Football is a game of matchups which are highlighted even more on a stage as big as the Super Bowl. The big matchup that everyone is talking about in this Sunday’s showdown between Seattle and Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII is the Seahawks No. 1 ranked pass defense against Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ No. 1 ranked passing offense. My take on this one is that Seattle will be able to keep things in check, but Manning is still going to make some plays that lead to points on the board.
Another key matchup is Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch against a Broncos’ rush defense that was ranked eighth in the NFL; allowing an average of 101.6 yards a game. Lynch has already ran for 249 yards in his first two postseason games this year and while he will be a factor, do not expect any record-setting performances.
The bottom line is that both of these team’s primary strengths tend to negate each other, so this game will be a true test of wills between two very good ball clubs. The x-factor could be Seattle’s ability to force a few turnovers. It led the NFL this season with a turnover ratio of +20. In the end, take the Seahawks and the 2.5 points, but my top play for this game is the UNDER on a total line of 47 in a close, hard-fought battle to the bitter end.
Below is a link to my complete breakdown of this Sunday's Super Bowl in an article previously written for Sporting Charts
Super Bowl XLVIII Statistical Preview