After 21 weeks, there is only one game left of the 2013-14 NFL season. The Denver Broncos will be playing the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in New Jersey to see who will become the new world champions.
It’s extremely rare that the two pre-season favorites will actually meet in the Super Bowl. The league’s No.1 offense, the Broncos and the No.1 defense, the Seahawks both have had dominant seasons.
Let’s take a look at how these two teams matchup for the big game:
For the Broncos, Peyton Manning has had the greatest regular season by a quarterback in NFL history by throwing for a record 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. His weapons, wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker, running back Knowshon Moreno and tight end Julius Thomas have all been incredible this year.
The Seahawks offense hasn’t been that explosive this season because of Percy Harvin’s injuries. Quarterback Russell Wilson has been able to make big-time plays when needed, but for the most part he has just been a solid player. Marshawn Lynch continued to be a beast this season running for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns. Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate are solid secondary receivers. If they played with Harvin throughout the season then their numbers would have been much better since opposing defenses would pay less attention to them.
The Broncos defense hasn’t been incredible this season, but they haven’t needed to be because they have the greatest offense of all-time on their team. Their pass rush has been pretty much nonexistent due to the loss of Elvis Dumervil to the Ravens and Von Miller’s ACL injury. Cornerback Chris Harris tearing his ACL is a huge loss for their secondary because now a past his prime Champ Bailey will have to play significant time.
The Seahawks defense has been the best in the league all season because their dominant secondary composed of Byron Maxwell, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril have been solid pass rushers with 8.5 and 8 sacks, respectively.
In regards to special teams, I give the edge to the Broncos. They have the best kicker in the league this season, Matt Prater, who set the NFL record for the longest field goal. They also have one of the fastest players in the league, Trindon Holliday, returning kicks.
For the Seahawks, if Harvin was healthy all season, then I think the Seahawks would have had a much better return team than they did. Steve Hauschka has been very consistent kicking field goals all season. Overall, they were a solid unit, but nothing that special.
On defense, the Seahawks have been dominant, allowing their opponents to gain only 273.6 yards per game, which is almost 30 yards better than the next best team.
Prediction: 24-17 Seahawks
I think the Seahawks are much more suited to win in the cold and wet environment that is expected on Sunday night. Lynch will have at least 25 carries and will be able to move the chains consistently to give the Seahawks the edge in time of possession. Harvin will stay healthy for the entire game, allowing Baldwin and Tate to have a lot of freedom. Wilson won’t put up huge numbers, but he will play an extremely efficient game allowing his team to win. The Seahawks defense will give up a couple of touchdowns, but for the most part will be able to contain Manning and Co. because of how physical of a defense they are. I think Head Coach Pete Carroll will have Harvin returning kicks as long as he’s capable, because he realizes that in a one game scenario such as the Super Bowl having someone as dynamic as Harvin back there could be huge for field position.
And most importantly, Bruno Mars will kill it.