Super bowl XLVIII will showcase the NFL’s top rated defense against the top rated offense when the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos do battle in New Jersey. This is the fifth time since the AFL-NFL merger that the number one overall defense and the number one overall offense has faced off for the championship. Historically, the defense has had the better results in these match ups, boasting a 3-1 record, with the Joe Montana and Jerry Rice led 49ers 55-10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV being the exception. The Broncos have the “Superman” Peyton Manning, while the Seahawks are ready to lower the Legion of Boom.
The Seattle Seahawks defense allowed a league low 14.4 points per game, while the Denver Broncos offense scored a league high 37.9 points per game. Statistically, Peyton Manning’s Broncos had one of the greatest offensive seasons in league history as they scored 606 points during the regular season. Manning himself set NFL records in touchdown passes,with 55, and passing yards, with 5477. During the regular season, however, the Broncos only played against one top-five defense in the Kansas City Chiefs. They will be up against a whole new animal when they face the Seahawks and the Legion of Boom.
While the Seahawks defense did play against some of the worst offenses in the league this year in Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Houston, they still certainly proved that they were the best defense in the 2013 season. Seattle led the league in six major defensive categories this season including points per game, (14.4) yards allowed per game, (273.6) opposing quarterback rating, (63.4) and takeaways (39).
The identity of the Seattle Seahawks defense comes from their secondary, or the Legion of Boom. The Legion of Boom is made up of safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, as well as corner back Richard Sherman. Sherman is one of the best cover corners in the league, and he led the NFL in interceptions, with eight. He is also one of the most outspoken players on the Seahawks roster, and apparently, he is not a fan of Michael Crabtree. Kam Chancellor puts the Boom into the Legion of Boom, as he is regarded league-wide as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the game today. Earl Thomas is thought to be one of the most complete safeties in the league, and is a leading candidate for this year’s defensive player of the year award. The other member of the Legion is Brandon Browner, who is serving a suspension that will keep him out of the Super Bowl this year.
Peyton Manning will certainly have his hands full going against the well-coached secondary of Seattle. But Manning has never had a group of so many talented receivers at his disposal like he has this year. The receiving core of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and the new stud tight end, Julius Thomas, are one of the main reasons Denver’s offense is the best in the league this year. All four receivers caught double-digit touchdowns from Manning this year. It did not hurt that Peyton has 55 of them to hand out. Both Thomas and Decker caught over 1200 receiving yards on the season.
So it will be the lowering of the Legion of Boom with the Seattle Seahawks defense against Manning’s Musketeers and the Denver Broncos Offense. Regardless of the outcome, Super Bowl XLVIII is sure to be a terrific game of football.
By Eric Kummel