I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m picking the Seattle Seahawks to win the Super Bowl on Sunday. That doesn’t mean the Denver Broncos have no chance. I’ve been wrong before in predictions and the argument for the Broncos winning Super Bowl XLVIII is a strong one. But I think the Seahawks with their top-ranked defense will prevail.
With that said, the next topic of debate is, who will be the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII? (And why do they still use Roman Numerals to count how many Super Bowls have occurred? But that’s another debate for another day.) As always, there will be front-runners but there have been surprise winners in the past. (Larry Brown, Dexter Jackson, Jake Scott to name a few.) However, this piece will focus on the favourites to become the next Super Bowl MVP. I have chosen three players from each team to likely to hoist the Pete Rozelle trophy.
Quarterbacks have been the Super Bowl MVP 26 times, the most out of any position player. Thus if the Seahawks win, the second year signal caller out of Wisconsin will be a front-runner for MVP. Granted, Wilson hasn’t put up gaudy numbers in the Seahawks previous two playoff games, but it could mean he’s due for a breakout performance. Wilson did make the big throw in the NFC Championship game against San Francisco, as his 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse on a 4th and 7, gave the Seahawks the lead they would not relinquish. What has been surprising about Wilson this playoff year is that he hasn’t taken off and run with the football. Wilson only has 16 yards rushing in the playoffs, and all of those yards came in the Divisional Playoff game against New Orleans. This could be the game that Wilson uses his legs instead of his arm, to guide the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl title.
If the Seahawks running back goes Beast Mode on the Broncos defense, Lynch could be the first running back since Terrell Davis in Super Bowl XXXII to become Super Bowl MVP. Lynch has been excellent in the playoffs for the Seahawks, surpassing the 100-yard mark in both playoff games. Lynch gained 140 yards on 28 carries against New Orleans, finding the end zone twice. Against San Francisco in the NFC Championship game, Lynch carried the ball 22 times for 109 yards and scored a touchdown. Lynch will have a tough task against the Broncos though, as Denver ranked seventh in the NFL against the run, and have not allowed a back to rush for over 100 yards since Ryan Matthews gained 127 yards against the Broncos D in Week 15. Lynch will need to break that trend if he has any chance of becoming Super Bowl MVP.
Lynch hasn’t won many friends with the media this week, as he has been a surly interview at best during Super Bowl week. The Seahawks are hoping he brings that same nasty attitude to MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
Perhaps the most polarizing figure in this year’s Super Bowl, Sherman is also a world-class talent who can change the game with his athleticism and brash attitude. The aggressive cornerback is the leader of the Legion Of Boom defense that has no problem with getting in the face of their opposition. Sherman will be asked to cover either Wes Welker, Eric Decker or Demaryius Thomas but don’t be surprised if Sherman comes after Peyton Manning on a corner blitz as well. Sherman is also adept at stopping the run, due to his physical nature off the corner. He will pose problems to the Bronco receivers and is one of the smartest players in the NFL.
Sherman caused quite the stir after the NFC Championship game with his post game interview with Erin Andrews, in which he was labelled a thug by many observers. But don’t let the cocky exterior fool you. Sherman is one of the best in the business and is capable of making the biggest play in the biggest game. With the chilly weather most likely playing a factor, this could be the game where a defensive player wins MVP. Sherman is the best defender on the No. 1 defense in the NFL. He could very well walk away with the Pete Rozelle Trophy.
The MVP of Super Bowl XLI could very well win his second Pete Rozelle trophy if the Broncos are victorious. Manning will be taking his place in Canton once he retires, and a second Super Bowl title would put him in legendary status. One need look no further than Manning’s performance in the AFC Championship game against New England to see that Archie’s boy is primed and ready. Manning completed 32 out of 43 pass attempts for 400 yards, 2 touchdowns and zero interceptions. His pin-point accuracy goes well with his complete control of play-calling at the line of scrimmage. You can be sure you will hear Omaha time and time again, as Manning will audible his calls, trying to confuse the Seahawks defense. If Manning can solve Seattle’s tough D, he is a favourite, to become Super Bowl MVP.
The big question surrounding the Broncos running back is health. Moreno suffered bruised ribs in the AFC Championship game against New England, and is listed as questionable for the Super Bowl. If Moreno can’t go, it will be a big loss for Denver as they become one-dimensional in their attack. Moreno brings balance in Denver’s offense and will be called upon if healthy to carry the workload in the ground game. The weather in New Jersey doesn’t favour the passing game, so a strong running game is vital for success. Moreno hasn’t topped the 100-yard mark so far in the postseason, gaining 82 and 59 yards against San Diego and New England respectively. If Manning struggles to throw the football in the cold, Moreno will need to step up his game for Denver to win. If Moreno does raise his game to the next level, he could very well be the next Super Bowl MVP.
Manning’s favourite target is looking to redeem himself after his last Super Bowl appearance, where he dropped key passes while he was with New England, and incurred the wrath of Tom Brady’s supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen. Welker arrived in Denver this season hoping for a fresh start and the Broncos have welcomed him with open arms. In 13 games this season, Welker had 73 receptions for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns. Welker’s numbers are down in the playoffs, recording 12 catches for 76 yards in two playoff games for the Broncos. Welker could be due for a breakout game, but the cold weather may play a factor in his production. Welker will also have to contend with Sherman, and the rest of the Legion Of Boom defense of the Seahawks. If Welker can find the openings and put up big numbers against the top-ranked defense in the NFL, he could very well walk away with the Super Bowl MVP.
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