32 teams began training camp with the goal of winning the Super Bowl. At the end of the season only 2 teams get to play in the big game. This year (as I predicted in August) the Super Bowl features the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. There are a lot of variables and storylines for this game. Peyton Manning. Richard Sherman. The weather. But who will win? Let’s take a look.
Super Bowl XLVIII
Sunday, February 2nd: Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
Both teams have seemed to be on a collision course for each other all year. Many considered both the Broncos and Seahawks to be favorites since the beginning of the year. As far as stars are concerned, the headliner is Peyton Manning. Manning is playing in his 3rd career Super Bowl and hoping for his 2nd ring. Peyton is not just a guy who is famous for witty commercials; he can flat out play. He can put a cherry on top of his Hall of Fame career this Sunday. He anchors an offense that ranked number 1 overall in the NFL this year. Peyton Manning has made Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas into formidable weapons. The postseason has seen running backs Knownshon Moreno and Montee Ball keep the defense honest, thus making Denver’s offense even more dangerous. Offensively, the Super Bowl seems to favor the Denver Broncos. But no quarterback who has led the league in passing in a season has won the Super Bowl. And while impressive, Denver has not faced a defense like Seattle all season.
While Denver made headlines all season as the top offense, Seattle was making them on the defensive side. Seattle’s defense ranked number 1 overall in the NFL. Led by outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman, the Seahawks’ defense has stifled offenses all year. Against the pass, the Seattle defense only allowed 172 yards a game (#1 in the NFL). And there was nobody better at forcing turnovers. Seattle’s defense forced 39 turnovers compared to Denver’s 26 turnovers. Defensively, the Super Bowl seems to favor the Seattle Seahawks.
And then there’s the weather. NFL officials have been biting their nails ever since announcing that Super Bowl 48 would be held in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The American Northeast isn’t typically a warm climate in early February. The polar vortex has made this particular winter even more cold than usual with temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if it were around freezing (25-35 degrees), there is always a chance of snow. Cold weather has not been kind to Peyton Manning throughout his career. Manning is 0-4 in the postseason when the temperature is below 40 degrees (Fahrenheit). The forecast for the game Sunday looks like it will be in the 20’s with little chance for snow.
So who wins? The Seahawks were early favorites after Conference Championship Sunday (according to Vegas) but as of now Denver is favored by a slim margin. The oddsmakers believe that Sunday will be a victorious day for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I predicted these two teams would play in the Super Bowl in August and I am going to stick to my predictions for the winner.
My pick: Denver Broncos
Super Bowl Sunday is always a bittersweet day. It’s the most watched television program of the year and has become a cultural phenomenon. But at the conclusion, it also means that the offseason is here. Sundays will not be as fun and training camp doesn’t begin until July. Enjoy the Super Bowl!
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