TNH’s Super Call: Why Denver Wins

first_imgAs New Jersey awaits to host what should be a cold weather Super Bowl 48 amid a lot of speculation about the weather, fans are talking too about the matchups of the toughest defense in the game, the Seattle Seahawk’s NFC champions, trying to stop the gun of the Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning’s record-breaking season of 55 TD passes.The National Herald’s Executive Editor Constantinos Scaros and Online Editor Andy Dabilis took a look at how the teams sized up and both picked the Broncos to come out on top.SCAROS:Super Bowl 48, between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, basically can go four different ways: Denver winning big, Denver winning close, Seattle winning close, or Seattle winning big.First, what I’d like to see happen: I want the Broncos to win because I want Peyton Manning’s comeback to be complete. Besides, it always irritated me that his brother, Eli – who although is probably more clutch than his big brother, doesn’t even come close to possessing Peyton’s gifts as a field general – has won two Super Bowls to Peyton’s one.Then again, Eli had an absolutely dismal year while Peyton broke the all-time single season touchdown passing record, throwing an unbelievable 55 touchdowns, so I think the “who’s the better Manning” debate has been settled once and for all.Druthers aside, what does my head tell me? Denver has the league’s top offense and Seattle the top defense, which makes this a battle for the ages indeed. But a closer look reveals that Denver’s forte, its passing offense, might be overinflated because the Broncos have played against only a couple of the top-rated defensive teams all year.Similarly, Seattle held teams to an average of 14 points per game but did not exactly play the NFL’s most explosive offenses. Essentially, then, both teams’ identical and superb 13-3 regular season records were boosted by rather easy schedules.That said, Seattle had impressive scoring bursts even against some good defenses, whereas Denver, which scored an average of 37.9 points per game in the regular season, had games of only 29 and 12 against some of the better defenses.Seattle scored about 26 points per game, Denver allowed about 24, and so if Seattle musters 25 for the Super Bowl, that is to be expected. The real disparity is with how many points Denver is accustomed to scoring per game (nearly 38) and how many Seattle gives up (just 14).The scenario seems tailor-made for Manning – known to blow big games – to fall apart, as Seattle laughs all the way to the Lombardi Trophy. A 37-19 final score, with the Seahawks on top, seems very likely. But I’m sayin’ otherwise: Broncos 28-21.Theirs is not your run-of-the-mill high-octane offense. This is Peyton Manning’s career year – 55 touchdowns – and he just seems to be getting better and better. He has taken adlib play-calling to new levels of greatness, and even the Seahawks’ ferocious defense won’t be able to stop him. Manning has had an outstanding season, and has shown real mettle in the playoffs this year, spreading the ball to numerous targets. This is no Manning to Marvin Harrison or to Reggie Wayne-type offense like in Indianapolis.Given all those factors, not to mention experience (by contrast, Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson, a fine player in his own right, is in the Super Bowl for the very first time), I pick the Broncos. Of course, given my opening remarks, it could just be wishful thinking.A very good friend of mine, who played high school football and is a lifelong student of the game, likes to say: “Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships.” This year’s Broncos are going to do both.ANDY D:Being old enough to remember the FIRST Super Bowl, when it seemed the Kansas City Chiefs might actually hang tough against the indomitable Green Bay Packers before Bart Starr found Max McGee, and old enough to remember when the New Jersey Giants were the New York Giants and the New England Patriots were the Boston Patriots (and still should be) I can add some perspective to this one 47 years later.First, the Seahawks braggadocio defense back Richard Sherman may be a Stanford grad but he apparently didn’t study football history or he would know what happened when Chiefs DB Fred “The Hammer” Williamson promised to knock cold Green Bay receivers: it was Williamson who found himself prone on the field with his lights out and while no one wishes injury on anyone, we could settle for Sherman being so embarrassed by Peyton Manning that he hangs his head in the shame he deserves for being a big-mouthed bad winner in the game against the San Francisco 49’ers.Sherman may have tipped the end zone pass but he didn’t intercept it and a word of praise for his teammate who did, Malcolm Smith, and the rest of the Seattle players – plus just a touch of humility and recognition that but for a tipped pass his team would have lost – would have made him American’s football darling instead of its loathed loudmouth.This game will disprove the much-loved football axiom that a good defense beats a good offense because there’s a more apt boxing term: a good big man will beat a good little man every time, and Manning is the big man in this one, even if he’s not the best QB in Denver history: John Elway is.When the Super Bowl annals are written, no one will remember who Russell Wilson was because he’s just a poseur compared to Manning, even though this game shapes up to be one that is not a big draw compared to many of the others in its history.And while everyone’s talking about Seattle’s Big D you have to remember that if Denver took care of Tom Brady that it can handle a guy named Wilson, who’s not even in the same league. This game will be won on the arm – of Manning – not on the legs of Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch or Wilson’s passing. Lynch is a strong, tough runner but he’s not Jim Brown, still the greatest football player ever.Manning had a Joe Namath kind of year, except that he had four more games to do set the record of 55 TD’s passing, and what’s even more important is that he didn’t throw an interception against the Patriots.The two strengths – Seattle’s defense and Denver’s offense – are even. But Denver’s defense is better than Seattle’s offense, an overlooked factor in all the building hype, and it will come down to who’s cooler under pressure, Manning or Wilson, and Manning has just too much experience to be rattled in such a big game. Plus, as he said: “I’m an AFC guy.”Me too, so this one’s for the Boston Patriots and the AFL and if there’s any justice it will end with Manning throwing a fadeaway winner over Sherman and then having enough class – like Jim Brown – not to boast but to walk away a winner and like someone, who, as Brown said, acts like he’s been there before because he has. Denver 24-21.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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