So here we are…three days before Professional Sports most Prestigious Day. It has been awhile for me so bear with me as I get reacclimated to the fantastic world of blogging. One thing I have always enjoyed during my writing career is that there is no right or wrong. What we have in writing is a matter of opinion. Some people use educated analysis when forming an opinion as the proponderance of facts is supplied in order to prove a point. Still, some people chose bias as a way of forming opinion and their way is the only right way. And then there are those people in the middle who neither have facts or a rooting interest. One thing is for sure no matter what category you may fall into. History will be made on Sunday, February 2ND. There will be a winner and loser in the Super Bowl. It may be true that the best team wins. In fact, the better team may lose. Nonetheless, whichever team wins will be the team that makes more plays than the other.
Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II saw the illustrious Green Bay Packers take the first two crowns. Of course, they were the legendary Vince Lombardi’s final games as an NFL coach. There is no coincidence that the title now bears the great name of Vince Lombardi. In Super Bowl III, the great Joe Namath, quarterback of the New York Jets, predicted a victory over the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts. The GREAT Johnny Unitas was on the sideline as backup Morrow would begin the game. After an injury that forced Morrow to leave the game, Johnny U would enter the game trying to lead a come back. The come back would fall gallantly short and Namath’s prophesy came true.
Over the past 42 Years, the Super Bowl has evolved and has bested itself each year as far as the greatest sporting spectacle in Professional Sports. During the past 42 years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most Super Bowls with a 6-2 record. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers are second with 5 wins (San Francisco-5-1/Dallas-5-3). Dallas and Pittsburgh lead the pack with Eight Appearances a piece. The Buffalo Bills have the most consecutive appearances with Four, of course losing all four. The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, and Minnesota Vikings lead the Super Bowl with a record Four Losses. Buffalo and Minnesota are both 0-4, while Denver is 2-4. In all, 28 (18 Franchises) different teams have appeared in a Super Bowl, including teams that have shifted cities. The Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions are the only four teams to have never appeared in a Super Bowl. The NFC leads the way with 25 Wins to the AFC’s 22 Wins.
The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers have Eight Appearances in the Super Bowl, which is an NFL record. With the Denver Broncos advancing to the Super Bowl in 2014, this will be their Seventh Appearance. With a win this Sunday, the Broncos will take their Super Bowl record to 3-4. Their first two wins came in their last two Super Bowls behind the arm of Hall of Fame Quarterback John Elway. Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks are playing in their Second Super Bowl. They lost their first Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005. Well, here we are Nine Years later and they will be trying to even their record. As we look at the big dance, let us take a look at how both teams got to this point.
DENVER BRONCOS (13-3, 1st Place AFC WEST, BYE, HOME FIELD)
The Denver Broncos began the 2014 Season with a 9-1 Record and ultimately became the First Seed of the AFC Playoff Teams. The Broncos, were lead by Peyton Manning in only his second season, as he set NFL records with 5,477 Yards Passing, 55 Touchdowns and a 115.1 Quarterback Rating. Denver comes into the Super Bowl with the leagues highest scoring offense, with 7,317 Total Yards and 606 Points Scored, which was good enough for an average of 37.6 Points Per Game, exactly ten points more than the second leading scoring offense of the Philadelphia Eagles, who averaged 27.6. The Broncos also averaged 457 Yards Per Game, an insane number in today’s NFL.
Meanwhile, Denver was less than the middle of the pack with the league’s 19th Ranked Defense. Along with Manning’s incredible passing resume, running back Knowshon Moreno had 1,038 Yards Rushing (12th), and had 10 Rushing Touchdowns. The Broncos prolific offense also featured Demariyus Thomas and Eric Decker with over 85 Receptions, 1,200 Yards Receiving and 11 Touchdowns each. Add Slot Receiver Wes Welker and all-pro Tight End Julius Thomas, and Denver was a recipe for disaster for any Defense. During the regular season, the Broncos faced 6 Playoff Teams, winning each game except for losses to the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. Of course, they shook that monkey off their back by beating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (13-3, FIRST PLACE NFC WEST, BYE, #1 SEED
The Seattle Seahawks were not a surprise this season, like they were in 2012. The Seahawks boasted the League’s Number One Defense while they were Seventeenth in Offense. The Seahawks were lead by sophomore Quarterback Russell Wilson and Running Back Marshawn Lynch, while boasting a ferocious Defensive Attack. The Seahawks were also led by the TWELTH MAN, the fans in Seattle as they are referred to.
