Friday, January 31, 2014
Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction Time
Oh well, the paralyzing snowstorm for MetLife on Sunday teased, then fizzled.
Maybe next cold weather Super Bowl venue.
Because you just KNOW there will be one, now that this one has gone so "well" - all things considered.
Here comes Boston, Philly, Washington, and certainly New York/NJ yet again with more bids in the future. And they'll get 'em, I'm sure. The days of warm/dome only for this event are effectively over. I can see a rough rotation in the future of 1 cold, for every two warm.
I'm gonna just have to let it go.
On to the game. Count this as a "broad strokes" analysis, which I accept will be assaulted as a "you obviously know nothing about football" approach by many. That's fine. Throw your opinion eggs and tomatoes! It's what I'm up here for!
The Seahawks are the same team as San Francisco. Maybe a shade weaker, because I think Seattle thrives as a home-field trick pony for half the year with that incredible 12th man noise. Not that Seattle sucks away from home, but they are distinctly beatable.
Seattle, like the Niners, are a crazy-sick defense, with a good-but-still-not-there QB who can run around and make some plays. Seattle is a slight "minus" when it comes to weapons on offense when compared to the Niners: Davis and Crabtree trump anything Seattle has as targets, and Gore v. Lynch is a virtual push.
And Baltimore, FAR less dynamic offensively than Denver, beat the Niners, and were pulling away when the lights went out.
Sure, the seven highest scoring teams in NFL history are a collective 0-7 when it comes to winning the Super Bowl. Several didn't even make it to the Roman Numeral game. Offensive "dandies" tend to get punched in the face, and then curl up.
Will that happen to Denver and Manning? I doubt it.
Seattle has beaten the following scrubs this year out of conference - (with QB).
2-14 Houston (Matt Schaub)
4-12 Jacksonville (Chad Henne)
4-12 Buccaneers (Mike Glennon) * Down 21-0 at home.
4-12 Falcons (Matt Ryan)
5-10-1 Vikings (Christian Ponder)
7-9 Giants (E. Manning) * 40th ranked in Passer Rating among qualifiers. 40!
I'm not even throwing into that pile, twin meetings with the Kellen Clemens led Rams, the first one the Seahawks almost lost 14-9.
So if you are counting with me, that's 6 wins against QB's who might not start a game next year, and 4 coaches who got fired.
The cliche says "Defense Wins Championships". Reminder: that's a cliche. In the real world, history has shown that quarterbacks have to eventually win these games. With a big play, or a big drive.
Russell Wilson is going to have to win this game for Seattle, and I just don't think he's there yet. If Denver is down late (say -10 in the 4th) they will be a mortal threat all the way until 0:00.
The Saints were a similar defense to Seattle back when they beat Manning and the Colts. A disruptive turnover creating - and bounty paying! - unit that played fearlessly.
It still took Drew Brees going 32-39, a surprise on-side kick, and a 74-yard pick-six in the final 4:00 to slay Peyton Manning.
Defense won't get it done alone.
Final thought: the warmer it gets, the deader the Hawks are. Cold and wind were the best chance to hang on for a defense-led victory. Your small consolation, Seattle: you won't have the referees to bitch about for the the loss this time.