Seahawks look to gallop past Broncos

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  • Stone is a senior journalism major from St. Mary’s.

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Brian Stone

Sunday will mark the fifth time in Super Bowl history that the No. 1 defense in the league (Seattle) will face off against the No. 1 ranked offense (Denver). In those games, the team with the best defense in the NFL has a combined 3-1 record.

However, the matchups in this game that will really matter will take place out on the field. The biggest key in this game will be how well running back Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks fourth-ranking rushing attack pounds the ball on the Broncos’ defense (currently ranked seventh in the NFL, tied with Seattle).

Lynch is currently averaging 124.5 yards per game in the two playoff games against Green Bay and San Francisco. However Denver boasts the top run defense of all playoff teams, only allowing 64.5 yards per game. If Denver doesn’t slow down Seattle, with the combination of Lynch and Russell Wilson running the ball, they could be in for a long day on defense.

The weather might be a factor for this game as well. Peyton Manning has a rocky history with cold games. At kickoff, the weather is expected to be in the high 30s but is expected to dip into the 20s during the game. When the temperature is below 32 degrees at kickoff, Manning only posts a career record of 4-7. Could the weather or the Seahawks defense be the biggest factors in stopping Denver’s historic passing attack?

The battles that will really matter come in the secondary. The Seahawks will be without cornerback Brandon Browner, who is currently serving and appealing a suspension for performance-enhancing drug usage. I believe that Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas will have his hands full with humble Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, but the real test comes in who will cover Broncos receivers, Wes Welker and Eric Decker.

Seattle’s reserve defensive backs Walter Thurmond III and Byron Maxwell have done well against the teams that they’ve faced, but it won’t be a cakewalk trying to cover Decker and Welker. So far in this postseason, Decker and Welker have combined for 17 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown. Oh, and they’ve only played two playoff games this year.

Personally, I am going to side with history on this one, and saying that defense wins championships. I’ll take Seattle over Denver in a snowy night at the Meadowlands, 24-21.