Super Bowl 48 kicks off on Sunday night just after 6:30 PM and Lucas Frankel is taking a look at the biggest story lines heading into the big game.
Will the notion that “Defense wins championships” reign supreme?
The long standing notion in the NFL is that “Defense wins championships”.
Seattle has the league’s number 1 rated defense, and the Broncos have the league’s number 1 rated offense.
This is the 5th time in the Super Bowl era a match-up like this has occurred. Three of those times, the team with the number 1 defense has come out on top, and only once has the number 1 offense won.
The Broncos will be looking to reverse that trend, while the Seahawks will be looking to prove that it is still indeed the case.
Legacy Game for Peyton?
There’s not much more Peyton Manning can do to cement his legacy as the greatest “Regular Season” quarterback.
A win in Super Bowl 48 would permanently place Peyton in the category of being one of, if not the “Greatest Quarterback to Ever Play the Game”.
Right now, Manning has a career 11-11 playoff record with only one ring. Yes, he’s taken his team to the playoffs 13 times and has a record 13 four-thousand yard seasons, but to truly be the best, you have to be able to show off the bling.
His lack of post-season success is shedding a dark cloud over his ability to be recognized as the best, which is why Peyton could really use a win on Sunday. A loss and he retains his regular season belt.
Can Russell Wilson will the Seahawks to victory?
The Seahawks regular season, and post-season success this season has been a direct result of running the ball, and defense. Seattle finished the season with the league’s top rated defense, and the 5th rated rushing attack.
Quarterback Russell Wilson’s job has been to protect the football. He threw 9 interceptions during the season which is pretty good.
He’s also been asked to make the necessary plays when he absolutely has to, like the touchdown he threw to Jermaine Kearse on 4th down in the NFC title game.
In Seattle’s two post-season games, Wilson has completed a combined 25 passes, thrown for 318 yards, and the one touchdown. In the regular season, Wilson eclipsed 300-yards passing just twice, and threw for under 200-yards 6 times.
If Seattle falls behind by multiple scores, Russell Wilson will be counted on to carry the Seahawks to victory. Whether he has the ability to do that is a valid concern.
Can Richard Sherman back up his talk?
“He’s the best corner in the game,” at least that’s what he’s been telling everyone who will listen.
He even when to the extent to take shots at Peyton Manning saying he throws “ducks” to which Manning responded by saying, “I do throw ducks. I’ve thrown a lot of yards and touchdown ducks so I’m actually quite proud of it.” Right back at you Rich.
To this point, Sherman’s backed up everything he’s said. Over the last 2-seasons, he leads the NFL with 16 interceptions and 61 passes defended, so he’s really, really good.
But now Sherman’s placed a big red bulls eye on his chest, and you can be sure Peyton Manning will do anything and everything to hit it.
Can Wes Welker avoid that crucial drop?
Remember in Super Bowl 46 when the Patriots were leading 17-15 with 4 minutes to go and on a 2nd down and 11, Wes Welker dropped what should have been a sure first down?
The Giants then drove 88 yards in just under 3 minutes scoring the game-winning touchdown. Then in last season’s AFC Championship game against the Ravens, the Patriots were leading 13-7 to start the 2nd half and had a nice drive going. On a 3rd down and 7, Welker dropped what should have been another sure first down.
The Patriots were forced to punt, and the Ravens went on to score 21-unanswered points to win the game.
Each of these Welker drops were the turning points in the Patriots losing the game and the pressure will be on Welker once again in crucial moments. The question is, will he deliver?
Most overrated storyline: How much of a role will weather play?
Since the NFL made the decision to play the Super Bowl in New Jersey, all anyone’s talked about is that there’s going to be a substantial blizzard during the game and the quality of play will suffer. A Farmers almanac even predicted back in August the game will be a “Storm Bowl” and that it will be C-O-L-D.
Well, that’s not how it’s going to happen. There’s currently a ZERO percent chance of precipitation with a high of about 50 during the day, and a low of 29 at night.
That’s nothing either of these two teams haven’t seen this season, so there should be no one complaining about the cold weather being the reason why a team won or lost. (Editor’s note: It would have been so cool if there was a snow storm during the game).
Who’s ready for some football??