NFL 2014 Super Bowl Matchup
The biggest sporting event of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, is almost upon us. This year's matchup will feature the two teams I predicted would be here at the beginning of the year, but more interestingly, the #1 seeds from each league. It's nice to see the teams with the best regular season records from each conference face off for all the glory. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good Cinderella story, but this is the matchup I've been waiting for all year.
#1 Seattle vs #1 Denver at MetLife Stadium
There are a ton of great matchups and questions to be asked in this game. Who will win the battle of the #1 offense (Denver) against the #1 defense (Seattle)? How will the Broncos offense line up to prevent the Seahawks defense from doing what they do best, playing physical at the line of scrimmage? Who will Richard Sherman line up against on the majority of Denver's snaps? There really are several interesting storylines to follow in this one.
Ultimately, I believe the game comes down to who wins the battle between Denver's offense and Seattle's defense. I believe if any team can stop Denver's aerial assault it's Seattle, and if any team can exploit the Seahawks defense it's the Broncos. I also believe that Denver's defense and Seattle's offense match up similarly, but they'll most likely be playing second fiddle in the game. But this is the Super Bowl, and anything could happen. We've seen plenty of Super Bowls feature the biggest play of the game from a relatively unknown player, so keep an eye out.
Denver will look to keep Seattle's secondary off-balance by running the ball, but ultimately it will come down to whether or not Peyton Manning and his receiving corps can outduel the Legion of Boom. I expect Denver to come out in several four receiver sets that include many bunches. These sets will include tight end Julius Thomas, who is a tall, speedy athlete that is difficult to cover. I expect the Seahawks to cover Thomas mostly with linebacker KJ Wright and strong safety Kam Chancellor, though we may see Sherman on him occasionally. I think Thomas vs. the Seattle D is the key micro matchup to watch. Seattle's secondary likes to play physical, so I hope the refs aren't quick with the flags. Denver's receiving corps isn't small, except for Wes Welker, but he'll be wearing his XL motorcyle helmet so I'm not even sure if he counts.
I think this will be one of the more entertaining Super Bowls in recent memory, and I don't expect another blackout because Jim Harbaugh won't be competing in this one (we all know he had something to do with it). I expect some jitters early, but this will be a great, competitive game. I think Seattle's offense rises to the occasion enough to stay in the game--if they keep squandering chances like they have in recent weeks they're in trouble--and a big play by the Seahawks defense will be the turning point on their way to becoming world champions.
Seahawks 24 Broncos 23
Enjoy the game!
Championship Week: 2-0