The biggest game in all of football is just days away now and rather than just give you a general breakdown of the game I’m going to give you a look at how both teams win Super Bowl XLVIII. I’m going to do this by focusing one team at a time in terms of the line, over/under possibilities and the general gameplan. First up is the Denver Broncos.
The American Conference Football Champion Denver Broncos are currently listed as three point favorites in Super Bowl XLVIII. Following Seattle’s win over San Francisco the line was immediately listed as a pick’em game and then moved to the current -3. I think Denver being favored comes down to one thing and that’s how they played against New England compared to how Seattle played against San Francisco.
Personally I don’t think it’s a fair comparison but it is what it is. I saw the 49ers as a much better opponent than New England.
How Does Denver Cover the Spread?
The easy answer is they need to score four or more points than the Seahawks do right? It isn’t that simple however because the Seahawks play darn good defense. If I’m the Broncos and Peyton Manning, I’m looking to spread this defense out early and often in the game.
I think you’ll see a lot of Peyton Manning at the line calling run or pass audibles based on what Seattle’s formation is as well as what personnel they have on the field at the time. When I say ‘spread them out’ I’m talking about getting Wes Welker in the slot, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker out wide and tight end Julius Thomas all over the place.
That means just Knowshon Moreno in the backfield. The key will be Julius Thomas in my opinion. At 6’5″, the Seahawks will be forced more than likely to stick 6’3″ safety Kam Chancellor on him. Thomas will be too much for the Seattle linebackers to handle so look for Chancellor to cover him. If Seattle goes to a lot of man coverage, I think you’ll see Denver move Julius Thomas out wider than normal and run the ball.
I will be very surprised to see Denver have any success in tight or big formations because Seattle is just too good defensively. The other thing that should happen with Julius Thomas split out is that it will create more room for Welker to operate underneath. I suspect the Broncos will also use their running backs in the passing game a little more too.
Defensively, the Broncos have one main goal to accomplish and I believe this game will be theirs. Denver must force Seattle into third and long situations thereby putting Russell Wilson in passing situations and none of the play-action variety.
Obviously getting the Seahawks into long yardage situations means they will have to stuff and contain Marshawn Lynch which is not going to be easy. The Broncos did however gain some great confidence in shutting down a New England running attack that had demolished the Colts a week prior.
The over/under is 47 which is very simple to decipher. If you take the under, you like Seattle and if you take the over you like the Broncos. In their last five games, Denver has gone under in all five. That is not something to take lightly. Keep in mind that high-scoring teams like the 1999 Rams and the unbeaten Patriots went into Super Bowls expecting to blow up the scoreboard.
In both cases, those teams were held well under their normal average. Keep in mind the Rams still won… And so can the Broncos.