Thursday, January 30, 2014

Your Guide to the Battle In the Big Apple

Two number 1 seeds, both 13-3, 7-1 at home, 6-2 on the road, two very hot kickers, and the best offense versus the best defense. Yeah, it's the super bowl, and yeah Roger Goodell has attempted to ruin it by throwing it in damn 10 degree weather. When you throw Peyton Manning's touchdown factory in freezing conditions, it's advantage to the opponent and in this case the Seahawks. Why can't we see these two teams playing in 68 degrees in Miami? It just appears to be the most fair from the beginning of the season, but now we are faced with a matchup with one team relying on the pass with an okay defense squaring off against a dominant defense and an offense based on running the ball…. Why in the biggest game of the season does the weather have to be a factor in the game where we are trying to decide who the best team in the league is? Especially with Peyton's track record in the cold…. Anyway, let's get to the action, because it's going to be one hell of a game.

What's At Stake?: I mean this question in terms of beyond the rings. For Peyton Manning, whose future is in question due to his lingering neck issues, it's a chance to make his case for the greatest of all time by capping off a record setting season by topping one of the best defenses we've seen in the last decade. For Champ Bailey, it's a future hall of famer's chance to capture his first super bowl in his first trip. On the other side of the ball, this is the chance to start a dynasty. A few guys on that team are due for big paydays in two years(Wilson Sherman etc.) and a win here might convince some guys to take less money for a couple of years in order to possibly start a dynasty. For Pete Carroll, its a chance to win a title at the college and pro level, a feat only Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer have accomplished.

Where is the most important battle in terms of scheming?: Sheriff Manning will be using Omaha in an effort to confuse the extremely talented Seattle secondary highlighted by Richard Sherman. Peyton Manning loves mind games, but Sherman earlier in the week said "I think most of it is meaningless" well, come Sunday that theory will be put to the test as Manning loves to chatter on almost every snap.

Will Percy Harvin have a big impact? He's going to need to because this Seattle receiving core is pretty bad, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, and Jermaine Curse aren't the most talented receiving corse out there despite the immense praise Russell Wilson gives them. The answer is yes, but let's be honest he's probably going to get knocked out on the first play of the game.

Key Matchup: No surprise here, the boisterous Richard Sherman will be tasked with covering the extremely reserved Demaryius Thomas. The two have had words exemplifying nothing but respect for each other, but Thomas made a more surprising comment saying, "everyone has a weakness" and when asked what that weakness was he smiled and said "you will have to wait until Sunday to see." Look for a physical battle between two of the best athletes at their respective permission. Whichever player gives their team an edge will most likely come out on the winning side.

Prediction Time: I don't think the first quarter is going to be to high scoring, and I expect things to pick up as the game goes along. Russell Wilson will be looking to make plays because the Seahawks offense tends to stagnate at times and Wilson has the ability to escape the pocket and make plays that few guys in this league can make. Wilson's success will dictate the success of the Hawks offense due to the fact the Broncos are most likely going to sell out on the run and leave one-on-one match ups on the outside. But, Peyton Manning knows whats on the line and they have so many weapons. I know how elite this Seattle defense is, but the Broncos offense is slightly better. Peyton Wins MVP in a (26-22) victory in the Big Apple.-Josh Neighbors

Photo credit: ESPN,, CBS sports, and

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