This year’s Super Bowl is the first ever to be held in an outdoor cold-weather environment, and wintry conditions are possible. Even if snow is not forecast, it is almost a guarantee that temperatures will be below freezing, which might benefit the Seahawks as Peyton Manning has historically struggled in cold weather.
When: Monday, 3 February, 10:30 am
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
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Tip: Denver Broncos to win
After a dramatic victory in the NFC Championship game, the Seattle Seahawks are flying high into New Jersey, where the 2014 Super Bowl will take place. Two weeks ago, the Seahawks battled back against the 49ers, after surrendering the first ten points of the game, to take the lead 23-17. With under a minute remaining in the game, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick lobbed a pass into the end-zone for Michael Crabtree, which was batted into the air by Seattle’s All-Pro cornerback, Richard Sherman, and intercepted by Malcolm Smith.
The tenacious defence that got the Seahawks into the playoffs had now sent them to a Super Bowl, and they will not be lacking confidence heading into Sunday’s game. The group believes they are the best defence in the league and are not afraid to proclaim it. Sherman, arguably the heart-and-soul of the defensive line, delivered an interview for the ages after the NFC Championship game displaying the emotion and attitude with which the Seahawks play.
Behind the arm of Peyton Manning, who threw for 400 yards in the AFC Championship game, the Denver Broncos advanced to the 2014 Super Bowl. Prior to that game, Manning’s ability to perform on the big stage was called into question, but he silenced his critics as he orchestrated one of the biggest wins in Broncos history.
Along with 400 passing yards, Manning threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions, while not getting sacked a single time. He managed to distribute the ball around to his usual arsenal of receivers, as Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker all managed to catch at least four balls.
It also takes some pressure off Manning when he can rely on his running backs to handle some of the offensive workload, as the tandem of Knowshon Moreno and Monte Ball rushed for over 100 yards in the Championship game.
Points may not be as easy to come by in the Super Bowl, however, as the Seahawks will prove to be a more difficult challenge for Peyton Manning and the Broncos to solve.
Seattle are looking for their first Super Bowl
The Seahawks have been a franchise for 38 years and have never won the Super Bowl. They have appeared in a Super Bowl, however, in the 2005/2006 season, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10.
The Super Bowl is being played in Eli Manning’s home stadium
Peyton’s brother, Eli, is the starting quarterback for the New York Giants, who play at the Metlife Stadium, the host of this year’s Super Bowl. Reports have surfaced this week that claim Eli will give his brother advice on playing in the stadium, which can only benefit Peyton.
Seattle Defence v Denver Offence
This game features the NFL’s best offence facing off against the NFL’s best defence. Will Peyton Manning continue his offensive attack against the Seahawks defence or will the old mantra, ‘defence wins championships’ hold true?
Old School v New School
Peyton Manning and the Broncos run a conventional style of offence. Manning drops back to pass and barely runs with the ball. The Seahawks, however, have a much more dynamic offence led by quarterback Russell Wilson, who is a running threat. Will the Broncos traditional offence win out or will the Seahawks show that a new-style can win a Super Bowl?
There is no doubt that Peyton Manning and the Broncos will put points on the board in this game. However, by only putting up 26 points against the Patriots last game, the Broncos showed some vulnerability. The Seahawks’ defence is far better than that Patriots’ defence and I could see them holding the Broncos to twenty points or fewer.
The Seahawks, on the other hand, scored 23 points on an extremely tough 49ers defence, and I believe they will have even more success against a weaker Broncos.
Manning will most likely throw for over 300 yards, however, he will be shouldering most of the load in this game, as the Broncos’ running game will struggle to get a consistent attack going against the Seahawks front seven.
The Denver defence will struggle to contain Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch and, if Wilson plays relatively mistake-free, the Seahawks should control the clock and keep Manning on the sidelines. The games the Broncos have lost this year have mostly been due to the opposing team’s offence controlling the pace of play.
The Seahawks have a better balance between offence and defence than the Broncos, who are an extremely good offensive team, but are an average defensive team.
Defence should prevail in this game and the Seahawks will win their first championship in franchise history.