It’s the weekend and that means one thing, my “The Denver Broncos will win if” columns. I’ve only been writing for isportsweb for a few weeks now but I have always considered being able to write these an honor and I look forward to doing it for seasons to come (I’d also like to point out that the Broncos haven’t lost since I joined isportsweb; coincidence?)
With that all said, here it is. The Broncos will win if:
The running backs can produce early: It feels like I say this every week, but out of all the games the Broncos have played this year, this is the one they need the running game the most.
Regardless of how you feel about Richard Sherman’s antics, the Seattle Seahawks’ secondary is probably one of the best the game has ever seen. I don’t like to rely solely on stats to write my articles, but in this case I do feel like I should provide a few just to show the dominance of Seattle’s defense this season. Seattle led the league with 28 interceptions this regular season (the team that finished second was Buffalo with 23) and forced 20 fumbles (recovering 11.) Obviously, Seattle’s ability to force turnovers was one of the main reasons why they were able to win last week’s game against San Francisco.
Even with Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker, and Eric Decker I believe it is going to be incredibly difficult for the Broncos to have early success throwing the ball.
However, if Moreno and Ball can get going early that might force Sherman and company to play up, which would open up opportunities in play action and screen passes. In fact, if the running backs are able to produce like they have been all post season the Seahawks as a team will probably start looking to stop the run first as they are literally one of the most aggressive teams I have ever seen.
If the running game can sucker the Seahawks into playing primarily run defense, Manning should have a much easier time navigating around Seattle’s secondary.
They can stop Percy Harvin: In my mind, the Bronco’s offense will be negated by the Seahawks defense (that’s not necessarily a loss for Denver, the Seahawks strength is their defense, and if the Broncos can play well enough to keep consistent field position then Seattle may be forced into some awkward areas offensively.)
This means that the game basically comes down (somewhat ironically) to the Bronco’s defense versus Seattle’s offense. Statistically speaking the Seahawks offense ranks a smidge higher than the Broncos defense, but recently Denver’s defense has stepped up in games versus San Diego and New England (they gave up 17 points to the Chargers and 16 to the Patriots) while the Seahawks offense has been struggling.
When he’s on, Russell Wilson is incredibly dangerous, but right now he’s in a funk of sorts. I don’t think that the Seahawks have any real game changers on offense (Marshawn Lynch is a bruiser, but the Broncos have been surprisingly adept at stopping the run lately.)
That means that Seattle’s offensive success relies on Percy Harvin. In his limited action against New Orleans, Seattle target Harvin out of the gate and he showed that he could still make the plays he was famous for in Minnesota.
I’m not sure that the Broncos have anyone that can cover Harvin, and if Jack Del Rio can’t figure out a way to shut him down the Super Bowl could quickly become a blow out. However, if the Broncos are able to stifle Harvin, Seattle really doesn’t have any other offensive playmakers they can rely on in crunch time.
If Seattle fails to move the ball offensively, even their defense will start to erode against Peyton Manning and the Broncos passing attack. How well Percy Harvin plays tomorrow may very well decide the Super Bowl.
I hope everyone has a great Super Bowl Sunday, and don’t forget to check out the isportsweb live chat. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.