Sunday, January 19, 2014

3 quick thoughts on the Super Bowl -- and a prediction

What an exhilarating end to Championship Sunday, as Seattle edged San Francisco, 23-17, on the strength of forcing three Colin Kaepernick turnovers in the fourth quarter. That dramatic game made up for what was sort of a yawner in the AFC title game, as Denver led the entire way and beat New England, 26-16.

So let us look ahead to Feb.2nd, when Denver and Seattle -- No.1 seeds in their respective conferences -- face in what should be a very entertaining Super Bowl in (yes, it's actually happening) New Jersey.

1. The most compelling storyline will be Peyton Manning vs. Seattle's "Legion of Boom" secondary. That's Denver's No.1-ranked scoring offense vs. the Seahawks' No.1-ranked scoring defense. That's cornerback Richard Sherman -- who made a great play to tip the ball on the decisive interception vs. the 49ers and then acted about as classlessly as you possibly can in his celebration and interview -- vs. Denver's big-time trio of receivers. That's going to be a barnburner.

2. Former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson will start in the Super Bowl in only his second season as a pro. Wilson has had an absolutely stunning pro career thus far, even though he did have a number of shaky moments Sunday. Look for his rise -- and his parting of ways with former N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien -- to be dissected once again.

3. John Fox has been very close to a Super Bowl win a couple of times, most notably with the Panthers in the 2003 postseason. Now he has Manning playing as well as any quarterback ever has. Denver scores points in bunches, and it needs to because its defense remains somewhat vulnerable.

Here's a note to the Panthers: There have been 10 postseason games so far. The winning team has scored at least 23 points in every game. So 10 points -- what the Panthers scored in their loss to San Francisco, and their win vs. the 49ers in November -- just doesn't cut it. The offseason has to be about improving firepower for Carolina, both with a better offensive line and a better corps of receivers.

Fox already has all that, though. And I think the coach who still owns a house in Charlotte -- and who rehabbed there after his midseason health scare -- is about to get his first Super Bowl ring. I called both the title games right in my previous blog post, and for the Super Bowl I'm going with: Denver 31, Seattle 23.


Anonymous said...

The score won't be that high, because Seattle doesn't score that much and won't allow Denver to. Still I believe (and hope) Foxy gets his ring. He is a class guy and deserves it. Denver wins 20-13

Anonymous said...

Seattle needs to play better to win.
They won't. Its a blow-out.

Denver 48 Seattle 20.

Anonymous said...

Panthers also need better-designed run and pass plays, better play-calling, a more innovative offensive game plan. If Shula stays, consultants should be brought in to fix the problems. The GM will improve the receivers and the offensive line.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the lack of class on the Sherman "attempted" interview and his post-game choke gesturing/other antics with Crabtree were also foolish. For me this was somewhat offset by the high class that Russell Wilson had in his interview and always seems to portray. Agree that after watching both games it reinforces that our offensive line needs off-season attention along with the defensive secondary. I also hope for some learning growth in our Offensive Coordinator!

Anonymous said...

Innovative left and went to Cleveland . . oops didn't stay there long! I think the play calling will be fine with continued improvements to the offensive personnel!

James Edgar said...

I'm all in with Seattle. I DO NOT want Fox to get a ring.

Bitterness/sour grapes? Probably. But Fox getting to coach this offense is the biggest case of poetic injustice I can imagine. We're talking about a man with so much distain for offense that he has managed to convice way too many people that a punt is a good play. (It is NOT; it is NEVER a good thing to give the ball to the other team, I don't care where on the field you are.) Once he gets inside the 35 yard line he wants to run 3 draw plays and kick the field goal so his defense can get back on the field. He hates rookies so much he started a free-agent pickup that had been with the team 5 days over a rookie who had been there 4 months. He told his offensive coordinator to "stop throwing the f***ing ball." Now he's coaching the greatest QB of all time. That ain't right.

Go Seahawks!

Anonymous said...

Its been a long time say`in that defenses win championships , If Carrol and his coaching staff can control the line of scrimmage and make Denver 1 dementional by completely shutting down there running game Seattle can control the clock and game.

Anonymous said...

The two traditional style NFL stellar intelligent QBs with Pats Brady and Broncs Manning were the real Super Bowl with their traditional teams and coaches. Nothing else compares or can replace that top quality and impeccable integrity.