55 touchowns and just 10 interceptions. 20 sacks all season, and none in 79 pass attempts in two playoff games. The Denver Broncos offensive line protects Peyton Manning, and he delivers accurate throws, points, and victories.
Knowing they might not bring the future Hall of Fame quarterback to the ground very often in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seattle Seahawks defense has still made it a priority to make Manning move.
“You’ve heard the phrase get him off the spot, so he has to move and he has to adjust, ” said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. “When he’s in rhythm and solidly in the pocket, which he is the great majority of the time, then you’re really dealing with the best he has to offer. We’ll try to get him out of there as much as we can, and that will happen from both ends, coverage and rush.”
The Hawks must stay out of 3rd and short situations to allow their edge speed pass rushers to turn up the heat on Manning. Moving him out of the pocket will also require a push in the middle from the likes of Tony McDaniel, Brandon Mebane, and Clinton McDonald.
Dialing up linebacker blitzes or corner crashes is risky business against Manning, who uses the play clock to check into the perfect play better than any signal-caller in the business.
After watching the Broncos’ Wes Welker lay out a New England defensive back in the AFC Championship game, Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner pledged to “hit” any Denver receiver who attempts a similar pick play.
Seattle’s defensive backs have to hope the officials will allow them to play their normal physical style to disrupt the timing patterns of Welker, Decker, and Thomas.
Pro bowl cornerback Richard Sherman is not worried about the style of game the referees might call. “We don’t try to gauge that at all. We go out there and play our games and play disciplined football and let the chips fall where they may.”
The weather forecast for Super Bowl Sunday in New York/ New Jersey now calls for a high of 48, low of 31, and 50 percent chance of precipitation. If the wind kicks up and swirls in MetLife Stadium it could be a factor on the passing and kicking games.
Percy Harvin sat out the NFC Championship game with a concussion. Expect to see him used in all facets of the Seahawks offense, and kick return game. That said, Seattle’s offense will come alive and outscore the Broncos.
prediction: Seattle 35, Denver 24
-Bill Swartz, 1090TheFan-
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)