Super Bowl XLVIII Preview

sb_xlviiiThere is a battle that rages on in football year after year and has been there since the very start of the game. It is the very basic of the sport as an offence and a defence must play each other to determine who the better team is. Offence vs. defence has been the struggle for a very long time in football and it will remain that way for as long as the sport goes on. For the longest time the defence has been the winner in the battle between the two sides. It has been said for a long time that defence wins championships and in many ways this is very true. It is hard to beat a team that can stop everything that you do on offence with a great defence and can even score points themselves. If a defence can hold a team to few points even the worst offence can potentially get enough points to win. Not to mention that if a defence can score points they can immediately change the game and move ahead of their opponents. It has made the defence one of the most important aspects to any team and it has become the way to build a team. For years NFL teams were built from the defence on and those who could do it well would be rewarded with a Super Bowl. That has shifted though as offence has become a much more important aspect to the game. Defence is still a very important part of the game but the quarterback has become the most important position in the NFL and building a team around that QB has been the concentration of most teams. With the rules changing to suit the offence having a team that can put up more points than the opponent has now become a way to compensate for a mediocre defence. If the offence can overwhelm the other team the defence is not needed as they simply need to hold off the other team just enough to help to win the game. The shift has been brought about by a great amount of very good QBs and one of the first to show the shift was Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. The Colts would build the team around Manning and would have a defence built to play with the lead rather than a defence built to create a lead. Now Manning will continue the trend when he leads his new team into his second Super Bowl. Manning will lead the best offensive team in the history of the NFL as they are the highest scoring offence ever. He is the old school QB leading the new way of putting a team together but in their way is a very big obstacle. The Seattle Seahawks will look to stop Manning and the Broncos as they take the best defence in the league to New Jersey to prove that defence still rules. Run by the “Legion of Boom” and Richard Sherman the Seattle defence is one of the best ever to stop the pass and they will look to win their first championship riding on that fact. It will be a classic matchup of offence vs. defence and when it is all said and done the new school team with the old school philosophy or the old school team with the new era offence will take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy from Super Bowl XLVIII.


Denver Broncos


The Denver Broncos Have had a rough go since their last Super Bowl in 1999 when they beat the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl XXXIII. That year would be the last of legendary QB John Elway as he would go out on top. Since that time the Broncos would find it hard to get another QB that could replace Elway. They would try multiple times to find that replacement but could never find someone as consistent as Elway. That was until they signed Peyton Manning two years ago in the biggest free agent signing in the past few years. Manning would bring his wealth of experience to the Denver offence and immediately change the team. Las year the Broncos did not have all of the pieces they needed to make a run that many thought they would. This year would see many believe that although their first year came up short another year with the team would be the thing they needed. Manning would get into a groove with his receivers, including new addition Wes Welker, and would overwhelm teams to earn wins. They would start the season with a six game winning streak. That would come to an end when Manning returned to Indianapolis for the first time since signing with Denver and would take the first loss of the season. It would be a small blip on a great season where the Broncos would only taste losing two more times all season and would finish with a 13-3 record taking first place in the AFC. With that the Broncos would earn home field advantage in the playoffs and a first round bye that they would take advantage of. They would beat the San Diego Chargers in a game that looked like it was out of hand until the Chargers started to come back and scored 17 points in the 4th quarter. The next game would be a matchup that everyone wanted to see as Manning would lead the Broncos against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. It was another game that Manning would completely control as he would help the Broncos to another win and a berth in the Super Bowl. Now Manning gets the chance to end a great season with a championship.

The Broncos had this great season thanks mostly to their great offence that would do more than ever before. They would score more points than any other offence in NFL history being one of the most potent offences ever. They would also have 4 receivers with at least 50 catches and 10 TDs, which has never happened before. The offence rotates around the mind of Peyton Manning who has mastered the understanding of the game. There is no QB better than Manning in reading a defence and adjusting his offence to take advantage of weaknesses in what he sees. Manning is able to spread it to any of his big receivers as Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and Julius Thomas. All four of these receivers have had great seasons and have given plenty of defensive corps trouble in finding enough people to cover all of them. The passing game has only been helped by the emergence of Knowshon Moreno as a true starting NFL running back while Montee Ball has proven to be a solid relief running back. The running game of the Broncos has emerged as a game changer that can make defences worried enough to give Manning the room he needs to throw the ball. The offence is great for the Broncos but it will mean nothing unless their defence can step up in a big game. The defence has shown some promise in the playoffs as they have had plenty of success handling two good QBs. They have not had the best regular season as they were in the middle of the league in terms of defensive ranking. They are a defence built on the fact that Manning can get ahead and they does not need to make every stop to win a game. If that doesn’t happen the Broncos defence will be looked at to make some big stops, which they can do, but too many of those situations won’t work out for the Broncos. It is clear that the Broncos are an offensive minded team and that offence needs to be on its game this time because their performance will be the difference in winning or losing the Super Bowl.


