We’ve been pretty fortunate in recent years that the Super Bowl has been, well, super.
Last year’s game, a 34-31 victory by Baltimore over San Francisco, was an instant classic. The 2012 game also was one for the ages, the New York Giants’ 21-17 victory over New England that featured “the catch” by journeyman tight end David Tyree, who was never to be heard from again but will forever be etched in Super Bowl lore.
We really haven’t had a dog of a game since 2007 when Peyton Manning won his only Super Bowl in a 29-17 Indianapolis snoozer over the Chicago Bears.
There was a time, though, the only excitement about the game was the commercials. In the 1980s, we had a stretch of games that were blowouts, though they featured some great individual performances by future Hall of Famers. In fact in the '80s, there was a period of six out of seven years where the winner was decided by double digits and featured some of the worst mismatches in game history.
The only negative about the game is the wait. I just can’t stand the two-week lull between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. I think the teams should keep on rolling as there’s no reason for the NFL to be playing in February, especially when some camps will be opening six months later. It’s no wonder there are so many injuries, the players’ bodies simply don’t have time to heal.
The biggest news about this year’s game is that it will be played in cold weather on the East Coast, which brings an element to the big game like never before. There was some early fear the teams might be playing in the snow, but now it just appears it’s going to be cold. I'm sure everybody remembers that epic 1948 NFL championship game when Philadelphia edged the Chicago Cardinals (yes, Cardinals, not Bears) 7-0, as the players had to help the ground crew keep the snow off the field, but they couldn't keep up. The game literally was played in about 10 inches of snow.
We have the matchup that everybody wants. Seattle against Denver acid tests the theory about whether or not offense or defense truly wins championships. The Broncos are the most prolific offensive team in NFL history, while Seattle’s defensive swag and bombastic attitude makes it believe nobody can score on it.
As much as the focus has been on Seattle's noisy Richard Sherman and his ballistic comments after the NFC championship game, there’s no doubt what the true storyline is — Manning.
Manning’s critics slam him for having won only one Super Bowl while Tom Brady has won three as they are the two best quarterbacks of our generation. But with the year Manning has had, it would be a shame if he couldn’t complete the deal. He has been a surgeon all year and now faces the ultimate test. This Seahawk defense is fast and nasty, not to mention outrageously arrogant.
But Denver’s offensive line and running game are underrated. It will take some of the heat off Manning, though look for the Seahawks to blitz from everywhere to try and make him uncomfortable. The Broncos’ defense also is underrated, just look at how it shut down Brady two weeks ago.
While the cold weather would seem to dictate an edge to the defense, in this case Seattle, I like the Broncos.
Denver 27, Seattle 21.