Super Bowl XLVIII is in front of us and it is now time for our annual predictions.
Kowaleski: Well, Mike, here we are. The beginning of the end. We started our run ruling #MikedUPnation two Super Bowls ago. It’s been a real pleasure.
I’ve gotta go with Peyton Manning and the Broncos here. The Seahawks defense is formidable, to be sure, and Manning doesn’t exactly have the gazelle-like strides of Colin Kaepernick. But he does have more weapons and better accuracy, and something tells me he’ll put up just enough points to win.
Which may have something to do with the matchup that nobody talks about heading into Sunday’s game: the Seattle offense vs. the Denver defense. The ‘Hawks can’t rely on their stellar D to win the game, and their offense isn’t exactly overwhelming with options. Marshawn Lynch should score a touchdown or two while racking up a ton of yards, but he’s their best option when it comes down to the red zone, and the Broncos run defense has stabilized in the trenches and has allowed only 129 yards rushing total in their two playoff games.
Without Beast Mode, I doubt the Seahawks will be able to keep up with even a dampened Broncos offense.
This could be a classic, Mike. I’m taking Peyton taking his second championship by a score of 23-21.
(Editor’s note: Not that we’re keeping score, but Mick is 2-0 so far in Super Bowl predictions against Mike)
Kelley: It would really be something to watch Peyton Manning, arguably one of, if not the most popular and talented player in the history of the NFL, hold up the Lombardi trophy as he nears the end of his legendary career. In his brother’s home stadium for that matter.
But he can’t play in the snow, critics say. The cold weather and Peyton never mix well.
Throw that noise away. Peyton will play and play well. But the Seahawks still win this matchup. And no I am not basing this off the 40-10 preseason blowout between the two squads in August.
The X-Factor to my prediction lies solely on the play of Russell Wilson. Will he struggle under the bright lights? By no means do I think he needs to play lights out. He simply needs to limit turnovers and effectively move the ball up the field. Marshawn Lynch will surely help with that.
Good news for Wilson: Percy Harvin is back and ready to roll. Albeit a brief stint against the Saints, Harvin immediately displayed his difference making ability. His presence will pay dividends in the form of a touchdown come Sunday night.
No doubt in my mind the Seahawks will force at least one turnover. And that could be the difference maker.
Prediction: Seahawks 28, Broncos 27
The boys give ten things to watch for in this year’s broadcast:
1) A billion stupid pre-game arguments by NFL talking heads about Peyton Manning’s legacy as defined by this game (hint: he’s already cemented his place on the pantheon of great QB’s).
2) Peyton completes the greatest quarterback season in NFL history by breaking the single-season records set by his nemesis (Brady) and the quarterback who beat him in Super Bowl XLIV (Brees), while also tying his brother in Super Bowl wins and crushing Brady and the Pats in the AFC Championship game. His post game speech consists of the words “Screw you, Tom. I’m going to go eat some Papa Johns.” He drops the mic, flips the double bird, and walks off with the Vince Lombardi trophy in one arm and Gisele in the other.
3) Red Chili Pepper penises.
4) Marshawn Lynch scores a touchdown. Seahawks fans hurl their Skittles from the stands as is per tradition, but one of them hits him in the eye. Beast Mode is taken out for the rest of the game.
5) Scene: end-of-the-game drive by Denver, down by five with 1:40 left. On fourth down, Richard Sherman pops Knowshon Moreno for a loss and celebrates by running around the field singing “I’m the man I’m the man I’m the man I’m the man!” A prompt flag is thrown, a crucial 15-yard penalty is assessed, and Denver continues and eventually completes its game-winning drive.
1) Roger Goodell has decided to brave the elements and sit outside throughout the game. Slowly but surely, Commissioner Goodell will make his way up to that luxury suite that has chicken wings with his name on them.
2) Players from both teams engage in the real SuperBowl and smoke prior to the game as now Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana use.
3) Peyton Manning shouts ‘OMAHA’ at least two dozen times. Will people finally let this go? This storyline has been beaten to a pulp.
4) This isn’t a prediction, but watch the Marshawn Lynch interview with Deion Sanders from Tuesday’s media day. It was fantastic.
5) The entire Denver defense eats Skittles in front of Marshawn Lynch to somehow attempt to intimidate him.