The Legacy
– Peyton Manning is clearly one of the best QBs to ever play the game but there are still many who believe that he cannot win the big game but if he can earn his second Super Bowl ring and put the doubt over his legacy to rest

Player to Watch:
Knowshon Moreno, RB
– Peyton Manning is the key to the offence but if he cannot get support from Moreno it will be a long day for the offence as his performance could be the difference between the offence running smoothly or the offence sputtering

How They Win:
Hold up on Defence
– The offence of the Broncos will not have as easy a time that they have had this year and so the defence will be looked at to stand up to the Seahawks and give the offence enough time to find the gaps they need


Seattle Seahawks


The 2013 season would start with a lot of speculation over the evolution of the NFC West into one of the best divisions in the league. For years the NFC West was essentially a joke especially when the Seahawks made the playoffs with a losing record in 2010 when they won the West with a 7-9 record. It was a division that would bring about a lot of debate over who should really make the playoffs. That would begin to change in that season though as it was the first of the Pete Carroll era. Carroll was hired for the 2010 season and would be joined by an old college rival in Jim Harbaugh. These two coaches plus the addition of young athletic QBs would bring the NFC West into the forefront of the league. Last year the San Francisco 49ers would make the Super Bowl after winning the division and before 2013 many assumed that the winner of the division would once again find their way to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks would look to be this team as they would start the season going 4-0 and finish the season with a 13-3 record and the top spot in the NFC. They would do this with the best defence in the league and one of the best passing defences in the history of the NFL. They would take that defence to the playoffs where they would limit the New Orleans Saints to 15 points in the divisional playoffs. They would then take on their division rivals in the San Francisco 49ers and in a back and forth battle the defence would come up big in the last play of the game earning a game ending interception and preventing a game winning TD. Now the Seahawks will enter the Super Bowl for only the second time in franchise history and will do so as the favorites to win it all. The Seahawks were a joke only a few years ago as the only team to ever make the playoffs with a losing record but now they are far from being a joke. They are the big bad hawks and are looking to bring home their first ever Super Bowl Championship and reward the craziest fan base in the NFL.

It is called the “Legion of Boom” and has been the basis of the resurgence of the Seahawks in an era were pass defence is key. The “Legion of Boom” is made up of the best defensive backs in the league including Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Byron Maxwell, and Richard Sherman. The last of those names has been considered one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and one of the best cornerbacks in league history. This defensive back corps has made their impact as one of the toughest, and according to some dirtiest, groups in the NFL. They push the rules to the limits on defence as the holding and contact can last for much longer than the allowed 5 yards. They play a physical game and get many receivers off of their routes early to destroy the play before it even began. That play in the defensive backfield allows for the defensive line to get to the QB and disrupt the play even more. It all works together to make sure that the offence cannot get into a groove as the entire plan of the defence of the Seahawks is to make offensive players as uncomfortable as possible. On offence the Seahawks have not made a lot of headlines but they are still very good. The Seattle offence quite literally runs through the QB position. Russell Wilson is the new breed of the QB as he has the arm to throw for over 3,000 yards but has the athleticism to run for over 500 yards. With this athleticism Wilson can give defences fits because they have to think about his ability to run. The run game does not end with Wilson though as Marshawn Lynch continues to be one of the best powerbacks in the NFL. He will play a big role in this game as he sets the pace for the offence and give Russell Wilson the time to read the defence and make a play. The offence is good for the Seahawks but it is not nearly as good as the defence that has the ability to win a game and will hope to do exactly that as they hope to prove that defence wins championships.


The Enemy
– When a team plays the brand of football that the Seahawks play they are bound to get some haters but when they are cocky about it not many like them as they are the bad boys of the NFL and are hope to gain even more haters when they win the Super Bowl

Player to Watch:
Russell Wilson, QB
– The defence is clearly the best part of this team but they will need support from the offence and Wilson who will need to play mistake free football to ensure that he can put up the points he needs to give their defence a good cushion

How They Win:
Win the Mind Game
– The battle between Manning and Sherman will be one for the ages but the only way the Seahawks can win is if Sherman and the rest of the defence can beat Manning in the mind games that happen before the snap


Seattle Seahawks 28 – 24 Denver Broncos
– The Denver Broncos are a great offence but defence wins championships and with the Seahawks having a better offence than the Broncos defence it seems like the Seahawks have the upper hand and will be able to shut down Manning to win their first ever Lombardi Trophy

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