Super Bowl XLVIII will be a brilliant showdown as the Denver Broncos with their number one ranked offense, take on the Seattle Seahawks and their first-ranked defense.
Peyton Manning guided his Broncos to an AFC Championship victory as he overcame his arch nemesis, the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. The Seahawks had an intense battle of their own, defeating their division rivals the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship, as the game winded down to its final seconds. These two teams are polar opposites; Denver possesses an electrifying offense but a sub-par defense as Seattle features a knock-out defense with a mediocre offense.
Manning looks to silence his critics; losing here would dent his respected reputation. The last Super Bowl Manning appeared in was Super Bowl XLIV, losing as he threw an interception trying to lead a come-back drive. The Broncos and their energized offense have a challenge; Seattle’s defense will test their limits.
Here’s the keys to victory for both teams, starting with Denver:
1. Special Teams Play: Seattle’s defense is nearly impenetrable, leading the league in most categories. Denver’s special teams unit needs to emerge with some big plays. Special teams is a part of today’s game that’s underrated. The Broncos’ special teams unit does have explosive players like wide-out Eric Decker and fellow receiver Trindon Holliday; if they make huge plays, relieving Denver’s offense’s workload, it’ll ease their course.
2. Establish a Run-game: “Defense wins championships” they say. If Denver expects to pull a fast one on Seattle, a running-game is needed. Seattle’s defense is stubborn; Manning can’t constantly throw the ball. Tailbacks Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno are keys. Moreno and Ball are power-runners, wearing out opposing defenses, dragging them through turf. These two will impact the way Seattle’s defense will play, wear them down, and keep them honest, helping the pass-attack.
3. Stop the Legs of Wilson and Lynch: Marshawn Lynch is a bulldozer, mauling through defenders as he gains yards. However, Denver’s defense can’t get so caught up in him that they neglect quarterback Russel Wilson’s legs. Wilson is known for keeping plays alive, buying time for receivers as he shifts sidelines. Denver’s defensive line needs to sedate Seattle’s ground-game. The Seahawks’ offense isn’t the most exciting one; they’ll struggle without a rushing-attack.
4. Manning’s Mind: It’s essential that Manning uses his robotic mind, forcing Seattle into playing his way. The Seahawks’ defense is too talented; beating them mentally is the route to take. Manning needs to take extra care with his reads, making errors will result in easy turnovers for a defense that thrives off of playmakers.
Keys to Victory for Seattle:
1. Design Unique Defensive Coverages: If Manning can figure out Seattle’s defensive looks, it’s game over; he’ll pick them apart and mop the floor with them. Seattle relies heavily on their talent level and playmakers, but that won’t be enough. They need to force Manning into mistakes, preventing him from scoring.
2. Get Lynch going: Lynch is the heart of this offense; without his rushing, they’ll dehydrate and shrivel. Seattle doesn’t have the best passing-game; Lynch’s rushing ability helps to smooth that out. Rushing the ball will also keep Manning on the sidelines, halting Denver’s chances of survival. Seattle’s defense shall also benefit from Lynch, staying fresh. Denver’s offense is fast-paced, wearing out opponents quickly. Seattle’s defense will lose the endurance battle; it’s better to prevent that battle from occurring.
3. Wilson Needs to Hit Big Passes: Wilson doesn’t need to go out and throw for three scores with 300 yards; he needs to make big throws when needed. Denver’s secondary often has miscues in coverage, allowing opposing quarterbacks to hit the big play. If Wilson can hit the crucial passes, they’ll find the endzone often, helping the chances for victory.
Super Bowl XLVIII will be memorable. Manning has a chance to either strengthen or tarnish his legacy as Seattle has a chance for their first ever Super Bowl victory. Either way, history will be made.