The Seattle Seahawks have never won the Super Bowl in franchise history. They’ll take their second shot at winning the big one when they take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on the first Sunday of February. Here’s why they’re going to win this game in spite of the fact that all of the early betting action has been on the Broncos.
1. The Broncos Haven’t Faced a Run Defense Like This – RB Knowshon Moreno does get a lot of publicity for the fact that he ran for over 1,000 yards this year, but over 200 of those yards were in one game against a sorry New England Patriots defense. He didn’t rush for more than 100 yards in any other game on the season. The kicker about Denver, though? It hasn’t played a single team ranked better than 10th against the run all season long, including here in the playoffs.
Though the Seahawks only ranked eighth in rush defense in the regular season, we know that this is one of the meanest, fiercest defenses in the NFL, and if Moreno is taken out of this game, we have to wonder whether QB Peyton Manning is going to be able to respond.
2. Peyton Manning is 4-7 All-Time When the Temperature is Below Freezing – Whether this game kicks off with a game-time temperature above or below 32 degrees (Super Bowl Weather Props) is a matter of psychology. Regardless, it’s going to be darn cold, and there is no doubt that Manning is a significantly worse quarterback when he is playing in the brutal cold and in poor conditions than he is when the weather is rather perfect like it was last week in the AFC championship game.
Manning did go 2-1 this year in cold weather conditions, but that one loss was a bad game for his passing attack. He threw for just 150 yards against the New England Patriots, and though he did come back and fire for 400 yards in the AFC title game, those conditions were rather perfect. Manning has a lot of work to be done against the best secondary in football if he is going to get over his bugaboo of having to play outside.
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3. Doug Baldwin is Becoming a Force – Do the Seahawks have the best wide receiving corps in the NFL? No they don’t. However, what they do have is a man in Baldwin who is really coming into his own here as a deep threat. Baldwin had six catches for 106 yards, including a 51-yard catch which setup a rare score for the Seahawks last week against the San Francisco 49ers. We know that the Broncos have a thin secondary, and though DB Champ Bailey was one of the best in the biz once upon a time, he isn’t capable of keeping up with Seattle’s young pass catchers for a full 60 minutes like he is going to be asked to do with DB Chris Harris out with a torn ACL.
If WR Percy Harvin plays, we have to think that DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is going to be lined up on him. That could leave Bailey out on an island at times with Baldwin, and as he proved to be the difference-maker against San Fran in the NFC Championship Game, he could be the man who really stretches out this Denver defense and makes the big plays to get some separation on the board.
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