Broncos’ defense gaining heat
Despite losing Von Miller in the regular season, and losing Chris Harris Jr. a week ago, the Broncos’ defense has still been very good over the last four weeks, including the playoffs. In their last four games, the Broncos have given up an average of only 15 points per game, and their main weakness in the secondary have turned things around some in the last month. Hot defenses are what you look for in a Super Bowl wager, and for this matchup, it appears the Broncos’ defense might have an edge.
The Broncos’ strength during this season and their current hot streak defensively is their rushing defense. Denver finished the season ranked 8th against the run, and while teams couldn’t run on them much, their averages per carry are solid as well. The Seahawks are going to try and run the ball on the Broncos, and I believe this battle upfront will set the tone for the entire game.
Marshawn Lynch led the Seahawks to be one of the best rushing teams in the NFL this season, and he will be key against the Broncos. While I give the advantage to the Seahawks in the running game, the run alone will not be even close to enough to beating the Broncos. However Lynch will have to touch the ball 25 times in this game. He not only has to set the tone of the game, but he has to keep Manning off the field. If the Seahawks have too many short drives early that result in punts, it could easily shift the advantage to the Broncos’ defense. All Manning needs to get is the first double digit lead, and the Seahawks will immediately be thrown out of their advantage defensively.
The other giant factor in this game is Percy Harvin, who has missed a majority of the season and has not yet been ruled upon for the Super Bowl. Although there are nearly 10 days remaining until the big game, Harvin being in or out could not only have a large affect on the NFL Odds, but the battle between Seattle’s offense and Denver’s defense.
If the Broncos don’t have to worry about Harvin, they can stack the box against Lynch and force young Wilson to make plays with his arm. Even without their best corner, Harris, Denver should be able to limit the passing of Wilson by getting pressure on him.
The Seahawks offense line is the final large factor, and with the unit giving up 19 sacks in their last five games, it doesn’t look good for Wilson and the Seahawks offense. I think this matchup overall will be the x-factor in deciding a Super Bowl champ, and it looks as if Denver has the advantage.