• Brass vs. Steel - A Zone Blitz Special Report: Breaking Down Super Bowl XLVIII



    After two weeks of buildup, Super Bowl XLVIII is finally upon us. This year, we have a matchup of epic proportions as the most prolific offense of all-time faces off against a "Legion of Boom" defense that's looking to cement a legacy of their own. Mikesteelnation1 has joined me to help discuss the X's and O's. I've taken on the Denver point of view, while mike will be representing the Seattle POV.

    When the Broncos have the ball

    BW: Peyton Manning has had one of the most prolific seasons in NFL history. Certainly, their receiving depth is a major reason why. But another big reason for Manning's historic season has been the consistent productivity he's received from Knowshon Moreno. Moreno finally stayed healthy enough to play all 16 regular season games, and has started both playoff games. Moreno had a 1000/10 season on the ground, and added a very productive 60/548/3 receiving the ball out of the backfield. Plus, Moreno originally earned his way onto the field due to his prowess as a pass protector. Moreno is currently listed as questionable for the game, and while I have a feeling he'll play, the question is going to be how effective he'll be on the field. If Moreno sits, or is limited, Montee Ball has been a very effective #2, so the running game shouldn't see much of a drop off. But where Moreno will be extremely important is as an outlet receiver, and as a pass protector.

    Last year, one of the overlooked factors in Denver's loss to Baltimore was the loss of Moreno to a knee injury. In the 3+ quarters following his departure, the Broncos only scored 1 offensive TD, and Peyton Manning was sacked 3 times. The Seattle defense is about as relentless and physical as any in the league, so a healthy Moreno is imperative to Denver's success, even if he's not entirely effective running the football.

    While the Seahawks strength is certainly in their pass defense, their rush defensive has occasionally been a bit vulnerable. However, Denver's rush attack is not necessarily explosive, and also certainly not the most physical in the league either. The key will be whether or not the OL can open up holes for Moreno and Ball. While the Denver OL is solid, I'm not sure their run blocking is going to match up all that well, so I can see Denver struggling to move the ball consistently on the ground.

    MS: I agree, Moreno's play will be a huge deciding factor in this game. If he runs well, it really opens up the playbook for the Broncos. However, its a double edged sword, because if he doesn't it's going to be a SUPER long day for Manning. You mention specifically the strength of the Seahawks defense being their pass defense, however the "vulnerability" you speak of is about the #7 rush defense in the league, that was #1 overall. While it would be easy to glance at the stat sheets and deduce that at times Seattle gets run on, that would be lazy. I'll speak more to stats in a minute, but shutting down the run game falls on the shoulders of 2 men primarily- Mebane and Wagner. Mebane (who's quite underrated for how well he plays) is the key cog. He's got to disrupt and force double teams to allow Wagner a free flow to the runner.

    Now let's talk stats... that "vulnerability" you spoke of is a COMPLETE mirage! Here's why- First of all the hawks only allowed SIX runs of 20+ yards this year. They don't allow the big plays, at all. Matter of fact, most of those big plays were scrambling QB's runs. Seeing as how PM is the QB they're facing, we can erase ANY running a qb did vs the hawks this year, the next time PM breaks a 20+ yd run might be the first of his career. Given that, I looked at all the games the hawks gave up over 100 yards rushing while erasing qbs rushing from the totals. The only teams that had success running were those forced to have success, because their qb sucked. Clemens, Schaub, Glennon, Palmer and Cassell (along with the outdoor brees in the cold) are the only non running QBS to have their team have any success. Wouldnt you run every play you possibly could with those qbs?

    Out of 6 games, only one loss, having allowed only a 3.9 ypc avg while winning 83.3% of the games that a team ran a BILLION times to get over 100 yards (4 of the 6 had 33+ attempts to get over 100 yards) . That sir, is NOT a vulnerability... PM can't run and the broncos won't be winning if they have 30+ rushing attempts.

    BW: I 100% agree that the Seahawks don't have a vulnerability on defense. It's all relative, but when they've shown signs of slight vulnerability, it has been against the run. That said, there's a reason this is the best offense vs. defense matchup in Super Bowl history.

