It’s the battle of chemistry vs. consistency. The Legion of Boom vs. the highest scoring offense in NFL history. There is much more than the Lombardi trophy on the line in Sunday’s game. It’s the battle for the future of the NFL. Think about it; if Seattle wins, many teams will begin building their defense while using more of a running game approach, making the passing game less important. On the other hand, if Denver wins, many teams will continue to put an emphasis on their offense because it looks like a high powered offense is what you need to win championships. The impact of this game will be felt for years.
Dive in to the Seattle Seahawks and you will find a team with ZERO Super Bowl experience, but more heart and confidence than any other team in the NFL. Leading the pack is their premier corner, the brash and uber-confident Richard Sherman. Sherman is a story all in himself. Growing up in the projects of Compton California, Sherman attended Dominguez High School starring in track and as both a wide receiver and a corner for their football team. Sherman was ranked 7th in the triple jump in the state of California in 2005 and was second in his class academically receiving Salutatorian honors. If you don’t know what a Salutatorian honor is, then he is smarter than both you and I. Sherman went on to Stanford and played under now 49’ers coach Jim Harbaugh. He began his collegiate career as a wide receiver, but after suffering a season ending knee surgery in 2008 the team asked him to move to corner where he went on to make 112 tackles and 6 interceptions in a 2 year span. Sherman graduated in 2010 and returned for his final year so he could pursue a Master’s Degree in Communication.
Communicating is just one of the things Sherman is very good at. He has become the outspoken leader of the Legion of Boom. But Richard Sherman is just one of the many men that should be recognized for the Seattle Seahawks defense. With the help of Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond III and the rest of the defense, Sherman and the Seahawks will look to win Super Bowl XVIII. Statistically speaking, the best defense through the regular season is 12-3 in Super Bowl history.
On the other hand, the #1 offense through the regular season are 10-8 in Super Bowl appearances. If Peyton Manning has anything to say about it that stat will change to 11-8. The son of NFL QB Archie Manning and older brother to NY Giants QB Eli Manning, Peyton always seemed to have a knack for remembering plays. He became so good at it that he was rumored to have remembered the entire Colts play book after 2 weeks. His grasp of the playbook allowed him to pay more attention to the defense which enabled him later in his career to audible throughout the course of the game and dismantle almost every defense he faced. Peyton has single handedly rewritten NFL history throwing for the most yards, most TDs, and most receivers with more than 10 TDs within the same offense in a single season.
Even Eli wondered if his older brother would play after 3 surgeries to his neck, but instead of retiring Peyton just goes on to throw for 55 TDs, 5,477 total passing yards, a 68.3% completion percentage and 12 games of over 300 yards while averaging 342 yards per game. Since he was drafted first overall to Indianapolis in the 1998 NFL draft, he has since gone on to be a 13x Pro-bowler, 4x NFL MVP, an 8x AFC Offensive Player of the year, who also went on to be a 4x NFL leader in passing touchdowns. Manning holds 1 ring for his victory in Super Bowl XLI and with a win Sunday would supplant himself in the hierarchy of legendary QBs. The consistency he has shown year after year gives him a 66.06 completion percentage, 465 passing touchdowns and 61,231 total passing yards through the regular season over the course of his illustrious career. Regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl XLVIII, Manning will be fitted for a gold jacket as he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer and I for one am rooting for him this Sunday.
The consistent play of a Hall of Fame caliber QB vs. the team with a high chemistry that helped them become the best statistical defense in the NFL this season is the best match up we as fans could have asked for. After all the Super Bowl is about watching the best play the best and that’s precisely what we will be able to see. So no matter who you’re rooting for, I guess you could say the best team won. How often does that happen…