The Denver Broncos (15-3) take on the Seattle Seahawks (15-3) Sunday Night in Super Bowl XLVIII (that’s 48). The game will be played in East Rutherford, NJ (home of Giants and Jets), and it’s the first time in Super Bowl history that the game will be played in a cold weather city. Both teams played at Metlife Stadium this year and won.
After temperatures in the teens and 20’s most of the week, game time temperature is expected to be at 42 degrees. That’s good news for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Manning is only 8-11 when playing in kickoff temperature is below 40 degrees, including 1-2 this season. Peyton is 85-35 when the temperature is 40 or above.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos (-2.5)(o/u 48)
Players to watch from Denver:
Peyton Manning – QB Peyton had a year for the ages, even for the future first ballot Hall of Famer. He was just named the NFL MVP for a record 5th time. Peyton threw for 55 TD’s, over 5400 yards, and a sick 115.1 QB rating. Not bad for 37-year-old off neck surgery two years ago, and many thought he was done. The pressure is on Peyton. Lose this one, and the records don’t matter as much. Lose and he’s 1-2 in Super Bowl’s, and many will focus on that shortcoming. This is a fairly big game for the quarterback that is arguably the best regular season passer ever. This is huge for his legacy.
Wes Welker – WR A bit of a down year for Welker with only 73 receptions and a pedestrian 778 receiving, but look for him to have a big game with 8-10 receptions underneath. This is Welker’s third trip to the Super Bowl. He’s 0-2, both with the New England Patriots, both losses against the New York Giants. A huge game on the home field of team that beat you twice in the Super Bowl. You can put in the books.
Terrance Knighton – DT The big DT for the Broncos will look to stuff Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle running game. Big #94 out of Temple will spearhead an effort to stop the run game and make quarterback Russell Wilson beat them. The Broncos shut down the New England Patriots running game two weeks ago, and Tom Brady had no answer. Look for the same in East Rutherford Sunday.
Players to watch from Seattle:
Russell Wilson – QB It’s been an incredible two years for quarterback Russell Wilson. He led the Seahawks to the Divisional Playoff round last year in his rookie campaign, and this year of course to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks will have to score in this one, and lot of that will be on Wilson’s shoulders. Denver will look to take away the run, and make Wilson beat them.
Golden Tate – WR Golden was the leading receiver this season for Seattle with 64 receptions and almost 900 yards. He is star in the receiving corps that is basically nameless. For Seattle to have any chance, Golden with have to make some big plays.
Michael Bennett – DE Bennett led the Seahawks with 8.5 sacks this season. Bennett and the defensive line will have to get pressure on Manning or it will be a long day. Manning was barely touched against the Patriots, and he picked them apart. This defensive line and the #1 defense in the league will be tested unlike they have been before this season.
How the Game will Go: With less than 30 seconds remaining in the first half the scoreboard will read Denver 21-3. Look for Denver to come out blazing. Opening drive touchdown that sets the tone. A costly Seattle turnover, and quickly it’s 14-0 Denver. The game settles down a bit, but the Broncos go to the locker room at halftime with a commanding 21-3 lead.
Seattle wakes up in the second half, but never get closer than 11 points down. The early deficit is too much to overcome. Lynch never gets going, and Seattle is in come from behind mode for most of the contest. That’s not their game. The Seahawks are unable to put pressure on Peyton, and he has a big day with over 400 yards in the air. Wes Welker finishes with 9 catches and 153 yards. In the end, it’s just too much offense led by the best player in the league. Peyton gets his second Super Bowl win and MVP on his brother’s home field.
Final Score: Denver 38-20
Super Bowl XLVIII – Peyton Manning
Who do you think will win the big game?