    Of course, the real interesting matchup of this game lies in the Denver receivers vs. the Seattle secondary. No other team in the league can boast 4 receivers with 10+ TDs, and Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Julius Thomas are physical players that present matchup issues for any secondary in the league. Yes, the Seattle pass defense, and their secondary in particular, is in my view the best singular unit in the league this season. But I feel that this is the first week they'll truly feel the loss of Brandon Browner.

    MS: The loss of Browner is HUGE! If the Seahawks lose this Superbowl, hawks fans will be the whiniest in the history of the world (they probably are already, so its no stretch). Not only will they be *****ing about the refs in SB XL, they will also cry about how "adderrall" isn't "really a drug".

    BW: Demaryius Thomas vs. Richard Sherman is the matchup everyone will be watching, but don't be surprised if we're all a bit disappointed. Sherman is one of those CBs who always plays on one side of the field. Meanwhile, the Broncos do a good job of moving Thomas around. So we'll get SOME of Thomas vs. Sherman, but not as much as many may believe. I do think there's a chance here that Thomas will break a big play. I think Denver will do a good job of finding ways to free open Eric Decker as well, although he'll be a bit easier for Seattle to neutralize than Thomas. There should also be some openings for Julius Thomas, but it wouldn't surprise me if Wes Welker struggles a bit, since he's obviously not a physical player, and seems to have lost some of his lateral quickness.

    MS:I don't think we will be as disappointed as you think here. Quinn is an innovative thinker, and excellent DC. He's in NO way, SHAPE, or FORM going to keep Sherman on one side of the field. That would be far too predictable, and give PM and Gase too much ammo to do as they please. That won't happen. Sherm will follow one of the Thomases', and leave the smurfs for the other back end guys to handle. What we've seen prior, wont be what we'll see here on the biggest stage. Just like we read about the plays from the AFCCG that the broncos never used, that we will see more of in SB 48, we'll see as many looks and formations we've never seen before from Seattle too. This is a chess battle of EPIC proportions.

    That said, Sherm won't be on just one side. His ability will be used to its fullest extent, in the game of all games. Its very simple. The big dudes who create match up nightmares are the Thomases'. They require Sherm being involved. Welker and Decker? Not at ALL. They are both going to struggle off jams this entire game.

    BW: That's interesting, because Sherman has been a guy all year that has locked down the right side of the field, similar to many of the elite CBs, such as Darrelle Revis. The Seahawks typically rely a lot on man coverage on the outside, with a zone look in the middle of the field. You think they'll change up that approach this week, and allow Sherman to shadow Demaryius? Because I honestly can't see that happening.

    MS: Here's WHY it's GOING to happen. Only 4 teams the last 2 years have scored over 23 pts on this ridiculous Seattle Defense. You know the ONE thing they all had in common? Super spread concept, most offensive plays started with 4 receivers outside the hashes. Doing this disrupts the man/zone scheme the Hawks run. Makes it more predicated on one on one matchups, not trying to beat the mystifyingly ridiculous defense the hawks run. Spread them out and take away their biggest strength (overall cohesiveness and mastery of the zone concept), and force many to be on islands with very few in zone to cover the mistakes. This is going to happen, given Denver's personnel, and the FACT the only way you score more than 23 pts vs the Hawks is to spread them out. With them spread out and more on islands that necessitates that Sherman be locked onto one of the Thomases'. We both know Denver will need more than 23 pts to win, so given that, we both know the Donkeys are about to spread em out! And when they're spread out Sherm won't be just on the right, across from Welker and Decker in a stack when the Thomases' are stacked on the left. That's why I know Sherman won't just be playing a side.

    BW: We both know that what should happen and what will happen are often two entirely different things. I just don't think Seattle will suddenly make a major adjustment away from their defensive philosophy. But that's certainly something I'll be paying attention to on Sunday.

    Offensive X Factor- Obviously Denver's receiving depth is a big strength, but I'm going to go really deep here and say that Andre Caldwell makes a key play at some point. He's really not done much other than when filling in for Welker, but something tells me they find a way to spread the field, weaken the Seattle secondary as much as possible, and use his quickness at a key point in this game.

    MS: Defensive X Factor- Seattle's back 4 are ridiculously talented. That said Kam Chancellor is the X factor. Given that we know the Broncos will spread things out, Chancellor is the guy who can tilt the game with his ridiculous physical presence. Make all the inside route running guys and the backs catching screens get "alligator arms". Anyone who's seen him smash people running down hill knows what I mean. Take away the safety valve routes, make them win the one on one outside stuff.

