This coming Sunday is the biggest event in all of American sports. That’s right — Super Bowl Sunday. Whether you are a football fanatic, a Bruno Mars fan or simply looking for some entertainment, this game has everything you could want.
This game in particular is the rare match-up of the two teams with the best winning record during the regular season. It also is a battle of the titans, the best-ranked defense, for the Seattle Seahawks, against the highest-scoring offense ever to take a football field, the Denver Broncos. Too bad these two units won’t always be on the field together. The other half of each team gets some time out there too.
The Broncos scored a league-record 606 points in the regular season, over 35 points a game. The Seahawks, on the other hand, gave up just 14.4 points per game. The Broncos are 15-2 when scoring more than 24 points. The Seahawks are 15-2 when holding their opponent to under 24 points.
The oft-outspoken Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman led the league with eight interceptions this season. That contributed to Seattle’s 39 takeaways this season, the most in the league.
This match-up also features two of the most prepared quarterbacks of the day, Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.
Every time I hear a story about Russell Wilson, I become more impressed with him. In the stories of him going into the Seahawks stadium, he is always the first one in and the last one out. He is a student of the game, and he just seems like a nice guy.
Perhaps the most impressive thing I have heard was a story that came out earlier this week. In an interview, it was revealed that Wilson knew the exact number of footballs that would be rotated into the Super Bowl game, and he knew that they rotate them every three plays.
Not only that, he knew that every ball has a special Super Bowl logo on it, causing them to be slicker and harder to handle. That comes from preparation and study.
On the other side is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game. For those who only know Manning from his commercials, he is a stickler to detail. Just watching him play his mind games at the line of scrimmage is inspiring and confusing at the same time.
Manning may just have the best receiving core ever on one team. Four of his targets had double-digit touchdowns this season. Manning threw for 55 touchdowns in the regular season and four more in the postseason. He is lucky his arm hasn’t fallen off yet.
Although he doesn’t want to admit it, Manning looked like a man on a mission this season. A man who wants to rebuild and rewrite his legacy. Manning refused to comment on his legacy this week, but if his team wins Sunday, he will jump right into the discussion of the greatest of all time.
The weather this year will be a big factor, perhaps more than any other Super Bowl on record. The game is in New Jersey, in an outdoor stadium. The forecast calls for a high in the low 30s. The weather report has differed by the day, so it is unknown what the elements will be.
With all of these factors, this lowly sportswriter predicts a win for the Broncos. I foresee Manning elevating his game in the big spotlight, because he is on a mission. A mission to prove his critics wrong. A mission to prove he can perform in the big moment, in the cold.
But I predict a game that comes down to the wire, one determined by seven points or fewer. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Seahawks raise the Lombardi trophy. Anything is possible on any given Sunday in the NFL.
And if Denver does win, I hope that, after Peyton is asked what he is going to do now that he has won the Super Bowl, he says he is going to Omaha.