By Jeffrey Balbi
This is the time of year that many football fans happen to have a love/hate relationship with their favorite sport. The NCAA just hosted its final BCS National Championship game in the beginning of the month, with the Florida State Seminoles having the edge over the Auburn Tigers.The 2013 NFL season has already come to a close. The same can be said for the 2014 playoffs coming to a near conclusion this Sunday Feb. 2nd, when the Denver Broncos (15-3) and Seattle Seahawks (15-3) will meet in MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, NJ for the Super Bowl XLVIII title. This Super Bowl has a very intriguing storyline as it headlines Peyton Manning of the Broncos shattering every significant passing record in history and his potential to ride into the sunset with a championship, wrapping up an illustrious career. On the other side, there is a young quarterback in his second year, Russell Wilson of Seattle, who is being compared to past quarterbacks playing in the championship game when they were young with names such as Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Kurt Warner to name a few.
This should be a matchup for the ages as this will be the first time in the Super Bowl era that the number one offense will go up against the number one defense, with the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks leading those categories respectively. Sunday will be the first time since the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders matchup that two number one playoff seeds will face off in the Super Bowl. Each team has a bolster of superstars on each side of the ball that are sure to make an impact. Denver’s offense broke all significant records due to their leader Peyton Manning leading the way (5,477yds/55TD) throwing to his receiving core which consists of Demaryius Thomas (1,430yds/14TD), Julius Thomas (788yds/12TD), Eric Decker (1,288yds/11TD), and former New England Patriot Wes Welker (778yds/10TD). Seattle’s offense does not carry the same kind of offensive firepower as Denver, but are reliable with Marshawn Lynch (1,257yds/12TD) leading the way with the running attack and Russell Wilson (3,357yds/26TD) developing as the reliable passer that Seattle has been looking for since they let go of Matt Hasselbeck following the 2010 season.
Denver does not have the kind of names that Seattle has on the defensive side of the ball besides an aging Champ Bailey. Seattle is a young team and has immense talent in their defensive backfield with safeties Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and most notably Richard Sherman. The defensive backfield is arguably the best in the league with their tremendous size and skillset, which will have to go up against Peyton’s array of above average wide receivers. This will be a major factor deciding which team will take home the Lombardi trophy. Although Denver is an impressive, new philosophical team in terms of offensive advantages, I am going to have to use my knowledge about the old school, original perspective of leaning towards great defenses to win championships in the same way the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots have proven to be successful in the past. I believe that overall, the Seattle Seahawks will have the edge over Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos, making New England fans happy that Peyton will fall short once again. Who will be your pick for this Sunday’s epic Super Bowl matchup?