    When the Seahawks have the ball

    BW: Clearly stopping Marshawn Lynch will be the biggest key to Denver's defensive success, but that's become the clear strength of the Bronco defense. A Denver rush defense that was very solid during the regular season, also allowing only 3.9 YPC, has been even better over the last 4 weeks, allowing only 70 yards per game. In the postseason, they've shut down two very hot ground games in allowing only 65 yards (3.6) to the Chargers, and 64 yards (4.0) to the Patriots (14/44, or 3.14 YPC prior to 2 Vereen runs on NE's final drive late in the 4th). And while there is no one else quite like Marshawn Lynch, LeGarrette Blount ended the year running like a pretty close facsimile, and Denver held him to 6 yards on 5 carries.

    The strength of the run defense is up the middle, where the Broncos allow under 3 YPC for the season. Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton has been a beast over the middle, and the underrated play of Paris Lenon, who also happens to be the last remaining active member from the XFL, has helped this rush defense excel since Lenon joined the starting lineup about a month ago. Lynch is almost definitely going to get his yards, but the key for the Broncos will be to limit his effectiveness, and not allow him to pop off one of those Beastquake-type runs.

    MS: C'mon trumpet, you're better than this. Using rushing stats from opponents that were getting FIREBOMBED as credence to your claims? Is it a surprise the Chargers or Pats ran ALMOST NEVER??? They were both getting destroyed, so of course they didn't run much. Of course the team getting NUKED never ran up the middle. You're overvaluing how good this Broncos rush defense is. How many really TOUGH yards did this defense ACTUALLY defend? We both know Blount and Beast Mode are quite different runners, and one is miles better than the other. Even saying they are close facsimiles is completely ridiculous... The 2 running backs the Broncos have faced that are Lynch's equals or better all TORCHED them. They aren't really good vs the run. They padded their stats being up big. They won't be up big this game.... They are playing the best defense in the league.

    This Seattle run game is really legit. Over 100 yds 14 times this year. Beast Mode is going to get his.

    BW: Who says I'm better than this? Usually I'm much worse. Clearly the Seahawk run game is a different animal, but remember that a little over 33 yards per game of that comes from Wilson, but he's been limited to half that total over the last 6 weeks. The Broncos need to make them work for every yard, and need to avoid allowing the big play. We both know that part of the reason they built up a big lead in each of those games was due to their ability to completely neutralize the run early. Blount entered that game on fire, and ended it on the bench. A major reason for that was that Denver never allowed him to get anything going. That was still a close game into the 3rd quarter, yet Blount contributed nothing. Lynch will get more opportunities, but even in a close game, I don't see why they can't hold him under 100 yards, even if he gets upwards of 25 carries.

    The Denver pass rush has managed to survive the loss of Von Miller late in the season, and is still getting decent pressure on the QB. They've sacked Brady and Rivers a total of 6 times this postseason, with Knighton getting pressure from up the middle, and Ayers, Phillips, and Malik Jackson are finding a way to make the QB uncomfortable. Obviously Russell Wilson's athleticism makes him a different animal, but in a game as magnified as the Super Bowl, forcing him to make quick decisions and try to do too much is a pretty good recipe for success.

    MS: Brady sees ghosts for no reason, and Rivers isn't exactly Houdini when it comes to escaping sacks. The pressure has happened primarily from making said team one dimensional. This Seattle team, based on its players, is so far from one dimensional. Wilson scrambles or bootlegs out of those bad situations. And BTW hes pretty MONEY at making the other team pay when he does....

    BW: The pass coverage could be a problem area for the Broncos, with Chris Harris lost in the San Diego game to a knee injury. But the Seattle passing game has been struggling, as they've been lacking a dynamic go-to target for most of the year. I'm guessing that DRC locks in on Golden Tate for most of the night, which feels like a win for the Broncos. The big key here is the return of Percy Harvin who, if healthy, gives Seattle the exact type of dynamic weapon Russell Wilson has been lacking. Can either one of the old guys in Champ Bailey or Quentin Jammer limit Harvin? Is Harvin actually healthy enough to contribute for the entire game? Those two questions could very well go a long way to determining the outcome of this game. Also, while he's not been a consistent target for the Seahawks this year, Denver can be a bit leaky in terms of their TE coverage. The Danny Trevathan/Mike Adams vs. Zach Miller matchup could also end up playing a key role.

