Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Super Bowl Matchup Comes Down to Quarterbacks

sports.lund.superbowl2014
Illustration by Kels Lund.

The Super Bowl may be the most celebrated non-holiday day of the year, and luckily for Whitman, the majority of students have a rooting interest. The second most important part of Super Bowl Sunday, after watching the game, is not making a fool of yourself with a lack of knowledge about the team you intend to root for. For those who live under a rock, the game is being played between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Each team has several strengths and weaknesses heading into the weekend that will surely be hot topics come game time.

The main storyline will be Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning against the daunting Seattle secondary, the “Legion of Boom.” Manning is enjoying what will go down as the greatest season ever by a quarterback, breaking the NFL single-season records for passing yards and touchdowns. The Broncos offense as a whole had a record-setting year as well, setting the NFL record for points scored in a single season. Manning is not infallible, however, as his arm strength has been called into question several times this year, and if any team would be able to rattle the legendary quarterback, it would be Seattle.

Seattle plays with a small but fast defensive line that excels at getting to quarterbacks. Their secondary also employs three All-Pros in first teamers Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas combined with second teamer Kam Chancellor. Sherman made headlines with his provocative interview after the team’s victory in the NFC Championship, and his play will be a key to Seattle’s chances of shutting down the Denver offense.

On the other side of the ball, the Denver defense will be tested by Seattle’s power running game. Seattle’s combination of Marshawn “Beastmode” Lynch and Robert Turbin will get the team rolling. Lynch has proven to be one of the league’s best running backs over the last few seasons, and the game plan for Denver will be to limit his success. The Seahawks starting quarterback, Russell Wilson, leaves a larger question mark. Wilson’s 215 passing yards against the 49ers was his highest total since week 14. To put Wilsons’s struggles in perspective, Manning has thrown for less than 215 yards once all year.

The Seahawks will be happy to see the return of wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has been limited to only a game and a half this season due to Achilles and head injuries. Despite the injuries, he is one of the premier athletes in the NFL and has the unique ability to take over a game. The key for the Broncos will be actually to tackle Wilson when they get pressure, something few teams have been able to do for an entire game. The Denver defense is not to be disregarded as a whole. Defensive end Shaun Phillips and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie highlight an underrated unit that has done more than enough to aid their prolific offense.

In a classic competition of unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, this Super Bowl matches the strengths of both teams against one another.  At the end of the day, however, I think it comes down to quarterback play, in which Manning holds a significant edge over Wilson. My pick: Broncos beat the Seahawks 28-20.

 

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