Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013-14, up to January 28 inclusive:
1-1 ML (+0.71 units)
Super Bowl Prop Betting Directory: Who is offer the best lines for this year's game?
As Aristotle once taught us, it’s all about cause and effect. The Denver Broncos will perform certain actions in an attempt to win Super Bowl XLVIII (6:25 p.m. ET, FOX). So will the Seattle Seahawks. Those players, coaches and trainers will also be affected by outside forces, most notably the weather in East Rutherford, but also the demands of the media, and even the extended halftime. What if the power goes out at the New Meadowlands? What if Gov. Christie closes the George Washington Bridge before the game?
We can’t account for all the variables, but for each team, we can see a most likely path to victory. In this article, I’ll be telling you why the Broncos will win Super Bowl XLVIII. Later on, I’ll argue against myself in support of the Seahawks. I just hope things don’t get too heated and I end up punching myself out. You may feel differently.
1. Peyton Manning will throw two touchdown passes
Manning and the Broncos offense set all kinds of NFL records this year, and although things have been taken down a notch during the playoffs, Manning still managed to throw two TD strikes in the Divisional Round against the San Diego Chargers, and he did it again versus the New England Patriots. Granted, neither of those teams has the defensive quality of the Seahawks, but Manning still has five different players with at least 60 receptions on the season, led by Demaryius Thomas with 92 catches and 14 touchdowns. Seattle can’t cover everybody all the time.
2. Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball will combine for 150 yards and one TD
The game plan calls for the Broncos to attack the right side of Seattle’s defensive line, and they’ve got two willing soldiers in Moreno (4.3 yards per carry, 10 TDs) and Ball (4.7 yards per carry, four TDs). Moreno is playing the best football of his career after struggling in his first few seasons as a pro, while Ball might even be better. In addition to their rushing yardage and their ability to catch the ball in the flat – Moreno had 60 receptions this year – these two warriors will protect Manning when Seattle floods the box out of its Cover 3 formation.
3. Matt Prater will kick three field goals, including one from 50+ yards out
There aren’t many positives to take from Denver’s No. 21-ranked special teams unit, but the most important contributor is PK Matt Prater, who nailed 25 of his 26 field-goal attempts during the regular season. Prater was the unsung hero of the AFC title win over the Patriots, going 4-for-4 and connecting from 54 yards deep to extend Denver’s lead while Tom Brady was mounting another one of his fourth-quarter comebacks. Also watch for kick-returner Trindon Holliday to put the Broncos in excellent field position and not fumble the ball this time.
4. Russell Wilson will turn the ball over twice
As perfectly as the Broncos will play this Sunday, they still need Seattle to make a few mistakes, and that’s exactly what will happen when Wilson hits the national spotlight. While he went pick-free against both the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers, Wilson fumbled the ball twice against the Niners, losing possession once. His offensive line hasn’t provided much pass protection this year; Denver’s dogged front seven will force Wilson to scramble, where he’ll make an errant pass at a critical moment of the game. The weather gods will contribute by making the field too slippery for Wilson to get away. Like so many before him, he’ll regret the day he came to New Jersey.
How does a simulated Madden matchup have this game playing out?