    MS: Pass coverage will 100% be the problem. Their secondary, outside DRC SUCKS. Expect much stuff that isn't on film from Wilson. Designed stuff to allow him to take advantage of the long plays, that he does so often vs a secondary that's so SUSPECT.

    BW: Maybe, but Wilson has not been nearly as explosive over the last 4 weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs. He was certainly good enough last week against San Francisco, but the 215 yards he threw for were his most since week 12. He also hasn't thrown more than 1 TD since that week 12 win over New Orleans. The big thing with Wilson is that he really doesn't make the big mistake, but against Denver, simply not making a big mistake isn't going to be enough to win.

    Defensive X Factor- As I mentioned earlier, the Broncos rush defense has been stout during the last month. And for all the talk about Seattle being the best scoring defense in the league, the Broncos have only allowed an average of 15 points per game in their last 4. The biggest reason for that (and I mean literally) is Terrance Knighton. If the Broncos limit Lynch, they win the game. Knighton's impact on the running game, along with his ability to help disrupt the pocket in the passing game is the biggest key to the Broncos' defensive success.

    MS: Offensive X Factor- Its a tie between Wilson and Harvin for me, everyone else will do whats expected. One of these two will be the difference makers unless we get a couple "beast quakes"... Seattle's defense is quite steady and always keeps the team in the game. I'll officially tab Harvin to do something special, outside of what's expected. A deep pass, or a ridiculous return.

    Predictions

    BW: After all of the build up leading to this game regarding the weather, it now looks like it won't even be the coldest Super Bowl on record. If a 40 degree kickoff is accurate, that will be 1 degree warmer than the kickoff for Super Bowl VI between the Cowboys and Dolphins, which was played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

    Personally, I'm glad the weather won't play a role. This game deserves better. It's a true 50/50 matchup, and this is the most excited I've been for a non-Steeler Super Bowl since at least the Patriots-Eagles in SB XXXIX, and possibly since Green Bay-Denver in SB XXXII. With all things being equal, as great as the Seattle pass defense is, I just think Denver has too many weapons. Plus, the Bronco defense has actually been very good in the playoffs against two offenses that were both playing better at the time than Seattle is now. As many teams have proven, including Peyton's Colts from a few years ago, it doesn't necessarily take a great defense to win, just a hot defense. While the Seahawks defense has been simmering all year, the Bronco defense has picked things up enough to where I think they'll have enough to limit the Seahawks, and allow Peyton to continue to control the clock, and the game, as he's done this entire postseason. Give me the Broncos 24-17.

    MS: This is only the second time in over 2 decades this game involved the top seed in each conference. This one also involves the #1 offense vs the #1 defense. Defense wins championships... 6 offenses have scored 540+ points. Guess how many hoisted a Lombardi??

    Seattle controls the clock and does just enough on offense to score and keep the heat on, Seattle keeps the pressure on just enough, and PM screws up giving the game away causing tons of questions about his legacy to fly freely!! Give me the Seahawks 27-21

    Comments 68 Comments
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Sorry guys. I mistakenly posted this in the wrong forum. It should be on the front page now.

      Nice work, BTW.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Excellent breakdown! Great organization and structure to your thoughts. Well done.

      I would hope that two weeks is enough time for Moreno's ribs to heal. Ball is scary. He was one fumble away from becoming Ronnie Hillman, buried on the bench.

      And the Seahawks love them some turnovers. Ball has been better about wrapping two arms around the ball lately, but once a guy gets a rep in the NFL...

      I think the combination of Wilson's scrambles and the return of Percy Harvin will be a difference-maker. Pot Roast won't ever reach the dancing midget and Denver's so-so rush won't be able to contain him. Hell, SF's great defense couldn't. So I can see Wilson running free and finding Harvin when the play breaks down.

      The only question I have is whether or not Harvin can endure another blow to the head?

      The only way I can see Denver winning this game is if they somehow take an early -- and substantial -- lead and force Seattle out of their offensive game plan. Denver loves long, grinding drives. But I wonder if they might not be tempted to take some home run shots early, just to open up Seattle a bit?

      But overall I'm pessimistic about Denver's chances. I see a lot of three-and-out drives, punishing Seattle tackling, an interception or three as Peyton is forced to carry the offense. And I see Denver's defense exposed not so much by Lynch as by Wilson's legs and arm.

