Sunday, February 02, 2014

Super Funday Groundhog Day

John Stallworth, Super Bowl X
"If the Super Bowl is the ultimate game, why do they play it every year?"
-- Duane Thomas, running back, Dallas Cowboys, 1972

Say what you will about Peyton Manning, he know where he wants to throw the ball. Unlike Ben Roethlisberger, Manning is rarely accused of holding onto the ball too long.

As he long as he knows his receivers are going to be where he can count on them to be, Manning will get the ball to them. Decisively, and with dispatch.

If Seattle's very fine corners can disrupt Denver's very fine wide receivers from getting into their routes, however, Manning may hesitate just long enough to double-clutch. When he's forced to improvise, he is not at his best (unlike Ben Roethisberger). Manning likes everything to be just so. Perfect.

The one flaw in this equation, for Seattle, is they may not have a slot corner who matches up well with Wes Welker. Or that beast of a tight end, Julius Thomas (6'5", 250), who may draw the attention of Seattle's excellent, hard-hitting safety Kam Chancellor (6'3", 232).

Maybe Seattle's other excellent safety, Earl Thomas, gets Welker; still not a good matchup for Seattle.

For Seattle, too, Richard Sherman (as good as he is, and he will be the first to tell you that), Denver has two wideouts who match up well physically with the 6'3" cornerback. Both Demaryius Thomas (6'3", 229; 2013 stats: 92 receptions; 1,430 yards and 14 TDs) and Eric Decker (6'3", 214; 2013 stats: 87 receptions, 1,288 yards and 11 TDs ) are tall, fast and physical.

It should be interesting.

As to another angle for tonight's game, each team's unique home field advantage is nullified. The Broncos will presumably miss the mile-high altitude advantage; the Seahawks will presumably miss the 12th man crowd noise. If the weather is as predicted, about 40 with rain, it will feel like a home game for the Seahawks.

Both cities are incredible; both sets of fans are passionate. Peyton Manning is one for three in Super Bowls. No Seahwaks player has appeared in a Super Bowl.

Worthless prediction #89: Broncos win by 17. The Seahawks aren't built to play from behind.  If Denver jumps out to a quick lead and makes this a shootout, look out Loretta.

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