The Seahawks faced Five Playoff Teams but also split wins against both the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, who just missed the playoffs by default. In both of their playoff wins, the Seahawks scored 23 Points and gave up 15 and 17 respectively. So one would say, wow this is a very dangerous team.
Ok, so now I will give my early predictions and the reasons why I feel the way I do. Super Bowl 43 features the Two Number One Seeds in each Conference, the first time this has happened in 20 Years. In 1993-1994, the Super Bowl featured the Dallas Cowboys against the Buffalo Bills, both Number Ones. This game will also feature the league’s best offense (Denver Broncos) vs the league’s best defense (Seattle Seahawks). So, one would say which can stop each other, two immovable objects. The Broncos Defense was less than spectacular, while the Seahawks Offense was less than average. So, when looking at these two trends, one of these teams have to give.
Peyton Manning, no matter how great of a Quarterback he has been in the regular season, will always be judged by how he performs in this Super Bowl. He is trying to become the first Quarterback to win two Super Bowls with two different franchises. If Manning wins, he goes to 2-1 in Super Bowls and Solidifies himself as one of the greatest passers of all-time. If Manning loses, he becomes another Dan Marino. A Quarterback that has all of the stats, but cannot win the big game. All of the pressure is on Manning in this game.
Secondly, Turnovers will be a huge factor in this game as they always are. Super Bowls are not always pretty as everyones nerves are on high alert. The Seahawks have the better Defense and were better at creating turnovers in the regular season. And also, don’t forget the Special Teams Game. With the Super Bowl traveling to New York (OMG…I am so sorry) I meant New Jersey, this will be the first cold weather Super Bowl in forever. Of course, earlier this week, there was talk of moving the game to another day. However, it looks as if the Game will take place when its supposed to. This factor plays into Seattle’s favor. Seattle is a better suited team for the cold weather. Let’s face it…Peyton Manning will admit that he is no fan of cold weather. However, another Manning, Eli has won two Super Bowls, playing in a predominately cold climate.
Run the Ball. Everyone will be focused on Peyton Manning and the high flying Denver Offense. However, don’t forget that the Broncos can pound the rock. But so can Seattle, with the Number One Bruiser Marshawn Lynch. Lynch is built for this game. Nonetheless, Knowshon Moreno will be going back to his home town so he will have enough to play for. John Fox vs. Pete Carroll. These are two very genius coaches. Fox has never won a Super Bowl and neither has Carroll. However, neither is no stranger to the Big Stage. Fox took the Carolina Panthers to one drive of beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl years back. Carroll coached USC to all of those National Championships.
As we look to Sunday, there are so many factors and stories, as there is ever year this time. The Super Bowl is the Super Stage. Everyone is on the Pedestal. When one looks at this matchup, you would have to agree with the very low point spread. The Denver Broncos are favored by only two points. They say Defense wins championships. However, Seattle had better put up more than 23 points to beat the Broncos. My gut says the Seahawks eke out an upset. My brain however, says definitely Denver and Peyton. This game will be decided on the field, not on paper or by statistics. So without further a due….
MY EARLY PREDICTION…the 2013 NFL SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS…the DENVER BRONCOS. The Broncos win this game 28-23. The Broncos will not put up more than 30, however they will score just enough to beat the Seahawks in a very close and competitive game. If this was any other team or Quarterback besides Peyton Manning, my bet would be with Seattle. There is no way that I can bet against Manning after the marvelous record setting season that he has produced. Manning wins and retires…just a hunch. Well there ya have it folks, my preview and pick. So as we get closer to Sunday, I look forward to all of your ideas and analysis. Till the next time, this is THE BIRD, signing off. Oh, and on a side note, good luck to all of the participants in the WING BOWL tomorrow back in PHILLY.