      In the end it may not be close.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      To be fair, I would not judge the effectiveness of the Denver run D based on stopping Blount. Yes, in the AFC Divisional Round (vs Indy) and Week 16 (vs the Bills), he had monster games. The other 15 weeks he did not.

      I loved those games, and I hope we resign him, but the Denver game was the rule this year.

      This is not saying the Denver run D has not played well, just a caution at assuming a bad game from Blount equals a great run D.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      The Patriots ran for 501 yards in their previous two games prior to Denver. Yes, they were on a roll. This is also a team that put up nearly 150 in week 16 vs. Baltimore, and nearly 200 earlier in the year on Pittsburgh. So yes, Denver holding them to their 2nd lowest total of the season, and setting a tone early by completely shutting down Blount, was impressive.

      Total numbers for the Broncos defense are not impressive, but they're playing their best football of the season right now.

      Another way to look at the Denver offense vs. Sea defense matchup. The Broncos averaged 3 points per drive, while the Seahawks allowed only 1.24 points per drive. Keep in mind, while the Denver scoring has been down a bit in the playoffs, they avg 3 points per drive against SD, and 3.25 against NE. And if we eliminate the final closeout drive in each game, where they didn't need to score, the avg jumps to 3.4 and 3.7. So while the composite numbers aren't there, the efficiency numbers remain consistent. The Denver offense is still playing as well as they have all season.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      The Patriots ran for 501 yards in their previous two games prior to Denver. Yes, they were on a roll. This is also a team that put up nearly 150 in week 16 vs. Baltimore, and nearly 200 earlier in the year on Pittsburgh. So yes, Denver holding them to their 2nd lowest total of the season, and setting a tone early by completely shutting down Blount, was impressive.

      Total numbers for the Broncos defense are not impressive, but they're playing their best football of the season right now.

      Another way to look at the Denver offense vs. Sea defense matchup. The Broncos averaged 3 points per drive, while the Seahawks allowed only 1.24 points per drive. Keep in mind, while the Denver scoring has been down a bit in the playoffs, they avg 3 points per drive against SD, and 3.25 against NE. And if we eliminate the final closeout drive in each game, where they didn't need to score, the avg jumps to 3.4 and 3.7. So while the composite numbers aren't there, the efficiency numbers remain consistent. The Denver offense is still playing as well as they have all season.
      C'Mon trumpet... Really?? More smoke and mirror stats with no long term reference? Who cares that the pats ran for 510 yards in 2 games vs bottom quartile run defenses? The 5th worst and 7th worst run defenses.

      @Amy, you're 100% correct about your assessment of Blount, and that furthers my stance that the pats aren't a good running team. They MOST assuredly aren't vs top 10 rush defenses.. matter of fact, what you said further reinforces what I think. The Broncos aren't great at defending the run. The stats read that way because everyone was getting nuked early, and was forced to throw. They're not good vs great running teams, a group the pats aren't a part of... They aren't good at running the football..

      Vs the top 10 rush defenses, the pats were abysmal at running the ball. 85.5 yard average per game with a 2.78 ypc. That's one yard off of the best rush defense ypg allowed, and one yard below the best rush defense ypc. The patriots weren't actually good at running the rock. Complete mirage. They averaged 23 carries a game in these games, and lost 4 of them. When their "meh" run game couldn't hide their gawd awful receivers and Brady not "exactly" being Brady, they lost. Of note, 4 of 5 losses this pats team had was to a top 10 rush D. Their wr's (and rb's) suck so bad. Kudos to Tommy and hoodie for coaxing that many wins...

      @trumpet, this points per drive thing smells like snake oil too.. I'll be researching it to find the "hitch" you've glossed over...
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      Pot Roast won't ever reach the dancing midget and Denver's so-so rush won't be able to contain him.
      Killing me. I will be thinking of "Pot Roast v. the Dancing Midget" for the entire game.

