As of this very minute, Denver is a (+3) point favorite over the Seahawks (Bovada) to win Super Bowl XLVIII . This is undoubtedly reasonable, but I do not see the Broncos winning this one. This is a great matchup against the number one overall offense and the number one overall defense.
These two teams faced each other in the 2013 Pre-Season, where Seattle smoked Denver 40-10. Now I know what you’re thinking; “Its the Pre-Season, and the starters don’t play the whole game!” Well, they do play the whole first quarter, where the score was 17-7 in favor of Seattle. If they can play the same way, against a now beat and battered Denver D (more on that later), then they will be able to pull this one out.
All season, the best defenses that Denver played were ranked 9 (Indianapolis Colts), 10 (New England Patriots), and 12 (Baltimore Ravens). Denver lost to the Colts and split a two game series with the Patriots. Those are all pretty good defenses, but none of them compare to the crazy-stout defense that Seattle brings to the table.
Also, in the last couple of games of Denver’s season, they have lost some key defensive starters, including OLB/DE Von Miller (ACL), LE Derek Wolfe (Seizures), and CB Chris Harris (ACL). In total, the Broncos have lost 5 of their original 11 defensive starters. With Miller and Wolfe out, Marshawn Lynch is going to go crazy on that defense.
When thinking about who will win this game, there were four main categories that I focused on.
DEN Run Offense vs. SEA Run Defense - Seattle Advantage
DEN Pass Offense vs. SEA Pass Defense - Even Match-Up
SEA Run Offense vs. DEN Run Defense - Seattle Advantage
SEA Pass Offense vs. DEN Pass Defense - Seattle Advantage
The Jacksonville Jaguars held Peyton Manning and his Broncos to just 14 points in the first half, led by defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Any guesses on which defense Bradley used to coach? If you guessed Seattle’s, you were correct. Seattle is going to run a very similar scheme to what the Jags used against Denver, but the difference is talent. Seattle has way more talent on the defensive side of the ball than Jacksonville.
I also predict the Seahawks to bring out something that Denver is not used to at all: the Read-Option. If they get Marshawn Lynch and the running game going early on, this will be a dangerous weapon, that personally, I just don’t think Denver will be able to handle.
And depending on what you believe, there are also the interesting tidbits that Manning can’t play in the cold (10-10 record in games under 40 degrees), and the dark jerseys vs. light jerseys (in the last 9 Super Bowls, the team wearing the dark jerseys (Denver is wearing dark jerseys this Super Bowl) is 1-8). Facts or Myths? Up to you to decide.
My Prediction for the Superbowl XLVIII- SEA 27 DEN 23
Seattle Wins Straight Up
Seattle Wins Against the Spread
Total (47) Goes OVER