Manning’s Offense Wins Championships
Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014 15:01
When thousands of camera flashes illuminate New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium this Sunday during the Super Bowl’s opening kickoff, ask yourself which current quarterback you would want to win your team that game? Now, let’s narrow your choices to two: Peyton Manning or Russell Wilson.
The choice is easy. It’s like choosing between Mountain Dew in a bottle or can: both have satisfying quality, but you know the can gets the job done better. Manning simply gets the job done. At 37 years old, Manning has engineered one of the most powerful offenses in NFL history while the 25-year-old Wilson leads a productive offense on a team that gets their mojo from their defense.
Throw out the fact that Manning is the second oldest quarterback to play in a Super Bowl and that historically he hasn’t performed well in cold weather. Those are things the talking heads at ESPN like to discuss as they search for angles. Manning is playing like he’s Wilson’s age, throwing for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns while completing 68.3 percent of his passes during the regular season.
But it’s not just about the quarterback. The Broncos are simply the better and deeper team, and Manning will not let an inferior team beat him in the granddaddy of them all.
The theme of the game will be Denver’s offense versus Seattle’s defense. The Broncos are ranked first in total yards per game and passing yards per game. The Seahawks’ defense is ranked first in total yards allowed per game and passing yards allowed per game.
The phrase “defense wins championships” doesn’t necessarily ring true in professional sports. The long, tenacious and balanced offensive drives will wear down Seattle. Meanwhile, the Denver defense has proven they can stop a running back like Marshawn Lynch, being ranked No. 7 in rush defense.
But the true matchup that will decide this game is Manning versus the Seattle defense. Everyone knows about Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s endorsement-boosting postgame interview after beating San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game. The self-proclaimed greatest defensive back in the world will face his biggest challenge in trying to defend Manning and the 6-foot-3-inch Demaryius Thomas.
Sherman and his defense can chatter, blitz and throw different packages all they want at Manning; they’re not going to confuse him. Denver has only been held under 25 points twice this season, and has scored at least 20 in all its games. This offense will get its points. Seattle does not have the weapons to go toe-to-toe with this team.
Wilson is a composed, young quarterback. Maybe the stage won’t be too bright for him. But can he produce enough big offensive plays to keep up with the Broncos on the scoreboard? Can his receivers make a big play when needed if Lynch gets bottled up at the line of scrimmage?
Can the Seattle defense stay alert to 35 Manning pass attempts while still respecting Knowshon Moreno in the run game?
This is the Super Bowl many fans were wanting and predicting before the season began. Both teams went 13-3 during the regular season, but the Broncos have been the best and most efficient team all season. This Sunday, instead of talking about it, they will prove it.
Prediction: 31-21 Broncos
MVP: Peyton Manning
Unnecessary statistic: Manning says “Omaha” the same amount of minutes it takes the halftime stage to be set up.