      I think Seattle will win, especially with Moreno banged up. Trumpet is right, Moreno's injury was the big reason Denver lost to the Ravens last year.
      I like Montee Ball, but he has had some fumbles (though not recently) and some drops ; I don't want to see the Broncos relying on him in the Superbowl.
      If Percy Harvin is truly ready to contribute and the Seahawks get even an average day from Lynch, I think the defense handles Manning just well enough for the Seahawks to win.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mikesteelnation1 View Post
      C'Mon trumpet... Really?? More smoke and mirror stats with no long term reference? Who cares that the pats ran for 510 yards in 2 games vs bottom quartile run defenses? The 5th worst and 7th worst run defenses.

      @Amy, you're 100% correct about your assessment of Blount, and that furthers my stance that the pats aren't a good running team. They MOST assuredly aren't vs top 10 rush defenses.. matter of fact, what you said further reinforces what I think. The Broncos aren't great at defending the run. The stats read that way because everyone was getting nuked early, and was forced to throw. They're not good vs great running teams, a group the pats aren't a part of... They aren't good at running the football..

      Vs the top 10 rush defenses, the pats were abysmal at running the ball. 85.5 yard average per game with a 2.78 ypc. That's one yard off of the best rush defense ypg allowed, and one yard below the best rush defense ypc. The patriots weren't actually good at running the rock. Complete mirage. They averaged 23 carries a game in these games, and lost 4 of them. When their "meh" run game couldn't hide their gawd awful receivers and Brady not "exactly" being Brady, they lost. Of note, 4 of 5 losses this pats team had was to a top 10 rush D. Their wr's (and rb's) suck so bad. Kudos to Tommy and hoodie for coaxing that many wins...

      @trumpet, this points per drive thing smells like snake oil too.. I'll be researching it to find the "hitch" you've glossed over...
      New England was 9th in rushing this year, with nearly 130 yards per game, and an avg of 4.4 yards per run. They were coming off of two huge performances, and before that, had a 3rd very good performance against an excellent defense in Baltimore. Denver completely made them one-dimensional early. At what point can we give the defense some credit?

      Fact is, the Super Bowl has been won by the team that goes into the game playing the best football. Both teams are obviously playing well, and have all year, but the Seahawks seemed to peak with that first Saints game. Denver seemed to get a wake up call after that late-season loss to the Chargers. The offense continues to play at an equally high level in relation to how they performed in the regular season, and their defense is playing its best football of the season. This is not the same unit that gave up 48 to Dallas, 39 to Indy, or 34 to New England. This is not even the same unit that allowed 177 on the ground to San Diego in week 15. They're peaking right now, Manning looks as comfortable as he's ever looked in this postseason. I think the Broncos are poised to win this game.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      @Trumpet: I was not saying that Denver run D was not good. I was saying that using a stopping of Blount as proof of that was not a good sell point. I agree, fully, that right now, Denver's run D is playing well.

      @Mike: I would not agree that our RBs and WRs suck. Are we Carolina at RB? No. Are we Denver at WR? No. However, Vereen is very very good, Ridley has been good (even if this season was a disappoinment), and I'd be happy to have Blount back. At WR, Edelman is a faster Welker, Amendola was hurt too much to judge, Dobson had 1 bad week (Week 2, vs the Jets, on TNF, in the rain), but otherwise had a solid rookie season, KT has shown great flashes and we haven't seen Boyce play WR much at all, so we can't judge. Honestly, I wish we'd played more Boyce and less Collie.

      We lost (including the playoffs), 5 games by a total of 24 points. A team with sucky RBs and WRs doesn't do that. Do we have the best groups in the NFL? No, clearly not. Do we have the worst? No, clearly not.

      As for 48, Seattle by 10.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      They're peaking right now, Manning looks as comfortable as he's ever looked in this postseason.
      I'm tempted to agree, then I remember some fortunate incompletions against New England. I'm pretty sure he's going to throw at least one pick, and likely more if Denver can't run.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      The Patriots ran for 501 yards in their previous two games prior to Denver. Yes, they were on a roll. This is also a team that put up nearly 150 in week 16 vs. Baltimore, and nearly 200 earlier in the year on Pittsburgh. So yes, Denver holding them to their 2nd lowest total of the season, and setting a tone early by completely shutting down Blount, was impressive.

      Total numbers for the Broncos defense are not impressive, but they're playing their best football of the season right now.

