seattle defense will allow them to score in the redzone.
Score – Seattle 27 Denver 20
This game is an easy decision for me as a long time Peyton Manning fan as I think the Broncos will definitely win this game. The Broncos offense is not only having best season in the NFL, it is the best season offensively in NFL History which says a lot about not only Manning, but how special this offense is when you think of the All-Time great offenses most of which have superbowl wins. I expect WR Wes Welker, WR Demaryius Thomas, and TE Juilius Thomas to have big games as I believe the Broncos have too many weapons for the Seahawks D to keep an eye on. While the offense gets all the credit, you can not sleep on the Broncos defense with multiple solid CBs to play against a team with limited offensive weapons; I fully expect CB Champ Bailey to have his best game of the year. The Broncos have a strong D-line with DTs that create a good push at the line of scrimmage and a good DE rotation with a balance of run and pass rush while the LBs are underrated sideline to sideline tacklers with good coverage. Expect the Broncos D-line to really be the key difference on D in this game, behind huge DT Terrance Knighton clogging up some of Lynch’s runs which will limit the Seahawks.
The Seahawks are a solid team which makes limited mistakes on offense and have a solid pass rush defense with good back end coverage. The secondary is one of the best in the league, but I believe that not having CB Brandon Browner on the other side of Richard Sherman will hurt them against this team. RB Marshawn Lynch is one of the best RBs in the league and I think he will get his yardage regardless, but converting TDs instead of FG’s will be the key in this game which is where I believe the Seahawks will fall short. The Seahawks pass rush mostly by LB Bruce Irvin, DE Cliff Avril, and DE Michael Bennett I think will be slowed by good runs by RB Montee Ball and draw and quick screens to RB Knowshon Moreno and even Demaryius Thomas; not to mention Manning’s quick release. I think Russell Willson will make plays with his feet, but his ability to stay in the pocket and throw a nice pass will be exposed by the Broncos pass rush. I expect the Seahawks secondary to live up to there name as hard hitters, but they still will get caught in space giving up big yardage.
Score – Broncos 30 Seahawks 21