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Behind the Mic: “So, Who Will Win?”

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Super Bowl XXLVIII has one of the most intriguing match-ups in years: the league’s highest scoring team taking on the team that gave up the fewest points during the regular season. It is, also, only the second time (2004) that the #1 seed in each conference made it to the championship final. It certainly appears that the two best teams will play in this one. Add the winter venue in New Jersey and you have the makings for a game we will talk about for years.

So, who will win?

Defense wins championships: Any follower of any sport is well aware of this adage and most fans believe it to be true.

That’s not my call, however. Here are ten reasons, in descending order, why Denver will win this game:

10.   Seattle is not at home. The 12th man may be part of the crowd at MetLife Stadium, but will anyone be able to hear them? “Omaha, Omaha” will be easily heard and        communicated by Manning at the line of scrimmage.

9.  New England never came close to Peyton Manning in the AFC Championship. The Seattle defense is outstanding and the front four had
44 sacks, but, first and foremost, the Denver offensive line knows they must protect their franchise player.

8.  Even though the Seahawks had 28 interceptions and forced 17 fumbles during the regular season, they are not likely to do that against the veteran
receiving corps of Denver and the arm of Manning. Denver only had 24 turnovers all year.

7.  The Denver defense may not keep Marshawn Lynch in check at running back, but they should be able to keep Russell Wilson in check. Even though he is a great athlete, it is his first Super Bowl. That has to account for a mistake here or there.

6.  Matt Prater, the Denver kicker, converted 25 of 26 field goal attempts this season, one an NFL record of 64 yards. He can get the nod from almost anywhere on the Denver side of the 50-yard line. By the way, Steve Hauschka of Seattle was outstanding, too. He made 33 of 35 attempts and every one beyond 50-yards (3). Prater should get more opportunities.

5.  The Seattle receiving group is not as good as the Denver group.

4.  All defenses have trouble covering a tight end. Manning has made a star of Julius Thomas. He had 12 touchdowns and 788 yards during the regular season and Manning knows when the tight end should be open.

3.  Efficiency should beat passion. I don’t think there is an NFL coach better than Pete Carroll in emotionally getting a team ready to play. However, John Fox is great at “x-ing and o-ing”. Strategy, not emotion, should win the game.

2.  The Seahawks cannot outscore the Broncos (and I think that’s the object of the game).

And the Number 1 reason the Broncos will win – Peyton Manning!

P.S. – If you want Seattle to win, consider this: The NFC is 5-1 against the spread in the past six Super Bowls and the underdog is 5-1 in those six games.

1. The forecast for the game is a high of 37 degrees and a low of 27. There is a 60% chance of precipitation.
2. Everyone knows about Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing at the half, but did you know Phillip Phillips and The Band Perry will perform during the pre-game?
3. Troy Aikman will be the color analyst with Joe Buck. Aikman won three Super Bowls with Dallas.
4. This is not the first Super Bowl in a cold-weather city. Super Bowls were played in Indianapolis, Pontiac, Detroit, and Minneapolis, but those were all played indoors.
5. The game is televised to 180 countries in more than 25 languages. It will be broadcast LIVE from the stadium in Chinese, Danish, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and English.


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