Super Bowl Thoughts

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So this post is just for fun.  It’s written solely as an indulgent Broncos fan.
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Broncos-Seahawks Predictions

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The twenty-forteen Super Bowl matching Seattle’s awesome defense against Denver’s record-breaking offense is the most anticipated and most hyped football game since Joe Montana retired.  Or is that just for the folks in Seattle and Denver?
No, it does seem this Super Bowl is getting more attention than normal.  And having the game played in New York or even NEW JERSEY only adds to the speculation.
The teams are like mirror opposites of each other.  They each lost road games to the Colts and to their biggest conference rivals.  Both were upset late in the season at home by division foes.
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My cousin Phil Anderson, is a Seattlite and a HUGE Seahawks fan (actually he’s not that large but he does LOVE his home team).  After the Hawks won the NFC, I told him that I’d be rooting for his team if they were playing some other AFC team (especially the Patriots) in the super bowl.   And it’s true, I’ve loved the Seahawks since Brian Bosworth.
The Seahawks used to be in the AFC west along with the Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders.  The Denver-Seattle rivalry was also a fun family rivalry. Seattle cousins traveled to Denver to see the game live at the old Mile High stadium and the Denver clan went to Seattle’s Kingdome.  As I remember it, the Seahawks beat Elway’s Broncos regularly in Seattle.  The Hawks defensive star, Brian Bosworth, was adored in Seattle and admonished in Denver.  So when T-shirts with the slogan “Bozz Busters” were sold at one of the Denver games, fans snatched them up and proudly roared their distain for “the Bozz”.  A tag inside the t-shirts read something like “this shirt made by Brian Bosworth enterprises”.
The Bozz spirit lives on in Seattle.  It’s evident with the resurgent Seahawks who now find themselves poised to claim the top NFL prize.  Whereas Denver’s players have, through the years, been sometimes great on the field, their personalities are mostly quiet.  Seattle’s seems to attract more outspoken players.

Wesley Woodyard, Demaryius Thomas, Champ Bailey and Von Miller pose as waiters for Woodyard’s 16Ways foundation benefit.

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16Ways Foundation

 

These pictures come from an event I photographed pro-bono two years ago.  The Broncos were at 1-4 and had just been blown out AT HOME by the Lions.  Their season was all but over.
The event, hosted by Wesley Woodyard, benefitted his 16ways foundation for at-risk youth.  For $250 a plate, admiring fans were waited on by some of their favorite Broncos.
The players aspirations for the season were pretty low that night, but this was the season when Tebow-mania soared in Denver.  Tim Tebow got the attention, but the Broncos defense got confident.  The Broncos won the AFC west and then, in the playoffs won the shortest overtime game in NFL history game against the Steelers.

Demaryius Thomas. Broncos players waited on worshiping fans who paid $250 a plate to be served by the broncos.

Wesley Woodyard serves dinner to Broncos fans. The benefit dinner was held to support at-risk youth.

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The Seattle Seahawks are a wonderful team who will garner a lot of support from many corners.  But this post is written by a fan who remembers the 1960s when the Broncos were the only game in town — a fan whose stomach ached for weeks (or at least days) after Super Bowl  losses in 78, 85, 87 and 90.  And who watched taped versions of Bronco Super Bowl wins well into the spring of 98 and 99.  So of course, this post heavily skewed in favor of the home team.
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Top reasons why the Broncos will win

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The 13-3 Curse is Broken.
The first time I noticed that a 13-3 record is a bad omen was in 1996 when the lowly Jaguars came in and beat the heavily favored 13-3 Broncos at home.  Next to the super bowl losses, that game was the worst — even worse than last year’s loss to the Ravens, the loss to the Jaguars left Bronco fanatics in tears.  At first I blamed the loss on my favorite sports writer Woody Paige, who referred to the Jacksonville team as the “Jagwads”.  Then I started noticing that other 13-3 teams were similarly cursed.  The Broncos went 13-3 again in 2005 but were defeated in the playoffs at home by the Steelers.  And then there was last year’s 13-3 season… that Raven game when the Manning led Broncs were upended in double overtime.  The 13-3 curse isn’t just a Bronco phenomenon.  The falcons were 13-3 last year and made a quick exit.  In fact, the only time a 13-3 team won the super bowl is when in 2000, the 13-3 Rams beat the 13-3 Titans.  Manning’s Colts were also 13-3 that year.
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History Repeats
It’s uncanny — the similarities between the 1997 Broncos and this year’s team.  Both teams went 13-3 the prior year and were upset at home.  Both teams avenged regular season losses in the playoffs.  In 1997 in was Pittsburgh and KC.  This year it was NE and SD.  The 1997 team had 38 year old John Elway the helm.  The 2013 Broncos are led  by 37 year old Peyton Manning.
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Legion of Boom

The Seahawks defense is awesome.  Not since the orange crush has Denver possessed a defensive squad that accumulated the accolades as Seattle’s Legion of Boom.  No doubt that they’ll make it tough on Denver’s great offense.  The Legion of Boom WILL make big plays and possibly force at least one turnover.
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But after checking into this years stats, one fact looms large for the Boom.  They haven’t faced many great offenses.  In fact only one of Seattle foes was a top-ten offense.  And Hawks played the 4th ranked Saints in Seattle where the 12th man gives the home team something like a 14 point advantage.  Nine of Seattle’s victories were over offenses who ranked in the bottom 1/3.  Based on total yardage gained, the Legion of Boom played against inferior offensive teams.  Seattle’s foes averaged just 22nd in total offense while Denver’s opponents averaged 16th in the league for total offense.
Now, to be fair, it should be told that Denver’s vaunted offense did not play many games against the top-ten defenses either.
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Denver’s D

