There are so many questions to debate before finally making my predictions for Super Bowl XLVIII.
With Mike Ditka saying that a cold weather outdoor game is "a big mistake" and "stupid," will New York be able to handle any bad weather and play football as it was meant to be played on any other playoff weekend?
Or will an entire city abandon their cars in the middle of the highway and run like they do in the South after a light dusting of snow or the rumor of an approaching northern battalion?
After cornering the market on television commercials, will Peyton Manning continue to find a way to revolutionize the sports marketing industry by finding new ways to earn endorsements while the game is going on?
|And you thought Omaha Steaks were the next natural endorsement deal for Peyton Manning!|
|The lost member of the Jackson 5, Bruno Mars is playing the Super Bowl Halftime Show|
|Super Bowl XLVIII will be bigger than Pam Oliver's ass! Well...maybe not quite THAT big.|
Fortunately, in order to counteract all of that excitement Fox is having Joe Buck and Troy Aikman call the game.
In any event, let's break down the match-ups for Super Bowl 48.
Quarterbacks - As much as I hate to admit it, Denver has the best quarterback of all time in Peyton Manning.
Nobody has ever had the mix of talent, command of his offenses, and ability to read defenses that Manning has.
And as much as I dislike Peyton, there's something about his brother Eli having one more Super Bowl ring than he does that kind of makes me want to throw up in my mouth.
With his in depth attention to detail and film study, Russell Wilson is described by some of his NFL peers to be the most prepared quarterback to come into the league since Peyton Manning himself.
Still, for all of his upside, Russell Wilson is not Peyton Manning, at least not yet.
Advantage - Denver.
Receivers - It's probably time that we give some consideration to the current Denver Broncos receiving corps as possibly being one of the best groups ever in the NFL.
Demaryius Thomas is one of the best all around receivers in the game, Wes Welker has revolutionized the slot receiver position, and Eric Decker's size and strength make him a nightmare to defend opposite Thomas, who just might be the best tight end in football.
Throw in a ridiculously athletic tight end like Julius Thomas for a QB like Peyton Manning, and it's almost unfair to opposing defenses...Actually, it is unfair to opposing defenses.
On the other hand, Seattle has a bunch of turds and Percy Harvin...And that's only when he's not on his period. I mean seriously, is there a less reliable player in the NFL than Percy Harvin?
Advantage - Denver.
Running Game - Sure, Marshawn Lynch might accidentally slip into "Beast Mode" from time to time when he's trying to drive home from the bar, but when he's in "Beast Mode" on the field, few defenses can stop Seattle's power running game.
Denver's running attack is also strong with Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball, but Ball's hands and ball security have been an issue at times, and could to prove to be a liability should John Fox decide to trust him with any extended role in the Super Bowl.
Advantage - Seattle.
Pass Protection - Seattle's offensive line is an asset in both pass protection and the running game, while Peyton Manning's veteran savvy and quick release have helped the Broncos overcome a season ending injury to All-Pro LT Ryan Clady that at the time seemed devastating.
Retro Commercial Break: Dennis Hopper's iconic Nike ad campaign as "Stanley the Referee."
Pass Rush - Could there be a bigger front office/agent blunder than the Broncos failing to finalize a deal with former pass rush star Elvis Dumervil before last season's free agent deadline?
There's more than and realistic chance that mistake could even cost the Broncos a Super Bowl, especially with Von Miller's legal problems and season ending injury.
That's something I would have expected from Josh McDaniels and Brian Xanders, not John Elway. Then again, on second thought...
Seattle can throw speed rushers Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril at Denver, which is slightly better than anything Denver has to offer.
Run Defense - Seattle's defensive line is built to stop the run with an extremely bulky left end in Red Bryant.
Denver's run defense is based more upon their speedy linebackers, but that could be a match-up problem against a powerful runner like Marshawn Lynch.
Pass Defense - Despite the controversy, we'll get to see the best cornerback in the game play on Sunday, and I'm not talking about Richard Sherman.
I'm talking about Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and his threat to retire after just five NFL seasons should the Broncos win the Super Bowl.
Quentin Jammer and Champ Bailey may be old, but their veteran savvy should be enough to counteract the lackluster receivers that they'll be facing for the Seahawks.
As for Richard Sherman, the only way he'll be able to stay with Demaryius Thomas is with help from the safety over the top, and that's a recipe for disaster for Seattle, considering that they'd be forced into single coverage on Wes Welker, Eric Decker and/or Julius Thomas...It's just a matter of the Seahawks picking their poison.
|When it comes to Peyton Manning and Richard Sherman, the advantage goes to Manning.|
Special Teams - Trindon Holliday is an electric return man, while Matt Prater is a fantastic outdoor kicker should the need arise.
Key Players - Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Trindon Holliday, Marshawn Lynch, Percy Harvin, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Bruce Irvin.
Intangibles - The Seahawks aren't the same team away from home, while Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning no matter where he plays.
MVP Prediction - Peyton Manning.
|At the end of Super Bowl Sunday, Peyton Manning will be the one who's "Going to Disney World!"|
Denver 31 - Seattle 24
Denver -2 over Seattle