Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Schmucks predict Super Bowl XLVIII

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With Super Bowl XLVIII taking place Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, it's time for the Schmucks to give their annual Super Bowl picks. Will they side with the top-ranked Denver offence or echo the sentiment that "defence wins championships" and pick Seattle? Check out the predictions below! (Alphabetical by last name)

Kieran Blair
The build up to this year's Super Bowl has focused largely on Denver's overwhelming offence versus Seattle's smothering defence. However, with an experienced quarterback at the helm, Denver will be able to win the battle of attrition between the number one offence and number one defence. The absence of Qwest Field's 12th man will render Seattle's defensc less intimidating, and will allow Peyton Manning to audibly bellow his countless renditions of "Omaha" throughout MetLife Stadium. Underdogs have won the last four Super Bowls; don't bet on Seattle to make it five.

Chris Lejambe
The biggest game of the year sees the league’s best offence in the Denver Broncos going head to head with the league’s best defence in the Seattle Seahawks. I can’t deny the fact that the Super Bowl victory goes to the best defences because we’ve seen that time and time again. On this day, I predict Denver’s offence, led by Peyton Manning, will prove to be more powerful. I felt that the Seattle defence looked vulnerable in the first half of their game against the 49ers and that if it had been Denver’s offence, the Seahawks would never have gotten back into the game. Add that to the lack of Seattle’s home crowd and the inexperience of Russell Wilson in the big game, I think this is Denver’s game to lose. Denver 24 Seattle 14

Sean McDermott
Defence wins championships. It's how my Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their first Super Bowl and it is how the Seattle Seahawks will win theirs. I believe it will be a tightly contested game that comes down to the last five minutes to decide who is the champ. Give me a 24-21 win by the Seahawks, with Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch as your MVP with 135 yards on the ground on two rushing touchdowns.

Mike Mitchell
Much like my championship winning Fantasy Football team (A Boy Named Suh, what up?) my Super Bowl prediction is all Denver. There's a reason that the Broncos sported the best offense in the NFL this season. Peyton Manning has been playing this season like a kid playing Madden, picking apart defenses seemingly at will and setting a number of records in the process. How many records, you say? Well, here goes: points, touchdowns, players with 10 or more touchdown, passing first downs, wins by an owner, games with 50+ points (they had 3!), points in second half, passing touchdowns, passing yards, longest field goal, extra points (75 for 75), most four-touchdown passing games, most two-touchdown passing games, most 400-yard passing games, most 90+ passer rating games.

Yeah. Seriously. Although most of those records are Manning-centric, the running game has really stepped it up as of late, making opponents pay for guarding those receivers a little bit too closely. Now, I understand that Seattle has the top ranked defense in the NFL this year, but are those stats skewed? Seattle has by far the loudest home stadium, which helps massively. The elements at home are also something the Seahawks can lean on, but neither of those things will be an advantage in New York this weekend. Cold, awful weather? Denver can play in that. Loud Super Bowl crowds? Manning has been there, done that. Ditto Wes Welker, his number one target. Russell Wilson is a great young player, yes, but does he possess the poise that his rival has? I don't think he does. His receivers leave much to be desired as well. If Denver's so-so defense can stifle Marshawn Lynch, this game will be over before it beings. All due respect to Richard Sherman, but Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas aren't Michael Crabtree. They're who Crabtree wishes he was, being thrown to by a quarterback who controls and calls the game so well. It'll be a stiff test for the Seattle D, and one that I don't think they'll pass. Remember what I said about Denver's running game? If Seattle focuses too much on the pass, that running game will burn them. Having the best kicker in the game in Matt Prater doesn't hurt the Broncos either.

The over under is a high one. With the weather, I don't know that I'd take the over. But make no mistake, Denver wins Super Bowl 48, capping off an amazing season for Manning and the Mile High club (the football club, not the fun one).

Mike Saratsiotis
Denver Broncos - 27
Seattle Seahawks - 17

Like many other predictions out there for the Super Bowl, it's hard to bet against Peyton Manning. When a QB is in the discussion of possibly the "greatest ever", you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe if he were up against a more experienced quarterback, like Drew Brees or Peyton's brother Eli, then it would be a closer game. Given added factors such as the cold weather conditions, intensity of the grand stage, and the confidence of a win against the Patriots, it seems like it's the Broncos' game to lose.

Brett Smith
It was an easy match-up to predict. The Broncos and the Seahawks were two of the three best teams in the NFL heading into the regular season. Before the season started, I picked the Broncos to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in MetLife. After a 16-game regular season and post-season run, I see no reason to change my pick. Granted, Seattle has a fantastic defence. Richard Sherman can make a receiver go away for an entire game. The problem is the amount of targets at the disposal of Peyton Manning. If Sherman takes away Demaryius Thomas, Manning still has Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. As for Denver's defence, Marshawn Lynch will get his. However, Denver still has the ability to shut down a runner. The Broncos held Jamaal Charles to under 100 yards rushing in both meetings and held NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy to 73 yards. For those reasons, Denver takes it. It'll be close. I'm guessing Denver 27, Seattle 24.

Josh Spadafora
My prediction for the beloved "Marijuana Bowl" goes as follows. Neither offence nor defence wins championships. I will side with Broncos for this Super Bowl based on experience. Peyton Manning versus Russell Wilson is your key match-up in my opinion. A legend versus a second year player who had some struggles with his offence throughout the season. My prediction lies within experience, and Denver has more of it in the needed positions.

There you have it. If was up the Schmucks the Denver Broncos will win Super Bowl XLVIII. Very surprising to see everyone except Sean pick the Broncos. The key theme throughout the selections was the experience of Peyton Manning compared the sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson. Will Sean prove everyone wrong?

What are your predictions for the Super Bowl? Leave them below in the comment section or hit us up on Twitter (@SportBySchmucks).

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