Percy Harvin has only played in two games thus far this season, but he will play a huge role in the Seattle Seahawks' success in the biggest game of his career.
While the Denver Broncos receiving corps has been heralded as one of the best in the NFL, the Seahawks have struggled to get going in the passing game. Seattle's official Instagram account actually provides an infographic that takes a look at the disparity between the two:
Luckily for the Seahawks, having Harvin's services, along with both Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin lining up, means they will finally have a formidable group against the Broncos. According to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com, Harvin told Deion Sanders that he is "as explosive as I've ever been."
Can Harvin be a difference maker for the Seahawks?
It may seem like his impact won't be great after not being a part of the team's success thus far, but there is one way the Seahawks can utilize Harvin's talents—by putting him in the slot.
As a 5'11" receiver, Harvin is the perfect size to come out of the slot, and his dynamic playmaking ability makes him a great target for Russell Wilson on key third-down plays.
Along with the fact that he fits the mold, the Broncos showed a weakness for slot receivers when they played the New England Patriots. Denver ended up in the Super Bowl, but Julian Edelman finished the game with 10 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Slot receivers like Edelman and Wes Welker not only have great hands, but can create after the play. That type of electrifying ability is, in fact, exactly what Wilson told Ed Werder of ESPN had returned for Harvin leading up to the Super Bowl:
@DangeRussWilson on Percy Harvin: "He looks excellent, to be honest with you. He's electrifying. He's lightning fast.''— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) January 29, 2014
Then there's the fact that the Broncos defense is porous. During the regular season, Denver ranked 27th in yards per game and allowed 29 passing touchdowns, tied for 21st with teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins.
That was all before the Broncos lost cornerback Chris Harris for the rest of the season. Needless to say, the matchup looks like a good one for Harvin.
Though he wasn't able to make a huge impact in the passing game in his lone game during the regular season, Harvin still proved to be a difference-maker on special teams. The Seahawks' official site posted a video of another huge return for Harvin against the Minnesota Vikings.
The only question now is: Will he remain on the field for the entire game? According to Hanzus, Harvin believes he's feeling healthy enough to make it through all four quarters:
Absolutely. I think I can. Those injuries, the concussion and the hip, those were definitely unfortunate situations I wish didn't happen. But I've played football a long time, so I'm not worried about that at all.
Harvin clearly isn't just a great wide receiver when he's on the field, he also presents speed and breakaway ability on special teams. With Harvin making his return for the Seahawks in the final game of the season, just his presence on the field is enough to make life difficult for the Broncos to cover.
If he can make a few dynamic plays for Wilson and the Seahawks offense, along with creating great field position in special teams, it will be enough to put Seattle over the top. Harvin may have been sidelined for much of the season, but his play on Sunday will be paramount for Seattle's success.
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