Super Bowl XLVIII


After four months of football, the final game is finally here.

It is a tradition for the reigning Super Bowl Champion to open up the next season by playing the first game.

It feels like yesterday when the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens took on the Denver Broncos in the inaugural game for the 2013-14 season. Four months later, those Denver Broncos are in the Super Bowl.

If you asked people what they thought the Super Bowl would be coming into this season, there was a good chance you would have heard Broncos Seahawks. After all, the pre-season Las Vegas odds had the Denver Broncos as most likely, with the Seahawks in 2nd place.

What makes this Super Bowl so interesting is that these two teams embody greatness in different ways. The Denver Broncos have one of the best offenses of all-time. With future Hall-of-Fame member Peyton Manning at quarterback, they broke almost every passing record in NFL history. Manning has four elite receivers at his disposal in Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. With this combination on offense, very few teams, if any, were able to slow them down all season.

Peyton Manning (center), and his receivers: Demaryius Thomas (left), Eric Decker (right) and Wes Welker (bottom)

Peyton Manning (center), and his receivers: Demaryius Thomas (left), Eric Decker (right) and Wes Welker (bottom)

The Seahawks are great in a different way. The Seahawks have an elite defense. Anchored by superstar cornerback Richard Sherman, This defense is ferocious. They pride themselves in playing a very physical brand of defense. Their secondary calls themselves “The Legion of Boom.” Three Pro Bowlers came out of this secondary, in : Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.

Seattle's "Legion of Boom." Brandon Browner is serving a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy

Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.” Brandon Browner is serving a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy

It is not very often where we see the top two teams make it to the Super Bowl. Historically, there is a bottom tier team that climbs the ranks towards the end of the season, and upsets the number 1 team. This year, they got it right. There may not have been a better year for the top two teams to make the Super Bowl. To see one of the best defenses of all time go head-to-head against one of the best offenses of all time will be exciting.

Peyton Manning looks to attain his second Super Bowl ring. This is important, because in order for him to be fully recognized as potentially the best quarterback of all time, he must have the hardware to back it up. The barometer for judging a quarterback has always been with Super Bowl rings. He does have one, but as of now, there is a shadow of a doubt regarding whether or not he cowers in big moments. A second Super Bowl ring would cement his legacy.

Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, is in just his second year in the NFL. It is amazing how much he has accomplished in a short time in this league. Wilson was a third round pick in the 2012 draft. He was passed over 74 times in that draft. Five quarterbacks were taken in front of Wilson. He wears a bit of that animosity on his sleeve. No moment is ever too big for him. He has a knack for big plays, and I do not think the Super Bowl stage will change that.

Now comes the fun part. Who wins the game? I will go ahead and pick the Seattle Seahawks. Not to be too cliche, but defense wins championships. Seattle’s defense has been great all year. I can see them keeping this game close, and with Denver’s defense being anything but great, I can see Seattle easily putting up points.

The Super Bowl will be held in New York, and this has been a subject of great controversy since this was announced. Weather has been a great concern for some time now. The farmer’s almanac and statisticians have been providing their guesses for what the weather will be like for over a year. All of these concerns are bogus! According to the latest weather report, the weather for this year’s Super Bowl will be around 40 degress, with 8 mile per hour winds and a 20% chance of precipitation. For New York, at this time of the year, those are dream-like conditions. The wind will not be too bad and it won’t be terrible cold.

Peyton Manning has a history of performing to a lesser standard in conditions with high winds. I can’t say that 8 mile per hour winds are substantial, but this has to be a factor in the big game. If he is even a little off his mark, the vicious “Legion of Boom” could intercept him easily. This is just another reason I am picking the Seahawks. I would think that Manning would have to have a virtuoso-like performance in order to beat the Seahawks. One mistake can completely change the game.

So, who are you picking? What is your reasoning? Leave a comment and let me know!


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About Nick Cocchiaro