Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
*This write-up was produced by experienced bettor and sharp eye, Daniel Laxen*
Seahawks vs. Broncos -2.5 — O/U 48
Hard to believe the NFL season has come and gone so quickly. Alas, it has… and we are on the precipice of the big game. This year, as is standard, there are several interesting story lines: can Peyton finally win his 2ndSuper Bowl? Is Richard Sherman a huge tool, or was he justified after being dissed by Crabtree in the off season? Will Marshawn Lynch speak to the media before the game, after the game, or during the game? Is Russell Wilson the next QB to ascend to the highest of heights in the NFL? Does defense still win championships, or has the game shifted so much that offense has become the most important aspect? I know there are many more that I failed to mention.
We’re blessed with a great match up here — the #1 offense vs. the #1 defense. Peyton Manning has looked like a man on a mission in these playoffs, while the Seahawks have been stifling on their impressive march to Super Bowl XLVIII. The Broncos offense is prolific. They scored more points than any team in history. Many are trying to compare the Seahawks to the great defenses of Super Bowl’s past, as they led the NFL in every meaningful statistical category. This is a case of the irresistible force vs. the immovable object. What’s not to like?
I’ve looked at every conceivable angle here. What I come back to every time is this: can the Broncos defense contain a healthy Percy Harvin? He will be returning kicks, and will see plenty of time on the field as a WR. Harvin creates matchup problems for every team, not just the Broncos. Yes the Broncos defense has looked better in the playoffs, but they haven’t seen this (potentially) dynamic a player all year. He will open up the field for other options because of the attention the defense will have to pay to him. That’s exactly what great players do; make the others around them better. Any thought of a spy on Russell Wilson goes out the window when Harvin is on the field.
I don’t sell Manning and the Broncos short here. I fully understand how good they are. The problem is, when they played the Patriots a couple weeks ago they settled for FGs vs. a far more inferior defense than they will see on Sunday. The stakes go up as does the competition. These are the two best teams in the NFL this year and many have known it for quite some time.
The last time the NFL title game was played in New York was 1962. That’s 52 years ago! It was 13 degrees that day, with wind of 40MPH. The temperature is supposed to be near 40 with little wind so that favors the Broncos. There’s been much ado about nothing with regards to field conditions for the big game.