Super Bowl XLVIII prognosticating

A year ago, Wilson went to New Orleans for the Super Bowl between Baltimore and San Francisco. A lot of players go to the site of the Super Bowl, push a product or two, make the rounds on radio row, and then bounce out of town before the game. Wilson went for the game. He wanted to feel how the extended pregame and halftime festivities affected the normal rhythm of the game, because Wilson believed the Seahawks would be in North Jersey for Super Bowl XLVIII.

"I'm big into visualizing, and this moment right here is exactly what I visualized," Wilson said.

Wilson has been preparing for this moment for more than a year. He will be ready.

The most important offensive player on the field for Seattle will be Marshawn Lynch.

Seattle's receivers have grown tired of answering questions about Percy Harvin and his availability all season. Harvin dealt with a hip injury and concussion and has been limited to a handful of snaps this season, but he has been cleared for Sunday.

The bigger concern for the Broncos' defense should be Lynch, who rushed for 1,257 yards during the regular season.

Lynch runs hard and speaks little. He can help the Seahawks control the clock and keep Manning and the Broncos' offense off the field. Lynch must be effective for Seattle to keep the game close.

"Everything I do on the field," Lynch said, "is just reaction."

Beast Mode must be in full effect Sunday.

Lynch gets the attention, even though he doesn't want it, but don't sleep on Knowshon Moreno.

Denver's offense is known for its passing attack, with five players having caught at least 10 touchdown passes from Manning during the regular season. But the passing offense opens up the running game for Moreno.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Broncos have run 941 plays out of sets with at least three wide receivers this season, including the playoffs, by far the most in the NFL. As a result, 80.6 percent of Moreno's rushes have come with six or fewer defenders in the box, by far the highest percentage in the league.

Moreno averaged 4.5 yards per rush and scored seven touchdowns in those situations. Seattle will have to respect the Broncos' passing game, which should open things up for Moreno.

Denver left tackle Chris Clark will have his hands full, but what's new?

That has been the story all season for Clark, who replaced left tackle Ryan Clady, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, in September. Clark and the Broncos' offensive line have done a stellar job keeping Manning upright, allowing zero sacks in the postseason.

Clark will face a steady barrage of pass-rushers Sunday, with most likely a rotation that includes Seahawks defensive ends Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril and outside linebacker Bruce Irvin. If Clark can continue to effectively protect Manning's blind side, that will go a long way in determining the Broncos' success.

The weather could be a factor, but not an overwhelming one.

The forecast for Sunday is for a high temperature in the 40s and a low around the freezing mark, which isn't so bad given the severe weather in the Northeast during the past month.

Manning is 8-11 when playing outside in temperatures below 40 degrees. In his previous two times facing the No. 1 scoring defense outside in the playoffs, Manning threw one touchdown pass and six interceptions while completing fewer than half of his pass attempts.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...