The Super Bowl is just over the horizon.
After an entire season of exciting football and unpredictability, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, the No. 1 teams in their respective conferences, will battle it out to decide which is better: having the best offense (Denver) or the best defense (Seattle).
While the lead-up to the game has been centered around the Broncos offense versus the Seahawks defense, specifically in the passing game, there are several other factors that go into who will ultimately hoist the Lombardi Trophy in the air.
Below is all the game information fans need before watching the Super Bowl and a full breakdown of the game followed by a prediction for the final score.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TV Info: Fox
Live Stream: Fox Sports GO
Spread: Denver (-3), according to Bovada
Super Bowl Breakdown
Peyton Manning has his offensive weapons in Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas and Wes Welker at his disposal. The Seahawks will try to combat that passing attack with Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and a cast of some of the best young defensive players in the league.
That's what we know. As for the other stuff? Well, that's getting just a bit overshadowed by the massive matchup.
There are a lot of factors going into the Super Bowl that are already known, but let's take a look at the unknown. How will Percy Harvin, who's only played in two games this season due to different injuries, play in his return to the big stage?
Champ Bailey, who's been through his own bout with injuries late in his career, seems just a little nervous about Harvin's ability to break out in the game. Bailey said the following about Harvin, per Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post:
That's a dangerous man right there. [...] He can change the game if you allow him to. I remember playing him when he was in Minnesota, and he's one of the most explosive guys coming off the ball.
I don't know how they are going to use him. We don't have a lot of tape on him, if any, but they are going to use him. You don't have a weapon like that and not use it.
Then, there's the running game of the Seahawks against the rushing defense for the Broncos. Though Marshawn Lynch is a physical beast, hence the name Beast Mode, the Denver defense seems to be up for the task.
Even with a defense that has allowed an average of just 64.5 rushing yards during the playoffs, defensive lineman Shaun Phillips knows the matchup will be grueling against both Lynch and the running ability of Russell Wilson, according to Bob Ehalt of The Denver Post:
Marshawn does not want to go down. He wants to deliver the blow rather than take it, and you respect a guy like that.
Russell is a mobile quarterback, but he does a great job of keeping his eyes downfield and extending plays. With him, you're never completely out of a play just because he's so dynamic at running and throwing the ball. You need to stay on the attack against him and stay on your feet. Guys tend to dive at him, but once you do that you are out of the play.
After holding both the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots scoreless through the first three quarters of play in the divisional round and AFC Championship Game, the Broncos look like a championship defense that can be just as stout Sunday as the Seahawks.
In fact, that's exactly what defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, infamously known as Pot Roast, hopes to prove when his team takes the field, as Ehalt notes:
We want to be the best defense on the field Sunday nigh. (The No. 1 defense) is something (Seattle) has earned. We're not going to take that away from them.
Statistically they did what they had to do to earn it. It's right for everyone to talk about them. But ... we want to be the better group out there Sunday night.
In other words, pride is on the line for the Denver defense.
With both the Seattle offense and the Denver defense looking to steal the spotlight from the other side of the ball, every moment throughout the Super Bowl will be one to watch.
After allowing teams to average 356 yards in the regular season, Denver is holding teams to a mere 289.5 yards through two games and hasn't given up more than 17 points in either contest. While the Seahawks defense has been the story thus far, the Broncos defense will steal the show.
With all of those factors on their side, along with an offense that features Manning and a plethora of receivers—four of which caught at least 10 touchdowns in the regular season—at every position, the Broncos will win the Super Bowl and give cement Manning's legacy with his elusive second ring.
Prediction: Broncos 31, Seahawks 23
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