      Another way to look at the Denver offense vs. Sea defense matchup. The Broncos averaged 3 points per drive, while the Seahawks allowed only 1.24 points per drive. Keep in mind, while the Denver scoring has been down a bit in the playoffs, they avg 3 points per drive against SD, and 3.25 against NE. And if we eliminate the final closeout drive in each game, where they didn't need to score, the avg jumps to 3.4 and 3.7. So while the composite numbers aren't there, the efficiency numbers remain consistent. The Denver offense is still playing as well as they have all season.
      The Broncos, much like the Giants during their last two SB runs, are peaking.
    1. Hoser's Avatar
      I dunno...I think the Seacocks will be far more physical than anything the Broncos have seen this far both on defense and running the ball. I think they win but I hope I'm wrong. I have a tee time for 1 hour before kickoff. The beauty of a non-Niner Super Bowl is open fairways with nobody in front or in back of you.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Hoser View Post
      I dunno...I think the Seacocks will be far more physical than anything the Broncos have seen this far both on defense and running the ball. I think they win but I hope I'm wrong. I have a tee time for 1 hour before kickoff. The beauty of a non-Niner Super Bowl is open fairways with nobody in front or in back of you.
      This is also by far and away the best offense the Seahawks will have seen. Let's not forget that. Let's also not forget that as good as the Seattle defense is, Manning has seen pass defenses that are this good, and he's seen CBs as good as Sherman. He beat one of those teams, a team with superior numbers, and with a superior CB, in the Jets in 2009.

      Let's also not forget that the last time a defense this good hit the SB, we saw Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald light them up, and it took the most clutch SB drive in history by Big Ben and Santonio to pull that game out.

      Also, have a good time on the course, but I'll never understand a football fan skipping the Super Bowl. I'm as die-hard as they come, but that provincial way of thinking is baffling. In a year like this, for a 49er fan, that just comes off like sour grapes.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      I'm tempted to agree, then I remember some fortunate incompletions against New England. I'm pretty sure he's going to throw at least one pick, and likely more if Denver can't run.
      There's going to be at LEAST one PM duck that the super opportunistic "legion of boom" intercepts, and I'm 100% in agreement that if Denver can't run the hawks front 4 are going to pin their ears back and bring tons of pressure. That pressure, as you said will likely end with more picks. Finesse qbs like PM don't do well when being hit...

      Denver running is key. If they can't expect lots of press man from a very large, and very talented secondary to throw off the timing of Denver's offense. The jams will help neutralize that pick junk Denver loves to run. The picks only work when the timing is right.

      @Amy I'm a harsh critic. I probably oversold my view by using the term "suck". While I don't believe the pats have a bottom of the league skill position crew, they are assuredly average. I view my own teams skill groups the same way as an outside observer, and not the uber fan that I am to compare to other teams.

      Just as I view our young skill guys as a group making a huge turn this next year, I'm sure you do the same. From what actually happened this year, both groups are average to below average.

      From my POV, the pats wr corp is below average (way below avg IMO without gronk) and the rbs are slightly above average. The Steelers wrs are slightly above average, and the backs below average. The qbs made both those units above average as a whole.

      That said, average = sucks to me. So forgive my use of that term in reference to describing average for the rest of the world. I have narrow, hard held beliefs a lot of times. I'm not perfect, and I hope I've given you enough insight into the imperfect world of my stringent views my sharp tongue throws out too quickly at times
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      This is also by far and away the best offense the Seahawks will have seen. Let's not forget that. Let's also not forget that as good as the Seattle defense is, Manning has seen pass defenses that are this good, and he's seen CBs as good as Sherman. He beat one of those teams, a team with superior numbers, and with a superior CB, in the Jets in 2009.

      Let's also not forget that the last time a defense this good hit the SB, we saw Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald light them up, and it took the most clutch SB drive in history by Big Ben and Santonio to pull that game out.

      Also, have a good time on the course, but I'll never understand a football fan skipping the Super Bowl. I'm as die-hard as they come, but that provincial way of thinking is baffling. In a year like this, for a 49er fan, that just comes off like sour grapes.
      Let's not forget that NO NFL regular season passing yards leader has ever won a SB. Let's also not forget that NO team that's ever scored over 540 points has ever won a superbowl. Those are significant stats. So much so, I might not hate PM if he wins.

      To be fair, Dan Marino is my favorite player from my childhood. I was a fins fan until I moved to Pittsburgh, and Steeler nation drew me in and forced me to be a Steelers fan. That was 1998, during our down period.