Unbelievable as it may seem, Denver and Seattle are exactly tied in rushing defense at 7th.  Both teams have allowed an average of 101.6 per game.  Marshawn Lynch is a beast of a running back.  He WILL be a difficult task for the Broncos front.  But Denver has done well against the running game all year.  And last year the Broncos were the #2 overall defense allowing only 91 yards per game running.  Denver’s defense it seems, would be more vulnerable to a more traditional passing attack than a run-on-first, run-on-second, throw-on-third type offense.  The difference here could be the nimble feet and escapability of Russell Wilson.  If the Broncos can’t control the Hawks QB, Seattle will score a lot of points.
But Denver’s defense has been incredibly stout in the playoffs.  Excluding the fourth quarter, they allowed only 3 points in the two games.
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Peyton Manning

Need I write more here?  Like John Elway before him, Manning will end his career with two or three consecutive championships.
The weather could be problematic for the Seahawks — have they EVER played a cold game?  For Manning and the Broncos, the weather will only matter if it’s wet.
Sports writers are great at writing cliches and for repeating whatever someone before wrote.  They love to talk about Manning’s poor record in cold games but never mention that all those Colt losses were AWAY games.
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Year of the Horse

Today, Friday January 31 is the Chinese new year.  ….. Year of the horse.

The mural was painted on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper at the DMIS School Chinese New Year festival

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Seattle’s Revenge

The NFL loves to play up prior season big games.  I remember old Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford talking about how the Steelers would get revenge against Dallas or how badly the Vikings wanted to beat the Raiders.

The 2013 season opened on a Thursday with the Broncos whipping the Ravens.  The home team always wins these games.  Next year the AFC west plays the NFC west so Seattle and Denver will face each other again soon.  If next fall’s matchup was scheduled to be played in Denver, it would seem almost certain that the Seahawks would win the super bowl and the Broncos would then exact their revenge next season.

BUT… the game next fall is in Seattle.

 

Champ Bailey super bowl MVP.

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Ok, my prediction for the Super Bowl goes like this.
Seattle scores first and second.
The halftime score will be something like Seahawks 16, Broncos 14.
But the Broncos offense is just too powerful and they score loads in the second half.
The final score will be something like 26 to 38 in a Broncos victory.
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The surprise MVP will be Champ Bailey who scores 2 pick sixes.
Alright…. if the Broncos win the MVP will be Manning, you’re right.
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  • Philip M. Anderson - Very well written blog post. I would expect nothing less from Edward DeCroce.

    First of all, I have known the author of this post for many years. I actually thought I knew him rather well until this blog post highlighted how much he LOVES the Broncos. I always knew he liked them but not at this level. In fact, I went to a Denver/Seattle game with him in 1989 in Mile High Stadium (the game that Steve Largent broke Don Hutson’s 44 year old record with his 100th career TD catch). So, kudos for you, Edward!

    It’s hard to argue many of the points in the post. You did your research and due diligence in coming up with pertinent facts to support your prediction. Let’s be honest, this is about as close to a toss up game as it comes. Sure, one team could catch fire and ride a wave of great bounces for a lopsided Super Bowl 48 win but I don’t see that happening. If there WAS a team that would be intimidated by the size of this game it would be Seattle because there isn’t one player on the team that’s played in a Super Bowl, which is really quite remarkable. I would say that might be a concern for me, however, this team seems to be mature for their age.

    With the teams being SO close in terms of talent it would make sense for any OBJECTIVE fan to go with their own team, just as you did. But 45-26? Really? I don’t see that happening. I think it’s a higher scoring game than people have been predicting and I see Seattle winning, 30-28, as they kick a field goal in the closing minutes (not necessarily last second).

    As much as I will enjoy a close game, I would be ok with a lopsided Seattle victory. Not because it’s against Denver but because it is less likely to snap a defeat at the jaws of victory if it’s a lopsided game.

    Edward, thank you for writing this post. Because I admire you and your family so much I can’t get into trash talking too much about this game. Plus the older I get the more I understand this is just a game. The fact your players do the charity work like they do is wonderful. The Seahawks have guys that do the same thing. Those sort of things aren’t reported as much as a player opening his big mouth for 8 seconds right after making the play of the year, thus causing the spotlight to be aimed right at him for much of the two weeks leading up to this game. It’s funny, Sherman gets in trouble for TALKING and Lynch gets in trouble for NOT talking. Fickle media!

    To a great game on Sunday! May the best team win! I hope it’s the Seahawks but if has to be ANY other team in the league, I’d like it to be Denver. But you won’t find me admitting that anywhere…except maybe this comment section of THIS blog post.

    Phil Anderson
    Seahawks FanReplyCancel

    • Edward DeCroce - Excellent reply cousin Phil. And thank you for your edit of my writing. So if Brian Bosworth is the correct name of the Seattle player, who in the hell is Brian Boswell? Is that the guy on Happy Days?

      You’re probably right about the score being closer than I projected. But you forgot to mention your MVP should the hungry Hawks humiliate my team.ReplyCancel

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