I’m still stung by the 49ers collapse in the second half of the NFC Championship game and Richard Sherman’s disparaging interview still has me seething. I’ll try to stay impartial, but it’s no secret that I won’t be rooting for the Seahawks.
Seattle Seahawks(1) at Denver Broncos(1)
This is a great matchup. The NFL’s greatest passing attack against its most dominant secondary. Although Denver’s quad of fantastic receivers don’t possess a nickname quite as flashy as the “Leigon of Boom” (Seattle’s well-reknowned secondary), they are just as dangerous a threat. Demaryius Thomas against Richard Sherman will be intersting to watch. Thomas possess excellent speed, hands, and leaping ability. Sherman loves to get physical with receivers and dares referees to throw the flag. If Thomas is quick enough to get a clean release, any holding would be pretty obvious. Of course, Sherman is aided by two of the best safeties in the game, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. The matchups in the middle of the field between those two and Denver’s Wes Welker and Julius Thomas could be another pivotal point in the game. This leaves first year starter Byron Maxwell on Eric Decker. Decker has got a fantastic nose for the end zone and is a slippery tackle. These receivers have had so much success in part because they have one of the greatest QB’s of all time, Peyton Manning, throwing to them. This defense can match up phyiscally with anyone, but adjusting to the audibles that Manning calls has proven to be a tough task to all that have opposed it. Denver’s greatest weakness lies in their run defense-which, coincidentally, is the strength of Seattle’s offense. That doesn’t look like it will end well. Marshawn Lynch had success last week against a 49ers defense that is a far tougher than Denver. Seattle’s ability to adjust pre-play will play a huge factor in this game. Another thing to watch is the seperation that Denver’s receivers get against Seattle’s secondary. Sherman will be sure to attempt to get into Peyon’s head. If he’s smart, Manning’s response should be a simple “Omaha!” If the Broncos defense steps up and stops Marshawn, the momemtum could swing heavily in Denver’s favor. However, if the Seahawks offense keeps Manning on the sideline, this one’s an easy win for Seattle. 21-17 Seahawks, although I will be rooting for Manning to receive his second ring.