Much has been made of Richard Sherman’s continual penchant for opening his mouth and saying something that makes Twitter blow up and hits the back page in local tabloids in newspapers all over America. Such is the frenzy of drama that ensues upon the conclusion of Championship Sunday and kickoff of the Super Bowl. There are two weeks to break down every angle possible to this one football game. Two weeks to talk about what this game means to Peyton Manning’s legacy as an all-time great.
As we’re closing in on 48 hours from kickoff, I figured I would chime in with some of my own thoughts. Richard Sherman has done a lot of talking, and there has been a lot made of how this game will define Peyton Manning in comparison to some of the other legendary quarterbacks.
| Jeff Roberson/ Associated Press|
Sherman smiles at Super Bowl media day.
My instant reaction after Richard Sherman broke off into his rant after breaking up Colin Kaepernick’s pass in the end zone intended for Michael Crabtree was very skeptical. Why would Sherman talk trash and put the spotlight on him when his team just clinched a trip to the Super Bowl and there’s still one more game to be played?
Granted Sherman’s play backs up his talk but what exactly was it accomplishing? Now all the pressure is on Sherman to shutdown one of the game’s elite receivers Demaryius Thomas, who’s been rather quiet about the match up. Sherman’s going to have to do just that if his Seahawks are going to win. I can’t see Russell Wilson keeping up in a shootout with Peyton Manning.
Seattle’s defense is going to have to turn in one more outstanding performance to get over the hump. Offensively, Seattle isn’t built to score lots of points. They like to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch and occasionally Russell Wilson will make plays but they win because their defense always plays well enough where they don’t have to score a bunch of points. It’s a tall task for Seattle’s defense on Sunday going up against the best offense in the NFL.
From Denver’s perspective, obviously they need to score points. It’s what they do. While lots of conversation has been made about Denver’s offense against Seattle’s defense and how the two teams are mirror images of each other and have gotten here in different ways, Denver’s defense has played well in the postseason.
| Chris Humphreys-USA Today Sports|
Peyton Manning is in search of his second Super Bowl ring.
Tom Brady never really got going against the Denver defense, nor did Philip Rivers in the divisional round. Now while both New England and San Diego don’t boast running backs of Marshawn Lynch’s caliber, ideally that won’t really matter for Denver. It comes back to Denver scoring points. If Denver can move the ball on the Seattle defense and score points then that’s going to force Seattle to do the same thing which will probably make the Seahawks throw the ball more than they would like.
Who knows what Seattle will get out of Percy Harvin through the air in this game, but the bottomline is that if Denver can play with a lead and make Seattle throw, I can’t see Seattle winning this game. Ultimately, I think Peyton Manning has too much to play for. I think he wants to silence the critics that believe he comes up small time and time again in the playoffs. A motivated Peyton Manning should be a scary Peyton Manning for the Seattle defense. If there’s a defense that can slow him down enough for their team to have a chance, it’s Seattle. I think Seattle will slow them down to a degree and I don’t see Denver putting up video-game like numbers offensively, but enough to hoist the Lombardi.
Prediction: Denver 28, Seattle 20