Super Bowl XLVIII Preview
Super Bowl XLVIII is happening on Sunday the 2nd. It’s provided for some interesting humor but it will make for some serious play between two teams that night.
It’s a funny irony that this year’s Super Bowl is happening all the way on the East Coast but the two teams are way far west. It’s also a funny irony as posted out on some of my friend’s Facebook posts that both team come from states that legalized marijuana. Hence names like the Weed Bowl, the Bud Bowl and the Super Bong have come about.
Without a doubt the Super Bowl is the biggest one-day hype-fest in the USA. This will be the first Super Bowl since Super Bowl X to be played outdoors on artificial turf. MetLife stadium in East Rutherford has a capacity of 82,500: the biggest in the NFL. A 30-second commercial costs $4 million and all ad spots were sold out two months ago. Fox will broadcast to the United States with CTV airing Fox’s broadcast to Canada. 45 countries will also have their own broadcast. Marching bands from Rutgers and Syracuse University are expected to open the pregame show. Queen Latifah is to follow singing ‘America The Beautiful’ with the New Jersey Youth Chorus. Renee Fleming will become the first opera singer ever to sing the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at the Super Bowl.
There almost wasn’t half-time show since this is to be a Super Bowl held in cold weather and there was fear of blizzard conditions. Nevertheless Fox and the NFL said there will be a halftime show and they’re confident it will go well. Actually they shouldn’t worry since the hourly weather forecast for the game hours predict calm and partly cloudy skies with temperatures starting at 7 Celsius (45 Fahrenheit) and dropping to 4 (39). Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are scheduled performers.
THE TWO CONTENDERS:
AFC: DENVER BRONCOS
Denver have won the Super Bowl twice back in 1997 & 1998 during their ‘Elway Era.’ The Broncos ended the last season losing the Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens. They hoped to win the Super Bowl this year but had a whack of obstacles to overcome. Firstly during the offseason, All-Line probacker Von Miller was suspended six games for violating the NFL’s drug policy. Several offensive linemen also sat out the beginning of the season with injuries. There were four departures and four new additions. Head Coach John Fox had a health scare and had heart surgery which caused him to miss four games and Jack Del Rio taking over in his absence.
The Broncos actually started slowly in exhibition play as they only won two of their four exhibition games. When the regular season officially began, it was another story. The team did excellently as they won thirteen of their sixteen regular season games to come out on top of the AFC. Along the way the team set new NFL records for most total points (606) and total touchdowns in a single season. And Peyton Manning set new records for passing touchdowns and passing yardage. Can you blame Sports Illustrated for naming him 2013’s Sportsman Of The Year?
The playoffs were also smooth sailing as they won the Divisional Championship against the San Diego chargers 24-17 and the Conference Championship against the New England Patriot 26-16. It’s good to see after all those obstacles, they finally made it to East Rutherford with the Super Bowl game against the Seahawks being their last hurdle remaining.
NFC: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
This is their second time ever to the Super Bowl. Their first time ever was eight years ago where they faced the Pittsburgh Steelers and lost 21-10. Even before the season began, one NFL.com expert ranked the Seahawks as the most powerful team in the NFL. Nevertheless it was up to them to prove it.
Unlike the Broncos, the Seahawks didn’t have the discomfort of shockers, frequent trades and suspensions. Seattle did acquire ten new players: five through trades. Seattle won all four of their exhibition games including one against the Broncos. The regular season was excellent for them as they won thirteen of their sixteen games. The playoffs were also great for the Seahawks as they won their Divisional Championship against the New Orleans Saints 23-15 and the Conference Championship against the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. This is especially great for them because many at the beginning of the season gave San Fran better odds than Seattle to win the Super Bowl.
Normally I’m better at making predictions for the CFL Grey Cup than I am for the Super Bowl. The reason is all CFL teams play against all the other teams at least twice in the regular season and it’s easier to make a prediction with the head-to-head data. It’s not the case in the NFL as if each team were to have at least one game against every other NFL team, all teams would have to play a total of 31 games. Wow, could they handle it?
This is not an easy prediction for anyone. Even Wikipedia states the favorite for this match to the Broncos by 2: the tightest favoring in 32 years.The two Super Bowl teams don’t always meet during the regular season each year. The Seahawks did play the Broncos and won 40-10 but it was an exhibition game back in August where Seattle was hosting. A lot can change in those five months since.
Both teams finished on top of their Conference with 13 wins and three losses. Both teams played the 49ers at least once in the season and had a loss to them. Denver may have set a scoring record this season but Seattle had the better defense allowing only 231 points scored on them.
Okay, enough of the saber metrics. I predict that the winner will be the Denver Broncos. I won’t hazard a guess on the final score but I believe it will be a close game with Denver’s win being by five points. This would make it the third win for the Broncos and the second Super Bowl win for Payton Manning.
So there you go. My preview and my prediction for Super Bowl XLVIII. Show begins tonight at 6:30 EST in MetLife Stadium. May the best team win!