      IMO Marino is superior to PM skill wise. He's his equal in the film room. An old, injured Marino got free agency, with a cheap owner in the waning moments of his career. Pm got to play his career 100% in the free agency era. They're the SAME guy, but with Marino being the far better physical specimen.

      Pm winning his second ring with a different team? That's never happened before. Doing that says a lot. I'll still think Marino is better, but at the point pm gets that second ring it kind of cements what I believed to be the best comparison career wise to Marino could have done in the free agency era..

      I don't think that happens, for the many reasons I've stated previously... Seattle for the win...
    1. Amy's Avatar
      @mike: No worries I was just sticking up for my guys. I'd agree with average, at the moment, with a lot of growth room. And, honestly, I'm ok with that. I don't mind growing pains (and, let's face it, there are at least a half dozen AFC teams that would love an AFC Championship loss in a rebuilding year), to start building up the next generation of Pats.

      Go 'hakws!
    1. tubbs1518's Avatar
      The Denver offense has a couple of hurdles to overcome IMO. If they can't run the ball and Seattle can just pin their ears back and rush Manning, that will be a huge problem. Seattle has some good pass rushers and they will put pressure on Peyton. The second thing is the size and physical nature of the Legion of Boom. They will press and throw timing off, they will hold to throw timing off and they will bump down field to throw timing off. Refs aren't going to call holding or illegal contact more than 3-4 times. Seattle will take that every time. I bet they hold on 95% of their plays, but they know refs aren't going to call it that much, especially in the Super Bowl. Without that timing, Manning won't be nearly as effective.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      I think the keys to the game are two:

      1)The Seattle O vs the Denver D;

      and

      2) Will the Broncos be able to hide their horrible kick coverage teams? They are near the bottom of the league on punts, and the worst on kickoffs. You can hide that in Denver with almost auto touchbacks. But, I suspect the Seattle return game will be a difference maker.
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Biggest key to this game is the refs plain and simple. First, they have to be consistent, if not it will be outrage of when the fouls are called (see every college basketball game ever); second which way will they call this game in the defensive backfield.

      If they allow the playoff holding, physicality from the DB's, huge plus to Seattle. If they call every ticky-tack foul and allow the pick plays...no way Seattle can win.

      Also, if they call every ticky-tack foul or are inconsistent calling the game, it will appear that the NFL wants Peyton to win, as it goes against the playoff typical calls; if it goes Seattle's way, the NFL ignored it's own directives from 10 years ago to not allow all the contact in the defensive backfield. Basically, I wouldn't want to be reffing this game in any capacity, as they are in a no-win situation.

      The refs better hope for a blow-out where any one call they make can't be the play of the game.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Ragar View Post
      Biggest key to this game is the refs plain and simple. First, they have to be consistent, if not it will be outrage of when the fouls are called (see every college basketball game ever); second which way will they call this game in the defensive backfield.

      If they allow the playoff holding, physicality from the DB's, huge plus to Seattle. If they call every ticky-tack foul and allow the pick plays...no way Seattle can win.

      Also, if they call every ticky-tack foul or are inconsistent calling the game, it will appear that the NFL wants Peyton to win, as it goes against the playoff typical calls; if it goes Seattle's way, the NFL ignored it's own directives from 10 years ago to not allow all the contact in the defensive backfield. Basically, I wouldn't want to be reffing this game in any capacity, as they are in a no-win situation.

      The refs better hope for a blow-out where any one call they make can't be the play of the game.
      so. much. this^^^^^^^.
    1. Hoser's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Also, have a good time on the course, but I'll never understand a football fan skipping the Super Bowl. I'm as die-hard as they come, but that provincial way of thinking is baffling. In a year like this, for a 49er fan, that just comes off like sour grapes.
      Haha...no sour grapes. It is really quite simple.
      1) I own a DVR and will be done in time to catch the second half live.
      2) I love football but golf is my passion.
      3) I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old so my golfing opportunities are not as frequent as they used to be so when the Mrs. gives me the green light, I take it.
      4) My wife's cousin is hosting the SB party and she...umm...isn't exactly known for her creativity when it comes to party appetizers. I can guarantee that there will be a bowl of ruffles, some green onion dip, a tray of Costco cold cuts and some small sandwich rolls. And no beer.
      So, yea, add all that up and daddy is putting on his checkered pants and hitting the links.