Del’s Super Bowl pick: Seahawks 24 Broncos 17
Of all the players on either team in Super Bowl XLVIII, Peyton Manning has the most to lose. The 37-year-old may not have another chance to win a championship, and the Seattle Seahawks’ secondary is the biggest obstacle standing in his way. Like Doc, Del envisions Seattle’s defense being too much for the Denver Broncos to handle.
Has the weather factor been overhyped? There’s not going to be a snowstorm, so yes. That said, the conditions still favor Seattle. The Seahawks are better suited for grinding it out, and Marshawn Lynch could wind up being the difference in the game. But ultimately, Manning vs. Richard Sherman and the Seahawks secondary will be the most discussed storyline.
While the Broncos lit up the scoreboard throughout the regular season, they have shown a tendency to falter late in playoff games. Had the San Diego chargers not played so conservatively, they would have had a legitimate chance to upset Denver a few weeks ago. The Broncos’ defense looked tired late against the Chargers and New England Patriots. Lynch and the mobile Russell Wilson could exhaust them even more.
As Doc Brown said, the Seahawks have the best defense in the NFL. Their safety help from Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas is phenomenal, which should allow them to prevent big plays from Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. Seattle has allowed just 16 passing touchdowns all season long and has been effective with pressuring the quarterback. If Manning lacks time to throw, he can become rattled and make mistakes.
If Lynch can get going, it should open up plenty of play-action opportunities for Wilson against a beatable Denver secondary. The same will be true for the Broncos if the combination of Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball can run effectively. My gut tells me the Seahawks will disrupt Manning’s timing and make a big play or two that will end up being the difference in the game.
Prediction: Seahawks win 24-17, and Wilson is your MVP.