To combat the earlier post on this site, I am going to tell you why the Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl (click here for Super Bowl XLVIII tickets.) Here’s why Joe Wedra thinks the Seahawks will win the big game on Sunday.
1. Peyton Manning
The Denver Broncos quarterback is playing out of his mind this season. Including the playoffs, he has 59 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown, making a whopping 60 touchdowns he’s accounted for this season. The Seahawks have not seen an offense like Denver’s, even two matchups against New Orleans pale in comparison to this team.
Manning is determined, focused, and as fired up as I’ve ever seen him playing. I’ve never seen a quarterback play with more tenacity down the stretch of the season, and if I’ve learned anything over the last few years, the quarterback that has the hottest hand at the end of a season is the one that takes the trophy.
I think reasons why Peyton Manning is the number one factor for the Broncos winning are very obvious.
2. Denver’s Receivers are Better Than Seattle’s DBs.
There, I said it. Richard Sherman made a huge play against San Francisco, and Seattle’s defensive backs are the best in the NFL. But Denver’s receivers are also the best in the NFL, and they have more weapons at WR/TE than Seattle has at CB/S. The Broncos boast two receivers that had over 1,000 yards. They have four receivers that had over 10 touchdowns–not to mention a running back that has over 10 as well.
This is a mismatch in favor of the Broncos, who are the best in the NFL after the catch. Seattle has the personnel to match up with Denver physically, which has some feeling like they have an edge, but I point to it again: They haven’t seen an offense this good all year.
3. The Broncos’ Defense
The Denver defense is easily playing its best football of the season. They started to pick up their game when they played in Houston back in week 16, and carried it into a dominant performance against Oakland, and have allowed just 17 and 16 points in their two playoff games. In two playoff games, Denver has allowed just one more point than Seattle.
I’ve heard for two straight weeks how good Seattle’s defense is, and that praise is absolutely warranted, but Denver’s defense isn’t some slouch. The Broncos boast a cornerback in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who didn’t have near as many picks as Richard Sherman but has been dominant, grading out as the fourth best corner in the NFL this past season by Pro Football Focus. The Broncos also have a healthy Champ Bailey playing great after missing much of the season with a foot injury. Bailey is rotating between the slot CB position and his normal LCB position with DRC and Tony Carter rotating in as well.
Denver’s front seven has been fantastic in the playoffs, allowing no more than 64 yards rushing in two playoff games. The dominance of the Denver rush defense has been there all season, and after allowing just ONE back to go over 100 yards all season, somehow people think they won’t be able to stop Marshawn Lynch.
4. The Veteran Presence
Denver has four players that have played in this game before, Seattle has none. Even more important, one of the four guys who has been there before for Denver is Peyton Manning, the guy who plays the most important position on the team.
5. Pass Protection
Denver’s pass protection has been second to none this season, and even when Peyton Manning is pressured, he ranks first in the NFL in both completion percentage and yards per dropback. Manning can get rattled, but he’s not the reason the Broncos lost to the Colts, Chargers, and Patriots this season. The Broncos have only gotten in their own way with stupid penalties, dropped punts, and fumbles at critical junctures of the game. Manning’s orange jersey typically stays clean, and Seattle’s front is going to have to work hard to get past the brick wall that is Denver’s offensive line.
Denver’s offense matches up really well with Seattle’s defense. The Broncos will find ways to exploit Seattle’s coverage schemes, just as the Colts did. The Broncos are playing sound football in all three phases and the biggest reason why I think they will win the game is third down conversion success rate. The Broncos have converted 16-of-26 third downs offensively where the Seahawks have converted just 10-of-28 third downs. Both teams have been efficient defensively on third down, but Denver’s offense is just too good. Seattle’s defense would be a lot more intimidating if the Broncos were in some kind of funk, or if they were missing a key piece of the offensive puzzle, but they aren’t and they are clicking on all cylinders.
In the end, I think Peyton Manning is more motivated than ever to win this game, and he will will the Broncos to victory.