The Super Bowl matchup Sunday between the NFC champion Seahawks and AFC champion Broncos has all the ingredients of being one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history.
On one hand, you have the team with the best offense in the NFL, the Peyton Manning-led Broncos. And on the other hand, you have the league’s stingiest defense, led by a confident, boisterous, intelligent, gregarious, sound-bite-waiting-to-happen All-Pro Richard Sherman.
Golferswest.com is represented at the week-long festivities in New York/New Jersey by our fearless leader, Bob Sherwin. His colorful prose this week is the highlight of our ever-improving website. The other GW scribes are stay-at-home writers during Super Bowl week, studying the strengths and weaknesses of both teams and, like millions of other people, trying to predict the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII.
And here are our picks:
Seattle 30, Denver 27
MVP: Seahawks WR Percy Harvin
Whether I’m a working sportswriter or just someone going to the game as a fan, I’m still get enamored with a good story. That’s why I think the Seahawks will come up with a second-half comeback 30-27 victory. And wide receiver Percy Harvin, who had played just two games all season because of surgery and injury, will be the MVP. Now that’s a good read.
I think Broncos QB Peyton Manning will have his way early, building maybe a 10-point lead. But the Seahawks, with the league’s best defense, have been terrific at second-half adjustments all season. They will find the way to control Mr. Omaha. RB Marshawn Lynch finally will soften up the middle and draw more linebacker/secondary attention. That will allow Harvin, quick and elusive, to get open for huge chunks of yards, and perhaps a couple touchdowns. I don’t think Wilson or Lynch will have the numbers to warrant the MVP choice but Harvin should have enough all-purpose yards – including punt returns – to attract MVP votes – and a great readership Monday morning.
Denver 21, Seattle 17
MVP: Broncos QB Peyton Manning
The Seahawks’ defense is the best in the NFL. The defensive backfield, led by
the vociferous and occasional outrageous cornerback Richard Sherman, is the
most physical, most confident, most effective unit in all of football.
Even so, the Broncos have a quarterback who can be lethal against any defense,
including one that stands in the way of a Super Bowl championship. As good as
the Seahawks defense is, I believe the NFL’s MVP-to-be will lead the underdog
Broncos to the Super Bowl championship in New Jersey. Manning has set virtually
every single-season passing record this season and has had two weeks to scope
out the Seattle defense. He won’t shred the Seahawks’ defense at will, but
he’ll “Omaha” them into submission, with a dink here, a dink there, and an
occasional bomb that will produce three passing touchdowns.
He’ll spread it around, hitting Wes Welker here, Damaryius Thomas there and Eric Decker over there. Manning has so many weapons that it’s practically impossible to cover everyone.
Seattle 23, Denver 20
MVP: Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch
While one Golferswest.com writer plays in New York/New Jersey/Siberia to take in the Super Bowl first-hand and another stays home in Seattle absorbing the euphoria that has swept the Northwest, please feel for me.
I’m stuck in the Arizona desert, a football wasteland this time of the year, straining to muster an enthusiasm for Sunday’s big game. It’s not easy, but I try. I try to get into a football frame of mind every time I’m on the golf course, which is nearly every day. I try every time I’m on the driving range trying to hit a high draw, which is nearly every day before I hit the golf course. I try every time I sit on my patio looking out over the blooming bougainvillea as the sun sets behind the palm trees.
Every day is the same down here in Phoenix – temps in the mid-70s to low 80s, hardly a cloud overhead and the “thwack” of a Titleist the only real interruption of the serenity (unless that “thwack” is followed by the sound of breaking glass and some four-letter words).
I’m not asking for a pity party, but I hope someone feels my pain as I try to get into the Super Bowl spirit. This is a place where it’s difficult to get a sense of the football weather in New York/New Jersey/Siberia or find anyone not from Seattle who really likes the Seahawks (thanks, Richard Sherman).
Having said all that, I really like the Seahawks.
Defense leads to championships, and the Seahawks have one that hits with venom and offers no apologies afterward. Oh, they’ll get into an opponent’s ear after a play, but not with an apology.
The only thing that may derail the Seahawks would be a disastrous game by young quarterback Russell Wilson. I don’t see that happening, because the Seahawks have rarely put Wilson in a position to make the big mistake down the regular-season stretch or two playoff games.
Because of that, and Seattle’s best-in-the-league defense, I’m picking the Seahawks to beat the Broncos 23-20.
And then I’ll go back to figuring how to hit a high draw.