Apparently, it doesn’t matter if you boast the greatest offense in the history of the NFL. People still want to believe that defenses win championships.
The Denver Broncos and the top ranked offense in the NFL–by a few hundred miles–are preparing this week (first practice on Wednesday) for the Seattle Seahawks, a beast unlike any they have seen all year, but for varying reasons.
If you ask most Broncos fans, I’d be willing to bet that they would tell you the team that scares them the most is not the Seattle Seahawks, nor their other potential Super Bowl opponent the 49ers. The team that scares the Broncos the most is the New England Patriots, and it’s because Tom Brady is the monkey they just can’t get off their back.
Not only is Brady nearly impossible to beat for the Broncos, but he’s been nearly impossible to beat for Peyton Manning. Manning has won just 33 percent of his matchups with Brady in 15 career head-to-head get togethers.
So now that the Broncos have beaten arguably their toughest “boss” of the season, why is it that so many people feel like Seattle has the upper hand in the Super Bowl?
I get it. The Seahawks are this year’s “flavor of the day”. People want to love Richard Sherman and his post-game antics. People love the gum chewing Pete Carroll, the Skittle tossing for Marshawn Lynch, and the calm, cool, and collected young quarterback Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks, as much as any team in the NFL, are as likable as they come.
That being said, I don’t think they should consider this matchup with the Broncos an easy one. Seattle may have a few Pro Bowl caliber defensive backs, but bear in mind the Broncos had five players this season with 10 or more touchdowns, all of whom are going to be healthy going into the Super Bowl. Not to mention, they have the best quarterback in the league, and probably of all-time on their side.
Perhaps the biggest advantage going for the Broncos is the defense. Sure, Seattle’s defense has been great all year long, but in the playoffs, the Broncos have allowed one more point in two games. Since getting beat by the Chargers, the Broncos have allowed 17, 13, 17, and 16 points.
The defense is getting “turnt up” at the perfect time this season.
Guys are playing their assignments far better than they had been. The mass confusion caused by the rush of injuries has quieted down. The Broncos are playing as good of team defense as any team in the league, forcing opponents to go three-and-out on a regular basis and shifting the time of possession battle completely in their favor.
Having time of possession in favor of the best offense in the league? I’ll take those odds.
The Broncos need to convert scoring opportunities into touchdowns, as they did for most of the regular season. Of late, they’ve been settling for more field goals but things are working for them. If they continue to play like this, I don’t see any reason why people would feel like this is going to be a good matchup for Seattle.
Quite the opposite.