With Super Bowl XLVIII set to kick off in a matter of hours, many are wondering what team the experts around the sports media world are choosing. A large number of the media has decided to roll with the Denver Broncos over the Seattle Seahawks, but there is a reason that they play the game and we will find out who the true winner is later tonight.
Here is a look at some expert predictions from around the internet:
Patrick Allen, VP of Content, FanSided: 39, 34, 27. Those are the number of points scored against the Denver Broncos in their only three losses of the season. Seattle averaged just a shade over 26 points a game this season. This game should be close but as good as the Seahawks defense is, the Broncos offense is nearly unstoppable. I just don’t believe that Seattle will be able to score enough points to keep up with Manning. Keep an eye on Lynch, though. If Seattle wins, it will likely be because Beast Mode is in full effect.
Prediction: Broncos: 24, Seahawks: 20
Josh Sanchez, Editor-in-Chief, FanSided.com: This is the worst possible match up for the Denver Broncos. Seattle has a defense that can shut down the Broncos wide receivers on the outside, and athletic linebackers and safeties who can blanket Julius Thomas. On the opposite side of the ball, Marshawn Lynch has the talent to gash the Broncos secondary and keep Manning off the field. It is important to remember that the Jacksonville Jaguars had the Broncos number for the first half of their regular season meeting, and Jags head coach Gus Bradley is the former Seahawks defender. If Jacksonville was able to keep Manning in check with the same defensive scheme as the Seahawks and far inferior talent, just imagine what Seattle can do. Manning is also a sitting duck in the pocket, so Seattle can bring the pass rush and shake him early as they go on to show they’re all about that action, boss.
Prediction: Seahawks: 31, Broncos: 17
Mike Dyce, Editor, FanSided.com: Defense wins championships, but the Denver Broncos defense isn’t as bad as you think. Do they struggle against the pass? Yes. Do they stuff the run? Maybe not as well as other teams but as a defense they’ve allowed the 8th fewest yards per game in the NFL. Add in the league’s best passing offense, and a quarterback who rarely gets sacked and it all looks like it could be too much for the Seahawks to handle, not to mention a more than serviceable run game.
Prediction: Broncos: 27 Seahawks: 20
Josh Hill, Editor, FanSided.com: Everyone seems to think that Peyton Manning isn’t prone to interceptions anymore, but that’s hardly the case. The Seahawks force even great quarterbacks like Drew Brees to look mediocre which doesn’t bode well for Manning’s chances. Until Manning wins the Super Bowl, he’ll have exorcised no playoff turnover demons. That being said, he’s still the greatest quarterback ever and he lives for moments like the Super Bowl. We shouldn’t sleep on the Broncos defense either, as the Seahawks offense isn’t what you’d call an explosive unit. It’ll be a close one, but the inexperience of the Super Bowl Seahawks will rear it’s ugly head at the most inopportune time.
Prediction: Broncos: 24, Seahawks: 21
Bryan Rosa, Assistant Editor, FanSided.com: Great defenses often show up in the Super Bowl and that will be the case with the Seahawks, but Peyton Manning is an assassin and good as the Seattle defense is, they can’t stop all weapons at all times. It’ll be a nail biter but Denver squeaks out on top.
Prediction: Broncos: 24, Seahawks: 21
Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL Insider: This one’s for Peyton.
Prediction: Broncos 30, Seahawks 20
Rick Reilly, ESPN.com columnist: I picked Denver to beat Seattle before the season started, and I’m sticking with it. So … just as nobody predicted, it’s a shootout. Peyton Manning’s unheard-of, earth-rattling, never-seen-before, 3-yard bootleg run to win it is timed at 11.3 seconds. Millions slap their forehead in unison.
Prediction: Broncos 35, Seahawks 34
Ray Lewis, “Sunday NFL Countdown” analyst: Overall, Seattle is a better team. Denver relies so much on Peyton that if he has an average day it’s not enough. And I think the weather favors Seattle with its defense.
Prediction: Seahawks: 21, Broncos: 17
Ron Jaworski, “NFL Live” and “NFL Matchup” analyst: A fast start by Peyton Manning forces Seahawks to play from behind.
Prediction: Broncos 27, Seahawks 24
Chris Berman, “Sunday NFL Countdown,” “Monday Night Countdown” host: Temperature at kickoff will be higher than the winning score. You could have had long odds on that one a week ago.
Prediction: Seahawks: 23, Broncos: 21
Skip Bayless, “First Take” commentator: Because of Denver’s defense.
Prediction: Broncos 20, Seahawks 14
|WRITER||WINNER||SCORE||SUPER BOWL MVP|
|PETE PRISCO |
Senior NFL Columnist
|Broncos 30, Seahawks 20||MVP: Peyton Manning|
|PRISCO’S TAKE: Manning has had two weeks to come up with ways to dissect the Seattle defense, a unit that can be confusing up front and simplistic in the back end. They don’t play a lot of complicated looks, but rather play a lot of single-high safety. To me, that’s asking for it against Manning.As one defensive back told me last week, “If they stay in single-high, it’s a wrap.” That’s how I see it too. Manning is too good not to change things up on a regular basis. And Seattle rarely does on the back end. They play Cover-1 and Cover-3. Not much else. I think Manning will have his chance to be patient and carve them up. |
On the other side, Seattle will counter with the running of Marshawn Lynch, but I expect Denver to play eight-man fronts and make Russell Wilson beat them. In the end, I will take Peyton Manning over Russell Wilson.
|JASON LA CANFORA |
CBS Sports NFL Insider
|Seahawks 27, Broncos 24||MVP: Percy Harvin|
|LA CANFORA’S TAKE: I’m rolling with the Seattle Seahawks here. I picked them to win it all in the summer and I see no reason to change that now. I like the defense to make Peyton Manning just uncomfortable enough, I like Golden Tate to make a few big plays against a suspect Denver defense, I like Percy Harvin to make something happen on special teams and on offense, and I like Marshawn Lynch to be a factor throughout.I figure it takes 27 points to win this game, and I believe the Seahawks can get there, win the turnover battle and take home the first Lombardi in franchise history.|
|PAT KIRWAN |
|Seahawks 24, Broncos 21||MVP: Marshawn Lynch|
|KIRWAN’S TAKE: Ten days ago, I was asked on CBSSports.com for the winner of the Super Bowl. I said the score would be 24-21 with Denver winning the game, much to the shock of my good friend Pete Prisco. Since then, I have watched all the tapes, spent time with both teams and talked to many people that played these clubs. I’m sticking with my score, 24-21, but I’m switching teams.I believe Seattle will frustrate the Denver offense just enough to keep the game close for four quarters, and whether it’s a critical turnover or a special play by Percy Harvin, Seattle wins. Weather should not be the factor, but it comes down to defense and the Marshawn Lynch run game. Peyton Manning will be brilliant in defeat but the Denver defense misses by a hair.|
|WILL BRINSON |
|Broncos 31, Seahawks 21||MVP: Peyton Manning|
|BRINSON’S TAKE: Seattle’s defense is impressive and I hate going against Russell Wilson, especially since he has a knack for proving people wrong with his performances in big games.But Peyton Manning’s had two weeks to prepare for this matchup and with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker able to win one-on-one matchups and Manning able to deliver enough ducks their way, the Broncos pull this one out and secure Manning’s legacy as an all-time great.|